GOOD contributor Parag Khanna
spoke recently at TED about how political maps cannot possibly contain the movement of the people, goods, and ideas that currently make up our world, and how new countries are either being created, or already exist, that can't be seen on any map. For instance, much of south western Russia is de facto part of China, and what Khanna calls "post-colonial entropy" is breaking countries into ever smaller and smaller parts. You need to see the talk with the maps, which you can do here.
It's quite a bit like Khanna's article for our State of the Planet issue
on the similarities (or lack thereof) between modern foreign relations and foreign relations in the Middle Ages.