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Countries of the World

2005-07-16 12:24:00

Countries of the World
Today I am saying 312, tomorrow maybe more or less.

I have been steadily driving myself crazy trying to make a list of the Countries of the World.

A country is not a simple term for me to use anymore, there are countries, territories, protectorates, enclaves and all sorts of small entities. I am not sure how to classify them all, and I am not sure if it is possible.

Islands are a big problem, I suppose there is a person that is a Professor of Geography that has all of these answers in his or her computer and could just give me a break down that makes better sense than mine.

I have discovered that the easy way to look at the location of country is first to look at the Continent. IF then the Country decides it is an Island, and then you have to say which Ocean.

For example, I have the Pacific Ocean, then I can say, are you in the North Pacific or South Pacific. Once I have figured out if this, I can go on to figure out if they are part of an Island Chain or some group of something.

Guam as Example

Pacific Ocean - In the Pacific Ocean
South Pacific Ocean - South of the Equator
Micronesia - A major division, one of three, a way of separating.
Pacific Islands - Just a way of saying this area or Oceania
Oceania and Pacific Islands the same, about 25,000 Islands

Guam is one of the Mariana Islands.

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States.1

Now, after all of this, what is an unincorporated territory of the United State? The Devil if I know, some free association with the United States I suppose and I can sit here and read the Encyclopedia for days trying to slice and dice these issues.

Is Guam a country? I would say technically No, however if you was trying to find a reservation, they may have this listed as a country, or they may list this in multiple ways.

This is the problem; it is a significant dominion of the world. Maybe culturally and specifically different than the USA culture, although it has one (non-voting person sent to delegate to the United States House of Representatives).1

I am not sure I care much to decide if a place is a country, I do need to find a way to classify or quadruple classify a place so I can use in the navigation of my web sites, however to really care about whether it is a country or not is not such a good idea.

I do care if they for instance have citizenship of the USA, because that is an advantage with the passport. However, many United Kingdom or Commonwealth countries have an association with England in a way and still cannot move or travel because they have been born in a country where everyone is trying to leave.

However, I am only trying to make sure I do not miss a country.

Goal: Make sure I accidentally stop at all the miscellaneous Enclaves, Territories, Protectorates or whatever does pop in my path.

Then maybe when a person ask, how many countries I have visited, I can give them this huge complicated answer, or I can just say a big number and hope they do not care.

I know a couple of people that I think are trying to visit all the countries on the planet. I do not think that is my goal; however, it is just a direction I am heading so may as well start counting correctly.

I have learned…
Many people go to over 50 countries.
Lots of people go to over 70
Few people go to over 100
I have never met anyone over 150

Moreover, all of them are no good at counting… hehehe

The big problem with counting is you tend to go to only the sure countries is this is your goal and miss or not think about the significant cultures of the planet. I like to visit the various cultures more than I care about the countries. I am still amazed that some 18 Million people in South America speak the Quechua language; this is one significant culture and greatly ignored.

Today I say 308, I just had to remove a few, darn, this should be the list of significant dominions or realms.

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