June 15, 2024

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Hidden Systems is a book that can teach your kids how the Internet works

Hidden Systems is a book that can teach your kids how the Internet works

Growing up, I learned way of doing things From the author David MacaulayIncredible picture books. This week I was surprised to see Macaulay’s endorsement in my inbox for a new illustrated explanation by a different author – but the surprise was short-lived.

Fifteen minutes after starting the search in advance copy of hidden systems, which just came out this week, I immediately ordered the book for my kids. It seems like a great way to help them visualize the internet, the world’s water supply, our energy grid – and get them thinking about the infrastructure of the world they’ll one day inherit.

In 262 pages, author and cartoonist Dan Nutt tackles each of these systems in comic panel form, piecing together the building blocks of how they work and the basics of how they are conceived, all without ignoring the societal challenges facing each. “I started drawing about hidden systems because comics seem to have this superpower-like ability to compare how we He thinks about something How does it work concretely,” Nott writes in the book.

A lot of it is stuff that took me years to learn, distilled into an incredibly readable form. Even adults will likely find things they don’t know about, like the shapes and locations of secret buildings where telecom companies hide their networking equipment.

I want to show you some of that, so I asked publisher Random House if I could share a first chapter about the metaphors we use to describe the Internet—metaphors that are sometimes useful but inherently wrong.

They got together happily, so here you go!

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