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Neal Stephenson on wiring the world

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I’d thought I’d share a link to this somewhat obscure WIRED article written in 1996 by science fiction author Neal Stephenson, about the laying of transcontinental fiber. (Warning: the article is very, very long.) Ever wonder how, exactly, your packets get to that web server in Japan or India? I found it quite inspiring at the time.

Mother Earth Mother Board

The hacker tourist ventures forth across the wide and wondrous meatspace of three continents, chronicling the laying of the longest wire on Earth.

By Neal Stephenson

Many of the themes from the WIRED article also appear in my favorite Stephenson novel, Cryptonomicon (Google Books version). I have a particularly soft spot for the novel, since its plot parallels some spooky, crypto aspects of my own startup experience.

Written by infoproc

June 16, 2008 at 3:11 pm