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The Sustainable Network: The Accidental Answer for a Troubled Planet Paperback – Oct 30 2009
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About the Author
Sarah Sorensen is the principal of Sorensen Consulting, a sustainability and strategic communications consultancy. She spent eight years at Juniper Networks in a variety of product and corporate marketing roles. During her tenure, she created and managed the Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability strategy and was a founding member of the company's Green Taskforce, which is responsible for driving energy efficiency initiatives within the engineering and product teams. She also managed Juniper's business announcements, crisis communications and public sector outreach, and spent half a decade marketing the company's security technologies. A graduate of UCLA (1996), where she majored in English and was a member of UCLA's Division 1 women's soccer team, she has focused her efforts in branding, marketing, communications, and public relations for both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. She has developed and written dozens of white papers, byline articles, and presentations on and about the networking and security industries.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author is a former employee of Juniper Networks, a major producer of the routers and switches that make up the "guts" of the internet. As an "insider" she has many helpful discussions about the many factors that shape the internet we use, its strengths and adaptiveness, its ability to survive major attacks, and its weaknesses that may place the data we transmit over it at risk. The book serves best as an omnibus of content for most any question you ever had about networks in general and THE network in particular.
The subtitle is "The Accidental Answer for a Troubled Planet." The implication I read is that through the networks we've created we'll be able to save our planet. That is a moot point. While the Internet is rapidly becoming the medium of choice for information sharing, it doesn't come without a price. As she states, the servers, routers, and switches that send information on its way require a steady stream of electrons for their operation, and at current rates of expansion, it is not clear that we'll be able to afford the electrical power plants that will continue to allow that expansion. This is one of the few books I've read that has addressed this particular energy problem in some depth.
A sampling of chapters that address current issues include:
What's So Smart About an Energy Grid?
Is Broadband Really That Important?
Rocking the Vote
Antisocial Network Engineering
Government's Role in Protecting the Network's Integrity
21st-Century Warfare: Cyberattacks
The Health Net
Not by Accident: Social Networking
As a prototypical nerd, I hope that she's correct in suggesting the Internet may be a major means of "saving" the planet, i.e. The Sustainable Network may become a model for the "Sustainable World." My nightmare is that human nature will remain rigidly rooted in its prehistoric "small group" past, and we'll continue to make decisions for the benefit of our small group, but decisions that lead to the degradation of the planet.
Some examples of topics covered then. The actual and factual: what is the network and how does it work (Ch. 2); broadband, what it is and why it's so important (Chs. 5 & 20); and the data center (Ch. 17). And the food for thought: doing good by doing right (Ch. 19); rocking the vote (Ch. 28); and protect the net (Ch 34). But to be honest, every chapter's a winner. If you'd like to see the full table of contents, go to: [...]/catalog/9780596157043.
Also, this is a very well written and reader friendly work, with just the right touch of humour. The 41 chapters are needed to cover the breadth of topics addressed, but with an average length of 6 pages it's easy to fit the reading into your day. You can read the book cover-to-cover as this is definitely a good story with a beginning, middle and end; or you can dip in and out, as each chapter is also quite self-contained.
To end, I'd like to thank the author for making me aware of Kiva ([...]), and would like to encourage all of you who have read this far and would like to do something more to check the Kiva site.
This book is a true resource for anyone who wants to see more bright green in their wallet! It spells out concrete ways to save money and energy through simple practices. Saving time, money, and energy is huge... it applies to everyone, not just tree huggers!
Reading this book inspired me to execute some real upgraded changes on how my family consumes our products at home and how my business partner and I run our offices.
We found that by employing some of the simple ideas Sorensen spells out in this book, we are able to make better use of the electronic devices and internet network we already own. She points out that changes don't need to start out epic in order to improve the environment and affordability of what we consume.
The "Sustainable Network" has ignited my passion to become hungry to think more efficiently.
Eventually, using our internet instead of raw paper will become to people what using seat belts in cars is -- no longer optional!
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