Discover the ‘Real Places’ of the Internet on May 2nd

Andrew Blum is the author of Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet

This looks to be a fascinating SFU City Program lecture coming up on May 2nd. The event should appeal to a wide cross-section of people—even those of you who didn’t think you had an interest in the inner workings of the interest!

Tubes and Exchanges: Discovering the Real Places of the Internet

DATE: May 2, 2013, 7:00-9:00 pm
LOCATION: SFU Harbour Centre [1400-1430], 515 W Hastings St, Vancouver (map)
ADMISSION: Free, but seating is limited, so reservations are required.

When a squirrel chewed through a cable and knocked him offline, Andrew Blum, a journalist, started wondering what the Internet was really made of. So he set out to go see it—the underwater cables, secret switches, and other physical bits that make up the net. Blum’s talk will take you on a journey through this network of networks.

He will explore its evolution over time and discuss how centralized hubs called Internet Exchanges (there are 350 in the world) are making the Internet faster and more affordable for everyone in the cities where they operate. He will highlight Vancouver’s Internet Exchange, operated by BCNET and located at Harbour Centre, as well as what it means for the city’s businesses, public post-secondary institutions, and future economic development.


Andrew Blum is the author of Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, the first book-length look at the physical heart of the Internet.

Andrew Blum

Tubes was reviewed in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Boston GlobeSalonThe GuardianThe EconomistThe IndependentKirkus ReviewsBookforumScientific AmericanNew ScientistBrain PickingsArs Technica,Science News, and others. It was also featured on NPR’s Fresh Air, CBS News, Fox News, APM’s Marketplace, BBC’s Book of the Week, The Leonard Lopate Show, KCRW’s DnA, Motley Fool, Larry Mantle, and CBC’s Spark, among others, and presented on the stages of TED Global, the London School of Economics, Microsoft, Town Hall (Seattle), The Architectural League of New York, The Mechanics Institute (San Francisco), Studio-X New York, The Skyscraper Museum, The Boston Athenaeum, and The Free Library (Philadelphia), among others.

When not immersed in the Internet’s depths, Blum writes about architecture, design, technology, urbanism, art, and travel. Since 1999, his articles and essays have appeared in WiredThe New York TimesThe New YorkerBloomberg Business WeekMetropolisPopular ScienceGizmodoThe Atlantic OnlineArchitectural RecordSlate, and many more publications. He has degrees in literature from Amherst College and in human geography from the University of Toronto. He lives in his native New York City.

Sponsored by BCNETBritish Columbia Internet Exchanges, and SFU Continuing Studies (City Program)

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Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.

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