Dan Nott: Hidden Systems (Paperback, 2023, Penguin Random House LLC, Random House Graphic) 5 stars

Revealing the hidden side of these systems that we use in our daily lives.

4 stars

An interesting illustrated book that look that three things we take for granted: the Internet, electricity and water. It shows the history of how we created the Internet and how we now harness it and electricity and water to power our modern society. But the book doesn't shy away from showing the damaging effects all three have had on parts of society (like the underprivileged and marginalized).

On the internet, the book shows that our desires to use it to gather information and to broadcast our thoughts (yes, I'm aware that this review is part of that desire) lead to huge resource requirements to store and transmit the information.

The discovery and harnessing of electricity, from the initial small groups to the huge modern conglomerates that generate and distribute electricity, have damaged the environment and people whose lands are now gone (flooded by electricity generating dams, for example).

Water has been misused since the beginning as a sewer and even today, much of the fresh water in the world is wasted.

But to close on a brighter note, the book's intent is to reveal just how much of how these things are used in the world are hidden from sight and, as a result, we are not aware of the damage they are doing. But now that we have a better idea of how they are used in the world, it is up to us to make better use of these systems, and the many others 'hidden systems' in the world.