Treehugger: Living in Cities May Make Us Insane →

Interesting studies being done on urban areas and residential stress/anxiety.  The associated image—of cars stuck in traffic behind a swarm of pedestrian traffic—is stress-inducing in and of itself.  

However, the flipside of stress is serendipity.  The city offers both in abundance. It is the moments of serendipity that make city-living worthwhile, despite the stress.


The Hidden Infrastructure of the Internet

The Internet is more than just a series of tubes, but how many people can actually describe the physical structure of the networks we use every day? Ben Mendelsohn explores this subject in Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors, a short documentary created for his masters thesis as NYU’s New School. 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.

Take 10 minutes to watch this fascinating short documentary about the infrastructure of the Internet, which focuses on a single building in NYC that acts as a major hub for colossal amounts of Internet activity. The whole topic of infrastructure, especially as something as vast as the Internet, is so interesting to me. It is very easy to utilize the tools the Internet enables us with without taking a moment to ponder the degree of capital and energy and space and time was put into making today’s technology possible. We only really notice infrastructure when it fails us, like when there is a network outage. The documentary also raises interesting questions of control, cost and consequence that are always relevant when discussing hubs or centers of power that control important resources. It features some very interesting short snippets as well, including one with historian Saskia Sassen who wrote a book called The Global City that I enjoyed. I wonder if this post I’m making from my phone will pass through 60 Hudson Street to make it to you…