If you haven’t heard of cloud computing, get your head out of your a*$. That’s right, operating in the cloud is quickly becoming the new normal in the new crash course that is the internet and everything that you do. And, inch by inch, or kilobyte by kilobyte rather, it is set to take over everything. As a concept, cloud computing has been around for a while. It is the general concept of storing your data remotely on an internet site so that you can access it from anywhere at anytime. This eliminates the need for hard drive storage which in turn is shrinking our devices more and more.
Apple touted the “Cloud” as a major part of its new iPhone 4S and also the latest operating system update that brought the cloud to older Apple devices. Amazon broke the mold of tablets with the release of it’s Kindle Fire on Tuesday, a tablet which has an extremely small amount of hard drive storage. Why? Because everything you do on your Kindle Fire, you do it in the cloud. The Amazon cloud, in this case. But the cloud.
So what is the cloud? And what does it really mean for all of us? The cloud is a picturesque word for storing your data on a hard drive, somewhere. You upload your information, it stores it, and you can stream it down to any device that you have instantly. It is the wonder of the internet coming full circle. In the workplace, it is opening up new avenues for mobility. Employees can access applications online instead of on their personal computer of choice, bridging the gaps and allowing them to be 100% productive no matter where they are. The cloud is being pushed by all major platforms, and it is clearly the direction that technology is taking us on next. Amazon offers Kindle Fire users exclusive access to not only their own personal cloud (with unlimited storage capacity) to the overall Amazon cloud, which features thousands of books and movies that can be streamed anytime, anywhere, provided an internet connection is available.
So why are we talking cloud computing on Common Sense Conspiracy? Because we know a conspiracy when we see one, and the cloud is it. You see, the movement that is cloud computing hangs its collective hat on convenience, but a concealed objective is one of our favorite subjects here at the CSC: control. Control, you say? How is this control? How is giving users access to their own data anywhere they are controlling anything? That’s an easy one. In return for this convenience, we are giving up our ability to store data. Our data. Now, to the legions of you with Terabyte hard drives, you snicker and say this is ridiculous. We’re not giving away anything. We are just making it more accessible. Yes, but not just to you.
The point of the cloud is to dispense with the need for physical storage. That is, good ole megabytes and gigabytes. We don’t need you anymore. We put what we need on the cloud. And our devices can get smaller. More efficient. Limitless capacity. But we’re trusting our data to literally float “in the clouds,” at the mercy of the global internet consulate to do with it what it will. And as the cloud takes hold and becomes the new normal, there becomes less and less reason to hold onto that data in any other format.
Imagine buying a new home. You show up for the scary closing with the fat lawyers that put a bunch of documents in front of you that you don’t understand. You just know that you got approved and it’s full ahead go, so you start signing eighteen blanks like gangbusters. At the end, they give you congrats, a pat on the back, the key to your new house, and the promise that your documents detailing your ownership will be sent to you in a few short weeks. On paper. So you can keep them. Forever. Put ’em in a fireproof safe and protect them against the elements or a disaster. Now, imagine you sign the last blank and the attorney smiles and says, “Don’t worry. It’s all in the cloud.” Now, imagine not signing at all. Imagine not even going anywhere for this closing ritual. Imagine signing electronically. Imagine everything being in the cloud.
You pay your power bill in the cloud. Many of you do this already. You keep your photos in the cloud. Why would you do this? Convenience. At Grandma’s house. Pull up the cloud. It’s all there, all the time. You keep your music on the cloud. Stream from your entire catalog anytime you wish. It’s in the cloud, all the time, everyday. The years go by. The cloud never fails. The power goes out, but you pull up your cell phone. The cloud is there. All of your data is there, 100% accessible from anywhere.
Pretty soon every aspect of your life is on the cloud. It’s not pictures anymore. Or music. It’s your very existence. On the cloud. The powerful mission statement you wrote for your viable small business start-up. It exists only in the cloud. The bill of sale for your new Mercedes. It’s in the cloud.
Everything is in the cloud.
Flash forward ten years. The cloud is no longer the cloud. Now it’s your wallet. It’s your ID card. It’s your drivers’ license. It is your wedding invitation, your graduation invitation, your baby shower. The cloud contains your photos, your favorite songs, a movie you like to stream on long trips, and last year’s tax return. The cloud is your recipe for macaroni and cheese that you like to take over for Thanksgiving, your engagement pictures, your medical records, and your pistol permit. It’s all there. On the cloud. Accessible anywhere at all. Anytime.
And for the convenience that comes with accessibility, you have traded what? Privacy. Security. And most of all, the ability to exist. Don’t laugh. Think about the cloud ten years down the road. One keyboard button could erase your cloud. And the cloud is you. You rely on the cloud. Without it, you don’t exist. So if it ceases to exist, so do you.
Cloud computing is the beginning of a phenomenon where computers and data slowly replace our very bodies, our very minds.
Stay tuned to Common Sense Conspiracy as we continue to analyze issues such as this and present you with the facts, sans the bullshit.