Book Review: Tubes


Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

By Andrew Blum

HARPERCOLLINS

Have you ever seen the internet? Touched it? Smelled it? In Tubes, a run-in between a squirrel and a cable in his Brooklyn backyard sets Wired correspondent Andrew Blum on a quest to discover the physical stuff of the web. He chronicles encounters with network operators, cable guys, and computer scientists as he travels the globe—from Oregon, where thousands of hard drives in hulking data centers hold up the “cloud,” to Portugal, where the ship Peter Faber is laying the start of a 9,000-mile fiber-optic cable under the Atlantic. “Everything around me looked alive in a new way,” Blum writes as he envisions the world pulsing with glowing fibers. But ultimately he comes around to the obvious: that the true vitality of the web depends on the people who inhabit it.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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