I knew the internet was made of physical things, when you work down to it, at the basest level. I get that, it makes sense, that data needs to be represented physically somewhere. But I never really thought about how stuff-ish the internet really is, until I watched this TED talk, by Andrew Blum:
It's really, remarkably physical. It's extraordinary to see that there are parts of internet maintenance and assembly that require real physical ability. Like, more than it takes to help move a couch. There are swimmers who dive into the ocean and pull the internet out to connect the world together.
It's kind of scary, too, how many weak points there are. It's good that, in most cases, the under-ocean connections are redundant. But there are nowhere near as many ways to get information from New York to England as there are ways to get information from New York to LA.
Also, it's weirdly imperialistic. Not in love with that aspect. Still, it's growing, and hopefully it's more liberating than oppressive.