To you, that can of Coca-Cola is nothing more than a refreshing soda, but to Kevin Ashton, it's the culmination of a long scientific process and a sinuous supply chain. It's these processes that Ashton traces in a detailed essay on his Medium page, outlining the path from molecule to market and putting one of the most iconic American products within an entirely more technical (and globalized) light. "The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coke is zero," Ashton writes. "This famously American product is not American at all. Invention and creation is something we are all in together."

And in case you're wondering, the formula does call for coca leaf, but according to Ashton, this ingredient is "processed in a unique US government authorized factory in New Jersey to remove its addictive stimulant cocaine."