Two days ago Intel anthropologists released their "Technology Metabolism Index" (via Wired).
The map is a color-coded display of technology adoption by country, grays representing the latest adopters and reds representing the earliest adopters. Counter to our relative wealth, the United States makes a poor showing while such African nations as Mauritania, Senegal, and Kenya appear eager for the latest in technology.
This is actually not that surprising. Compared to the US, African nations tend to have smaller populations and more homogeneous cultural trends, more government regulation of industry (and, thus, less system standardization), and less legacy analog technology to convert from, making early adoption more feasible.
Particularly interesting, though, is their observation about Estonia's and South Korea's early adopting habits.
As for Estonia and South Korea, her team found that they both have agile governments, strong offline social networks, and major upheavals in living memory (the transition out of Communism and the Korean War). That raised the counterintuitive question: could turmoil actually be good for preparing people for disruptive technologies?