Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Xenia von Wedel, Sanjay Zalavadia

Blog Feed Post

Is Cloud Killing Human Communication?

Social Interaction

Is the Cloud killing human communication? More specifically, are social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram mixed with texting and video conferencing killing day-to-day, face-to-face human interactions?

Reaction, Not Reason

Before we get into this, we need to preface by stating: we love Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest. We love them because they serve as a megaphone for well placed content. Social media networks serve the business as an avenue for large scale PR and branded content distribution. This said, we have to admit, Cloud based social media applications provide us distraction over contemplation. Beyond any other social media network, Twitter provides us with the ability to react to news/comments in a near stream of conscious. For all of the benefits of Twitter, the micro blogging service has transformed our global culture into reactionary as opposed to contemplative.

As noted by Bill Keller, the former Executive Editor of The New York Times:


“But my inner worrywart wonders whether the new technologies overtaking us may be eroding characteristics that are essentially human: our ability to reflect, our pursuit of meaning, genuine empathy, a sense of community connected by something deeper than snark or political affinity.”

Our main issue with Twitter isn’t the social networks’ ability to provide the sound and fury. No, our main issue with Twitter is that the sound and fury which Twitter creates is taking us all away from doing the things which really matter – the things which make us all quintessentially human: introspection, contemplation, wisdom and knowledge.

Physical Communication Methods

Now, as some of you might notice, we aren’t talking about the method by which communication takes place – wording and language. While many people see the downfall of communication within the stunted words of Twitter and shorthand of texting, we disagree with this. Language has always changed. Crafted and morphed by events, writers and history, language has proven to be a living breathing mechanism, which, much like species, evolves over time. While we agree that “lol” or “gr8″ is a shaping force of verbal/written culture, we also see it as a cognitive reaction to the constraints placed around human interaction. That is to say, the medium through which we communicate has changed. Why should the physical language – the prose – be any different?

The promise of the Internet was/is the ability to provide the world at your fingertips. You want information? Just Google it. This is the promise of the Internet. It’s a curse in disguise.

The Downside of Instant Information

Memory. The downside of the instant information age is memory. When is the last time you had to figure out where you were going without using a smartphone or Garmen GPS device? With Google at your fingertips, why would you need to remember anything? Don’t know something? Just Google it. Our reliance on instant information is akin to us outsourcing our collective knowledge to the Cloud. Why keep anything internally when you can store everything externally?

While this sounds swell, the issue at hand isn’t access, it’s context. As noted by Meg Wolitzer in The Uncoupling access has been granted to, “the generation that had information, but no context. Butter, but no bread. Craving, but no longing.” Put it more blunt: access has killed need. Everything is now available in our Cloud world. Everything but longing and need.

It also has to be mentioned, access doesn’t mean knowledge. Access opens information yet it veils introspection, wisdom, complexity, insight and cognitive thought. At Solar VPS, we worry by exporting our sum of knowledge to the Cloud, we have also exported our collective ability to conduct critical thinking. Match this with Twitter and communication has become reactionary and more stupid even as information is more accessible than ever. Without ever having to remember anything and dissect it, we are losing sight of that which makes us human.

Instant access gives way to a lack of understanding and empathy within communication. This leads us to Cloud based video chatting services like Skype and Go To Meeting.

Cloud Empathy

Skype Cloud Video Chat

Have you ever gotten a sad or remote feeling post Skype conversation with a loved one? While video chatting with a friend over Skype, have you ever felt more removed from that person even while viewing their smile? This feeling is common.

The largest disconnect with Cloud based communications tools like Skype can be found in their lack of empathy. There are no statistics about it. There is no hard evidence to support the feeling yet the feeling is what matters. Cloud communication tools have the power to connect us to one another faster than ever. All the same, they lack the very thing which fosters human interaction and communication – warmth and feeling.


When mixed, social media communication, instant information and Cloud communication tools empower us while also tearing at the basic fibers of human interaction. We live in a world where expressing our thoughts to the globe is easier than ever but truly connecting with someone is harder than ever. The Cloud communication tools are there, but they aren’t getting the job done.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Solar VPS

Solar VPS lives the Parallels "Optimized Computing" vision. It has created a virtual infrastructure from client offerings, data facilities and management offices. Solar VPS works very closely with Parallels to provide the highest possible service and support to customers.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...