Sunday, October 13, 2013

A really bad book for some of us

A friend sent me "Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet". I gave up when I was barely three chapters in.  I was annoyed, bored and uninterested.   Annoyed because it amazes me that a "correspondent at Wired magazine" is so technically inept.  Bored and annoyed because the same correspondent can't even make what he hasn't misunderstood sound interesting.  Uninterested, because, duh, yes,  much of the physical Internet is wires and cables and routers, duh!

I'm sorry.  Non-technical people may be interested in this.  From reading the positive reviews at Amazon, I see that some people think they gained insight from reading it.  That they gained incomplete, muddled and confused insight may be unimportant: that may be more than enough for their purposes.

Perhaps one reviewer who gave it 5 stars sums it up: "This book took the mystery out of the Internet for me."

What mystery, I wonder?

That's probably the best gauge.  Is the Internet mysterious to you?  If so, you might be able to read this book without annoyance and might actually find it useful.  If not, you''ll be tempted to stop right when he first talks about a squirrel chewing through wires that magically repaired themselves.   I did not make it much farther.

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