Containing multitudes

The blog has been down for a few days, for which apologies.

Twitter pointed me to the fantastic visualisation of container shipping below. It’s a good excuse to revisit this obsession of mine. The ur-book on this subject is Marc Levinson’s [amazon_link id=”0691170819″ target=”_blank” ]The Box[/amazon_link], a fascinating account of both the industry itself and the general role of standards, and the wide and permanent social consequences of technological innovations. A more recent title on the same subject is also excellent, [amazon_link id=”0262028573″ target=”_blank” ]The Container Principle[/amazon_link] by Alexander Klose – more of a cultural studies perspective on the subject. I also enjoyed Rose Geroge’s account of life on a container ship, [amazon_link id=”1846272998″ target=”_blank” ]Deep Sea and Foreign Going[/amazon_link].

I’m immensely looking forward to reading Richard Baldwin’s new book, [amazon_link id=”067466048X” target=”_blank” ]The Great Convergence: Informaiton Technology and the New Globalization[/amazon_link], on what he describes as the second great unbundling, the post-1980 reorganisation of production on a global scale, splitting up supply chains to take ever-greater advantage of specialisation through trade. It couldn’t have happened without the containers.

[amazon_image id=”067466048X” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization[/amazon_image]

[amazon_image id=”0691170819″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, Second Edition with a new chapter by the author[/amazon_image] [amazon_image id=”B01DHN62IU” link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]By Alexander Klose ; Charles Marcrum ( Author ) [ Container Principle: How a Box Changes the Way We Think Infrastructures By Feb-2015 Hardcover[/amazon_image] [amazon_image id=”1846272637″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Deep Sea and Foreign Going: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Brings You 90% of Everything[/amazon_image]