|Andrew Blum's Tubes on top of a buried Level 3 fiber optic (that is what the LVL3 F/O stands for) at Lancaster Ave. and 38th St. in West Philadelphia. At this location the Internet that Level 3 provides is heading from Drexel University and central Philadelphia out the Main Line.|
For those readers in the Philadelphia area, architecture/urbanism/technology writer Andrew Blum will be speaking about his brand new book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet this coming Thursday June 7 at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Details here.
The event starts at 7:30 at the Central Library, and is free as per the library's mission and name. This is the description from the library's events page:
Andrew Blum is a correspondent at Wired and a contributing editor at Metropolis, whose writing about architecture, design, technology, urbanism, art, and travel has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, Slate, and Popular Science. Blum studied English and architecture history at Amherst College, and received his M.A. in human geography from the University of Toronto. From tiny fiber optic cables buried beneath Manhattan’s busy streets to the 10,000-mile-long undersea cable connecting Europe and West Africa, Blum chronicles the intriguing development of the internet in his new book, Tubes.Once I finish Tubes I will write up a complete review, but from what I have read, Blum has succeeded in both untangling the multitude of complex relationships between places, people, corporations, and of course digital technologies that comprise this thing called the Internet. The stories he tells are engaging and grounded in the both of this network of networks and of the geography surrounding it. Technologies never exist without people to keep them functioning; a central point of the book--perhaps the central point--is to affirm how the Internet exists in specific places and is maintained through human relationships.
I've been waiting for this book ever since Blum published this piece in Wired a few years ago tracing the path of an email across North America. Anyone interested in the subjects I cover in this blog should read Tubes, and if you live in Philadelphia, come out on Thursday to the talk.
If you don't live in Philadelphia, Blum is continuing his book tour, details here.