Over Memorial Day weekend Sirius XM Satellite Radio ran a marathon of the late comedian George Carlin’s best stand-up routines. Now, this being a G-rated blog I can’t repeat most of what was said, however, the news I found recently on the nationalization of cloud computing in Oceania (that’s Australia to you and me and, as Rush would add, those in Rio Linda), inspired me to consider what George would think of this if he was still alive (and was tech-savvy). So here’s my chance to channel George on the subject of clouds and cloud computing….
“We’ve got all kinds of clouds. Cumulus, cirrus, even nimbus. Frankly I can’t tell one from the other, and generally the only way you tell them apart is by what shape they resemble. You know, that one up there looks like my Aunt Matilda after Thanksgiving dinner, face down in the giblets and that one there looks like my brother-in-law Oswald after three months of living on my couch. Notice how his legs are draped over the elbow rests with his hands still wrapped around the remote control. And that brings us to an entirely new kind of cloud. But instead of holding raindrops these clouds hold data. Now everyone knows a cloud not only has a silver lining because hey, that’s how you know it’s a cloud but now every business has one too. For example, the airline industry has a cloud so now all the airlines will know how late your flight is running. Which makes the people who run the airline you’re flying on feel better about themselves because, hey, the next airline over from them is running late too. Misery loves company, right? And we all know how much fun it is sitting on the tarmac, right? How about a passenger only cloud? Why not let everyone know how much fun you’re having as the bathrooms run over and the peanuts run out? Even Wall Street has a cloud, that’s right Wall Street, where the 1% is busy making decisions for the 99%. But now these traders can keep an eye on each other to figure out how to move as much money as possible into their own portfolios while keeping it out of the hands of the rest of us. Never mind charges of collusion, this is capitalism and as Michael Douglas said in that movie, greed is good. And now, now we have a National Cloud. Imagine that a National Cloud. Not in this country, mind you, but in Australia. You know, the land of kangaroos, home to the aborigines, the marginalized first people of Australia and shrimp-on-the-barbie. Turns out the Communications Minister of Australia will soon move all of the government’s public-facing websites to the cloud to help increase the adoption of cloud computing throughout the country. They’re calling this movement a ‘national cloud computing strategy.’ Sounds vaguely important doesn’t it? Sort of like Cloud First here in the good old USA. But, of course, that’s not working out as well, is it? You know how our government moves don’t you?, It doesn’t leap, it kind of lumbers. Let me take a moment to set the scene. You have this bureaucrat stuck somewhere in a cubicle, not wanting to share his stuff, or in this case data with other people he either doesn’t like or doesn’t trust. This is my data and you can’t have it. And I don’t want to put it into the cloud. After all, where is this cloud and why can’t I see it? If I’m going to move my data there shouldn’t I be able to see it at all times? What if someone asks me for my data back and I don’t know what cloud it’s been moved to? What do you say then? Sorry Mary, I moved your records to the cloud and I’m not sure which cloud they’re in. They could be in that cloud up there, or that fluffy one over there, I’m really not sure. Can I get back to you on that? You see now why Australia is on the right path. By having one cloud, a national cloud everyone uses the same cloud, kind of like unisex bathrooms. We all know which cloud to send data to because everyone sends it to the same cloud. What a concept. The nationalized cloud. Kind of like another place to store your stuff while you’re out getting more stuff or in this case data. I don’t know whether we’re ready for a national cloud in the land of Lincoln, Reagan and all the other politicos that run this country, but one thing’s for sure, if we had a national, government controlled cloud one thing for sure wouldn’t change. The government would still know what you were doing, with whom, and for how long, but this time, we would be able to keep an eye on them and from where I sit, it’s about time someone watched them as much as they watch us. So look skyward to the clouds. You can’t touch them. In fact, you can’t even see them. But you know they’re there, and nationalized or not, frankly they’re not going away any time soon. For starters, just ask Australia.”
I miss you George.
For more information on the National Cloud of Australia, browse to here.