Last Map

The map of the future is based on regionalism and a constant, living flow of forms -- a holographic representation of overlapping sediments of various group identities such as those of language and economic class, atop the two dimensional color distinctions among city-states and the remaining nations... themselves confused in places by shadows overhead, indicating the power of drug cartels, mafias, and private security agencies that guard the wealthy in failing states and hunt down terrorists.

Instead of borders, there would be moving 'centers' of power, as in the Middle Ages. These power centers would be both national and financial, reflecting the sovereignty of global corporations. Many of these holistic layers would be in motion. Replacing fixed and abrupt lines on a flat space would be a shifting pattern of eco-regions and buffer entities with indications of additional factors such as growing populations, refugee migrations, soil and water scarcities, and vectors of disease.

Henceforth the map of the world will never be static; this future map -- in a sense, the 'Last Map' -- will be an ever mutating representation of cartographic chaos: in some areas benign, or even productive, and in some areas violent. Because this map will always be changing, it may be updated, like weather reports, and transmitted daily over the internet in those places that have reliable electricity or private generators.

On this map, the rules by which diplomats and other policy making elites have ordered the world these past few hundred years will apply less and less. Solutions in the main, will have to come from within the affected cultures themselves. (rk)