BERKELEY TECHNOLOGY LAW JOURNAL
Consider an effects map depicting a moment in 1450. Inasmuch as the effects of most activity taking place in 1450 declined rapidly with increas- ing geographical distance, most events or transactions having an effect in Singapore would themselves take place in, or around, Singapore. Our ef- fects map would therefore show the territory around Singapore itself as a dense concentration of points, a small patch of intense light, with the re- mainder of the globe in almost total darkness.
An effects map for 1950 would undoubtedly show greater relative “brightness” outside of Singapore’s borders, reflecting changes in com- munication and transportation technologies over the past several centuries, and the increased numbers of border-crossing events and transactions with widely dispersed geographical effects—“airplane crashes, mass torts, multistate insurance coverage, or multinational commercial transac- tions.” 86
But the 1950 map would, I submit, retain its geographical coherence because the effects of most human activity in 1950, notwithstanding “mail, the telephone, and smoke signals,” remained geographically constrained. There would still be a bright cluster of points down on the southern tip of the Malaysian peninsula. On the basis of this patch of relative brightness alone, we would probably be able to reconstruct those boundaries with reasonable accuracy without too much trouble, even if Singapore’s actual political boundaries were omitted from our effects map.
However, an effects map plotting events and transactions taking place
86. Id. at 1234.