Tubes: A journey to the center of the Internet

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A fascinating tour to the heart of the Internet by one of the most popular science journalists writing today.



A Journey to the Center of the Internet

Shipping in May 2012

From the Harper-Collins catalogue:

Everybody knows that the Internet is the most powerful information network ever conceived. It is a gateway to information, a messenger of love and a fountain of riches and distraction. We are all connected now, but connected to what? In Tubes, acclaimed young journalist Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey to find out.

As Blum writes, the Internet is tangible: it fills buildings, converges in some places in the world and avoids others, and it flows through tubes—along train lines and highways, and under oceans. You can map it, smell it and see it. As Tom Vanderbilt does in his bestselling Traffic, Blum goes behind the scenes of our everyday lives and combines first-rate reporting and en- gaging explanation into a fast-paced quest to explain the world in which we live. The room in Los Angeles where the Internet was born; the busy hub in downtown Toronto that links Canada with the world; a new undersea cable that connects West Africa and Europe; and the Great Pyramids of our time, the monumental data centres that Google and Facebook have built in the wilds of Oregon—Blum visits them all to chronicle the dramatic story of the Internet’s development and explain how it all works.

ANDREW BLUM, who studied human geography [with Laura] at the University of Toronto, is a correspondent at Wired magazine and a contributing editor at Metropolis. His work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, the National Post, Saturday Night, BusinessWeek, Slate and Popular Science, among many other publications. He lives in New York City.

Visit him online at


About Laura Taylor

I'm an associate professor and graduate planning program coordinator in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. I am a planning consultant, too. This blog is to share my research on the politics of nature and the negotiation of landscape values in the city and city planning, with a keen interest in the urban-rural fringe and exurbia.
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