Also, the small details about the lives of Charles Babbage, Claude Chappe, and Claude Shannon, etc. that Gleick uses definitely makes the chapters more personal and interesting. Through external readings I found out that Charles Babbage's youngest son Henry was able to design six new engines based on plans his father created. Cool!
Lastly, I found the title 'a nervous system for the earth' very clever. At first glance, chapter 5 was definitely the one I wanted to read the most. In that chapter it was noted by Michael Faraday that, "Electricity is the poetry of science". I appreciate the play on words. I've never thought of electricity in that kind of way but when you think about it, it's pretty accurate. As fancy and interesting as the title and some components of the reading were, I still find the telegraph difficult to understand. It seemed useless. It's so hard to believe that at one point it was preferred over the telephone! In my opinion, the whole process is quite complicated and silly. But, in an attempt to learn more about the telegraph, I found this video of a lady demonstrating how to build one (for a science fair, etc.). She offers some interesting background information regarding the dangers that people faced when building telegraphs too.