For a recent class assignment we were asked to research different SaaS, Paas, and cloud services. I was assigned Amazon Redshift, and we learned about how scalable and rather awesome their data warehousing services are. Not just from a user standpoint or a potential customer, but just the impact that scale of data storage has on technical networking and software advancements.
Data Storage is so integral to how digital devices work, and for me it’s hard to conceive of a world before GBs of storage. For as long as I can remember there were CDs, and CDs stored a relatively large amount of data when they were introduced. Anyways. That number is increasing so quickly! Just a couple days ago a 128GB micro sd card was put on Amazon… 128GBs in the size of a fingernail… That’s incredible!
Its even crazier that I can log in through my browser to manage a database of petabytes of information!? How much longer before everyone in America has access to that kind of information and data crunching? Every human could essentially have access to a supercomputer. That’s amazing! If everyone had a supercomputer supporting them our world would be different. Getting answers would be intuitive and unobtrusive. You could simply talk, think, gesture, or reference something in the physical world and be provided answers immediately. Describing anything to anyone would be provided with not only your description put extended resources, videos, images, and references. The amount of information you could convey with one conversation would be amazing. It would be like adding another language on top of english. Communication would become more powerful. And we need these giant server farms and data-warehouses to make that possible.
Data Storage and Computer Networking are two of the reasons I love computers. The idea that a computer system could help solve problems at a common and global scale makes me excited. If in any way I made someone more capable of helping someone else, I’m happy with what I’m doing.
Its going from that principle or philosophy and applying it to finding an influential way to have a meaningful positive impact is what becomes difficult. I’m thankful that this is the thing I stress out about, I’m glad its not something like keeping Velociraptors from eating my children!
I really wish I knew if computers were, at the end of the human race, more of a positive impact for our species or not? Are there ways a digital age could put us in danger?
That’s one way to look at technology. But sometimes you must take risks to find rewards. Humans are not the only species to take risks. Even though the evolution of the human brain is fascinating, it can be seen as a lot of little things adding up to our success. Other species experience too, but probably in the same way. One of the evolutionary checkpoints for our species was the development of the scientific method. At one time, no one understood how the universe worked or how to store pictures of your meal in a building 200 miles away.
No one knew than and not many people know now. It all abstraction, we have an understanding, but even are astronomers or astrophysicists may never know. There is still another wall for our arrow to hit (As you might have guessed, I’ve been watching the new Cosmos). Once we find why the big bang theory happened, we’ll just want to understand how that happened. Either way it doesn’t really matter. All we have is right now, and getting the best out of what were capable of right now is using computers and the technical capabilities of modern data storage and knowledge sharing to improve the life’s of humans everywhere. Wooooo! Let’s do it!