In the physical world, we tend to identify ourselves by nationality. But online, where you can reach across cyberspace and speak directly and instantaneously with someone 6,000 miles away without ever passing through customs, nationality isn’t nearly as meaningful. The real borders are created by language: Language is what makes someone addressable no matter where he is. Language is what you share with strangers above all else. Language is your passport into a new community of people.
This chart was made from analyzing Twitter. To me it is interesting to note how well languages still match the borders of countries. If we revisit our history we can see it is really the effect of the nation state and it’s control of the recent technologies of the printing press and even more recently the radio, the TV and the telephone. All of which where technologies that relied on national investments in infrastructure and consequently used by governing bodies to strengthen the nation (and their power of over the people) by emphasizing the national borders, cultural and language. These technologies were in fact all instruments in building the modern nation state.
With Internet this might be a different story…
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