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BUNDLED, BURIED & BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: short doc about the physical landscape of the Internet

Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors from Ben Mendelsohn on Vimeo.

I guess Senator Ted Stevens really was onto something when he described the Internet as a series of tubes. Ben Mendelsohn created this masterful short documentary, BUNDLED, BURIED & BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, that pulls back the curtains to give us a fascinating look at the actual, physical infrastructure of the digital “cloud” that we increasingly inhabit (and which permits the existence of lolcats). ”He takes us inside 60 Hudson Street in New York City, a nondescript building that houses one of the major nodes of the Internet on the east coast.” I’ve walked by this building many times throughout my eight years in NYC (Can I call myself a New Yorker yet?) – probably even while writing a tweet – but without realizing I was passing the main hub that makes this whole Twitter thing possible.

While Ben made the doc for his masters thesis at NYU, I think it’s a great foundation for something that could be an actual mini-series (ideally on my favorite channel, PBS, which has been so boss with their programming lately!) that more closely examines the hardware skeleton around the world upon which the Internet is built. As our society’s reliance on the Internet increases and digital technology is further embedded in our everyday lives (yes, I absolutely need a refrigerator that is connected to the Web), I think education and understanding of these information systems will be increasingly necessary and crucial. Don’t get me wrong: I’m LOVING our march towards the technological singularity, but as we’ve seen countless times with governments trying to limit access to the Web, it’s important for us to understand how it works in order to find ways around such restrictions and attempts at censorship.