In the last chapter of "Tubes", Blum visits The Dalles which he describes as the choke point in the path of western migration and still remains as significant. The Dalles is home to one of the Internet's most important repositories of data. A data center is the store house of the digital soul (229). I found it interesting how, in this chapter, Blum talks about data centers as what is on the other side of the "tubes" because for the majority of the book he has talked about the "tubes" being connected to us and not some place else. However, the miracle of the Internet today is that it can be stored almost anywhere and when we look for that knowledge and ask for it to be sent to us through these tubes they find their way back to us wherever we are. But Blum does go into a lot of detail about the importance of data centers and how they are the closest thing that the Internet has to vaults. These data centers can keep secrets and codes for hug companies, often companies will buy their own data centers in order to have maximum protection. In today's internet use a lot of companies and regular users rely on the cloud to keep their data safe and accessible. What is different about the cloud is that instead of thinking about the cloud as a physical thing or place like a data center it is an abstraction and not physical reality.
In the epilogue Blum really drives home the fact that he is a very deep emotional writer. After this long journey to find the Internet he ends by saying that the Internet is everywhere and that we are all the Internet. Which I understand because we produced most the content, but I feel like they could have been more of a conclusion.
My last questions for this books are:
1. What is next for the Internet? Blum took so much time to find out about the history and contact of the Internet, but what is his predictions for what is next?
2. So many people have had issues with the cloud and the security that it actually provides. Movies have been made about it, companies hacks, and more. How can we put our trust and essentially all of our information to these "clouds" that could cause major backfires?
Blum, A. (2012). Tubes: A journey to the center of the internet. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. [chapter 7 & Epilogue]