What Isn’t In The Cloud?

June 4, 2011

Faith, Technology

Cloud computing has been around for as long as there have been computers.  When I was in high school, I was involved in “cloud gaming.”  Yeah, it wasn’t the same kind of thing back in 1976-1979.  But I could connect the school’s remote terminal to the district’s mainframe.  From this connection, I programmed (and played) Blackjack and poker.  I also began to play games like Colossal Cave.

In the eighties, we saw the emergence of email and file transfer across unimaginable distances.  We also began to see network games being offered by startups like CompuServe.  No, I don’t remember my original CIS id number.  Nor do I remember my first real accounts with an ISP (in the early nineties).  But I do remember MUD’s.

Times sure have changed – and my how they haven’t changed.

Today, I use “the cloud” for the following services:

  • Email,
  • File/document transfer/sharing,
  • Reading,
  • Photo sharing,
  • Music streaming,
  • Video streaming,
  • Remote access (to corporate systems as well as to my own systems),
  • Remote banking,
  • Shopping (and shipping),
  • Ticket ordering (i.e., transportation, entertainment, etc),
  • Bureaucratic animal taming (i.e., tax forms, student loans, job apps, medical forms, insurance forms, pharmacy/prescriptions, daycare payment and forms, etc),
  • …and an endless list that would be too darned tedious to fully enumerate.

So what has changed since I was young?

  • Everything is available online,
  • Everything is available in real-time (except government services),
  • Everything looks good, appealing and/or enticing,
  • Almost everyone has access to these online services.

Are new things available each and every day?  They are indeed.  Just look at the image above.  I can use my phone to control file transfers to/from my home PC.  There are some really unique and exciting things that materialize every day.

But let’s really think about this for a minute.  Is there really anything new under the sun?  That’s a debatable proposition.  The means of communication are varying – but the need to communicate remains.  The means of commerce are changing – but the need for trading skills for money and money for goods remains.  The means of government control are varying – but the innate desire for people (and governments) to control you still remains.  Solomon was right when he wrote (in Ecclesiastes 1:9) that there was nothing new under the sun.

In my limited view, I see a compelling truth: if there really is nothing new, then the tried and true solutions (as found in the Scriptures) are still very applicable – even to a twenty-first century citizen.  God is in control.  And our Creator can still teach us about our own condition – and His solutions for our difficulties.


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