A lot of people are going to be hopping on the repost bandwagon for this one, and I'm going to be right there with them. It was already a generation ago that this ubiquitous sound, what Alexis Madrigal calls "the noise of being part of the beginning of the Internet", provoked a Pavlovian response (in some of us) that said something like: "Look here, you're onto something, this is different, this is new, this is infinite." It may be hyperbole to suggest that this call is not so different from the sirens in the ears of the American pioneers plowing westward 150 years ago, but regardless of circumstances there is something spiritually akin.
In any event, this is an excellent raising of the glass by Mr Madrigal. And another feature in the blossoming cap of what The Atlantic has become.
[The Atlantic: The Mechanics and Meaning of That Ol' Dial-Up Modem Sound by Alexis Madrigal]