TED talk 2: Andrew Blum: Discover the physical side of the internet


Andrew Blum speaks in this TED talk about his search for the physical internet. I found this his talk fascinating given some recent events concerning my personal experience with technology. Blum mentions that once, his internet went out, and he had to call someone to come and fix it. The technician sent concluded the problem was because a squirrel had been chewing on some of the wires, and had eaten his internet. As powerful, invisible, and limitless as the internet seems, a little squirrel had completely shut it down for Blum. As for my recent events, because of human error (my own, my service provider, insurance provider, UPS) I have been without a phone for 13 days, and it seems I will not have another phone for 10 more days. In this class, we are pointing out all the wonderful things that we are capable of doing using technology. We have discussed how technology is the world we live in and so we must prepare students. However, what do we do human or animal error interfere with our ability to connect? We need to make sure that technology is not our only way to get things done or have meaningful interactions.

The focus of Blum´s talk is more on what physical technology is actually necessary to make the internet work. People have designed actual cables in the ocean to better connect different areas of the world. I am aware that my current phone-less situation is very much informing my opinion, but I couldn´t help but become nervous hearing Blum explain the physical internet. Technology has been referred to as a currency, a weapon, and a tool, among many other things, and those who control access to technology have a lot of power (for example my insurance company who sent me a broken phone, or my service provider who cut off my service).


One thought on “TED talk 2: Andrew Blum: Discover the physical side of the internet

  1. I also found this fascinating! I actually had no idea about the process of getting us all to be connected. It makes me nervous just realizing how easy it would be to sabotage the whole thing! As we say at my school, technology is only useful when it works! What about when it doesn’t? I do think there is value in knowing how these systems work and connect to each other.


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