Behind the Glowing Screen

What is the Internet? Andrew Blum ’99—a journalist who writes about architecture and technology—stepped away from his computer and traveled cross-country and across the Atlantic “to understand what is behind the glowing screens.” Among the many places he visited were Facebook’s data center in Oregon and, in Lower Manhattan, a former Western Union building where the cables of different networks physically connect to one another. The result of these travels is his critically acclaimed book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet.

“The Best Toga Party on Campus”

Ripples Through the Pond

And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture, by Bill Wasik ’96 (Viking)

Review by Rand Richards Cooper ’80

Times Have Changed

1.     Percentage of prospective first-years who applied online to Amherst in 2003: 33

2.     Percentage who applied online in 2008: 89

3.     By the end of August 2008, number of members of the Amherst Class of ’12 Facebook group: 432

4.     Total number of students in the Class of ’12: 440

5.     Number of first-years who brought desktop computers to campus this year: 14

6.     Total number of students who have landline phone service on campus this year: 5

Amherst Political Scientist Javier Corrales and Economist Frank Westhoff Publish Study of Internet Use and Political Regimes