The Internet, Explained

Like many complex technologies, the Internet works because of systems and processes that are opaque to most of us who use it. But it turns out that at its most basic level, it's really not that complicated. What is a bit surprising, in that of-course-that's-true-but-I-never-thought-about-it kind of way, is that there are a lot of physical pieces to the Internet. Wires, obviously, but also buildings you could point to and say, "There's the Internet," and you'd sort of be right.

So what happens when you click on a link to go to a web site? The friendly nerds at the World Science Festival created a little video to explain it (via BoingBoing):

Simple! And also pretty amazing. Never forget that it's a great time to be alive, particularly if you enjoy pictures of corgis, or the rapidly growing sideboob industry. Or Prospect.org, of course.

And I'd be remiss if I failed to mention that the Internet exists because the United States government, that socialist, freedom-killing leviathan, paid for its invention and development. Stick that in your packet and switch it.

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