I'm not ashamed to admit that I harbor unnatural feelings towards my servers. If programming and writing are both expressions of one's personality, then the content and systems on a server are a piece of you. Where it gets complicated is when you can transplant the ticking heart of a server--its logical brain--into another piece of hardware. You've transmigrated the soul without any of the messy ethical considerations. This is a common theme in modern sci-fi, because the notion of where the essence of who we are lives (in wetware or hardware) fascinates us.
I wrote today at the Economist's Babbage blog
about my move from owning several rack-mounted servers to a couple of virtual private servers (VPSes), virtualized computers running on computers I'll never see or touch. The move was moving, and I'm hard pressed to understand why.
I couldn't understand why I was near tears. It was only a computer server I was shutting down, not pulling the plug on a life or saying goodbye to faithful pet. Nonetheless, my eyes were moist.
Virtualisation is the classic brain-in-a-jar scenario. If you, dear reader, were a brain in a jar with all your sensory inputs mapped into a simulation program a la "The Matrix," how would you know? As long as the illusion were perfect--and no Agent Smiths intruded--you could live your life in blissful delusion. So, too, do virtual servers perform: unaware.
Photo by...what the hell! Cory Doctorow? I swear, I just did a search for brains. Via Creative Commons.
Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that “companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app.” When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton:
This is NASA’s new “space fabric” in development at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Founded in 1970 as Xerox’s R&D division, PARC was a dream factory that brought the world laser printing, Ethernet, the graphical user interface that led to Windows and the Macintosh, ubiquitous computing, and many other technologies that we now take for granted. Why made the place so damn special? Alan Kay, who pioneered networked computing […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]