As the manufacturing economy reconfigures, you often hear the lament that "America doesn't make anything anymore." But then there's this: Most of the world's digital centers of gravity have been, and remain, American. Apple and Microsoft. Google and Yahoo. YouTube and Amazon and eBay. Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. Kickstarter. Netflix. PayPal. Akamai, the content-delivery behemoth. Intel, the internal combustion engine of the whole shebang. And for that matter, the Internet itself and the organization that regulates its domain names were both born and raised in (you guessed it) America.
A digital manifest destiny is playing out, built upon the notion that the United States' outward expansion continues apace on the virtual frontier. What the self-defined sense of American exceptionalism built in the physical world, it is now building in the digital one.