After taking a whole bunch of new high-quality images, I found myself running out of space on my production machine. I briefly toyed with the idea of uploading a big chunk of files to The Cloud — thinking I could just get it back if I ever needed it — but then the voice of Jason Scott beat that idea senseless. Here is one of his milder anti-cloud rants.
I use Facebook every single day. Because of its disgust and distaste for borders and stratum, I’ve gotten back in touch with some very important folks in my past, and used Facebook to get information about a variety of people and figures that are relevant to my work in history and research. I can do this because Facebook lets you rip through millions of profiles to spearfish just the knowledge you need, out of a blazing torrent of intrusion and exposure, and grab the tailcoat of a person’s life and yank hard, real hard. I use Facebook, in other words, like a search tool on human beings. For that, it is really great.
But the fact that anyone would put anything of any unique nature on there, that matters to them, is beyond insanity – it’s identity suicide. It’s like you are intentionally driving down the road of life, ripping pages of your journal and photo albums, and tossing them out the window. Good luck finding anything again. Good luck knowing in six months, a year, something will even be findable. Try and communicate with anyone using their designed-by-a-second-trimester-fetus “message” system with any of the features from the last 30 years. Go back and try and negotiate it for search and topic control and usefulness. No. Not happening. Everything on Facebook is Now. Nothing, and I mean nothing on Facebook is Then. Or even last month.
Facebook’s new timeline feature promises to address the “nowness” problem, but Jason’s overall message still applies: use the cloud to share and transfer if you want, but don’t fool yourself into thinking the owners of the Cloud will always be there to tend to your precious data; never give control of your only copy of anything to the Cloud.