Load-lightening with clouds

Load balancing, redundancy, follow-the-sun operation centers etc..

to be topped up by cloud.

We did that with business phones (Centrex), and mainframes.

More than a third of North American phones are now smart phones, with computational power not unlike earlier version of our desktops. When Turing and Shannon conceived a  “thinking machine”, they were just happy if it could make basic calculations.

Now, we interact with machine on such a regular basis that our language shows: down time, ramp-up time, recharge, warm up, another run at it, press reset, in the loop, boost up, and vent. (In Freedom, Franzen’s character even referred to freedom as “choosing your own apps and features”).

If there were a place for us to unload what’s in our head (let’s say to an external hard drive or upload to the cloud), we probably would, to lighten the ‘things we carried”. Over the years, we put on weight, but also stored millions of bits of information in our brains.

Random facts. Some connect. Others lay dormant but someday, will be recalled with the right stimuli.

For instance, when I read about an amputee who got thrown out of a NY amusement park ride to his death, I got a chill in the back of my head. My daughter works at a theme park.

So I would hate to hear any accident on theme park ride.

In The Greater Journey, his latest book about American in Paris, David McCullough said that what he had chosen to leave out was more important than what’s in the book.

In life, we cannot afford to “defragment” our memories i.e. to make them more compact hence more room for new facts.

Yet, even with all the “heaviness” that weight us down over the years (and it seems there were a lot of bad news lately), we barely used up a few per cents of our brain capacity.

I read about an “Afropreneur” today (a librarian’s child-turned-philanthropist who wanted to supply Africa with books and more books). I happened to be on a summer tour in W Africa with similar mission years ago. So I can once again relate to his narrative and cause.

In our open-source and open-border ecosystem, we need an open mind.

When it comes to knowledge, the more you share, the more you acquire.

Again, McCullough told Charlie Rose that in the process of researching for his book, he learned more (by plunging in).

Learning by doing. It’s a loop. Half-baked knowledge is a dangerous thing, Ivory Tower is already full of “analysts” and “thinkers”.

All the world’s knowledge, once stored in the Library of Congress now accessible to all (instead of just to congressional aides in SE D.C.). So are MIT open courses.

Load-lightening or not, we learn more if we acted more.

I did not learn from the Art of War. I learned more from my broken arm after three months of Kung Fu. Call me a wimp. But I have survived thus far. The best battle is one you don’t engage (or get drawn in). I guess, in that vein, you won’t see me strapped in one of those devilish rides any time soon. There is a fine line between foolishness and bravery. And it’s a personal call. That’s what memories do for us: to keep us alert and alive.


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