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Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion, First Edition by Harry Lewis, Ken Ledeen, Hal Abelson

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AppendixThe Internet as System and Spirit

This Appendix explains how the Internet works and summarizes some larger lessons of its remarkable success.

The Internet as a Communication System

The Internet is not email and web pages and digital photographs, any more than the postal service is magazines and packages and letters from your Aunt Mary. And the Internet is not a bunch of wires and cables, any more than the postal service is a bunch of trucks and airplanes. The Internet is a system, a delivery service for bits, whatever the bits represent and however they get from one place to another. It's important to know how it works, in order to understand why it works so well and why it can be used for so many different purposes.

Packet Switching ...

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