Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Science Fiction

Computers store data and process data. In addition we have the requirement to shift data around, from place to place and between processes and logical stores.

Over the years the physical implementation of this abstraction has itself become more and more abstract. On an individual machine the concepts of messages, processes, threads and serialization have allowed developers to build programmes that emulate the everyday language of life, through things like design patterns (producers, consumers, singletons, swim-lanes etc).

Technologies that are being created for the entire network of all computing power is assembling its (ingreasingly prosaic) nouns:
Cloud computing;
Cloud Base;

I think there are some missing, which relate to how data is moved
Which might be Zephyrs, Hurricanes, Eddies, TradeWinds etc...

But these types of metaphor allude to something that might be important. They are forces that we do not control, and indeed, we are at their mercy sometimes. In the technology world, we do direct these forces, but they require active input and deep thought to get right, and we are balancing strong forces, bridging the void in the difference of two large numbers.

In the human world we constantly make decisions about storage, communication and travel.
Sometimes we travel by airplane to the source of the data (face to face meetings transmit enormous amounts of data over a short distance) and sometimes we are content with text messages.

Cloud is part of an evolution of technical metaphoric language, and each baby step brings us closer to being face to face with our-selves...

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