Skip to main content

Meditations on the Cloud. Connecting back to mind body balance.

The human back is the infrastructure of our existence, much like IT infrastructures are the backbone of our business existence. However, our 21st century lifestyle has co-opted evolution and placed our backs under extreme conditions: we work at a desk, we travel using car, we relax with a TV, movie, video game, or a story session with our child.

A back than is bent at 90 degrees is something that an upright biped was not supposed to be doing 24x7x365.

Admittedly, it is comfortable to sit in a chair than walk or run miles every day to find food. We can thank our own ingenuity for that. Score one for mind.

But over time, this leads to a state where this comfort turns into agony: back pain. Score -1 for the body.

Net result: 0.

If you have never had a back freeze, I suggest you continue doing whatever you are doing to stay that way.

Here you are, climbing stairs lightly, carrying your child, trying to open the door, and catching a falling door-key before it drops to the ground, in fluid motion, effortless in appearance. And the next day, all it takes is a single missed step, and you are fully conscious of the excruciating pain around one area: L4-L5 that would be subject to jabs of so many sharp pins, for so many minutes, and a dull cycle of surging and falling pain every 6-8 seconds.

Maybe it is 14 hour work days, the bumpy roads in the old city, the lack of regular food timings, or a stressful life event. Or a combination of all of them. It takes all your will to stay motionless to get rid of the pain, forcing yourself rest even as more work fills your Inbox and workflow portal(s).

The key is to realize that the problem is an imbalance between body and mind. The mind needs a certain rate of thought flow and a certain posture of the body, to keep it under normal operating conditions. Keep the thought flow within limits and balanced with real action, and you are happy. Forget to take care of the body, and forget to slow down the mind - it gets back, and gets your back :-)

It is difficult to slow down the mind. However, you have two choices: take control and do it, or lose control and be forced into it.

The human mind and body need to work together, in their natural range of functions.

Likewise, business processes cannot be good in an imbalanced IT infrastructure. And our IT infrastructures are getting terribly out of balance nowadays. The performance gap between compute, memory, network and storage is getting wider and wider. We are stuck to old processes and slow moving software and business processes, and ultra-fast moving compute landscape. There's an imbalance of form versus function in most business architectures.

Knowing how business processes work, balancing them to fit the IT infrastructure, as well as flexing the infrastructure to optimize the business processes, is what true IT practice is all about.

Meditation unites the mind and body. What is the silver bullet for IT and Business? A flexible, scalable way to grow infrastructure to business needs, and a way to simplify business needs to fit your infrastructure?

Is the promise of the Cloud Computing akin to the promise of meditation?

Comments

  1. Rama, well thought of ..about the pros and cons!

    Hope everyone realizes about this, 'life style based low quality living' before not only their back but the totality is lost.

    I always admire your fine abilities!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why PI is not 4, math is great, and other mysteries.

The other day, I found myself with an interesting problem of approximating a circle with the enclosing square which seems to prove pi = 4.

The paradox was forwarded by a most interesting puzzle collector, Surajit Basu, a friend and life long inspiration. See Sonata for Unaccompanied Tortoise for why!



Here is the offending paradox:

























This is an example of how counterintuitive questions can be answered with a little calculus.

The key is to realize that no matter how closely we approximate the circle, the orthogonal lines of the approximation formed by inverting the square corners will never actually be tangential to the circle.

Note carefully that as you get closer to 90 degrees, the horizontal line is much longer than the vertical. Same goes with the approximation at 0 and 180 - the vertical line is much larger than the horizontal component.

If we take a quadrant of the circle - let's say the top left quadrant, moving counter clockwise from top to left -  we can imagine that each inf…

Ambition vs. Fear.

Most important things in life don't come to us. Nor do we get them by seeking/wanting them. It comes from letting go of the unimportant stuff.

The hardest part is letting go of the tendency to take the world as is. This is a habit of our past successes.

But success is not a destination, it is a STOP sign. You stop, wait, and move on. Too often, we are paralyzed by success into the fear of the new. We stall on the road to a new life. We need to break our inertia and move.

Our thoughts and thought habits are hard to break. But that is where we have to spend the most energy. Thoughts are always competing strands  - of worries of the past and anxieties for the future. For some of us, they are cleanly separated into rivers that nurture every place they travel. For most, they are like the torrents and trickles -- competing, rushing somewhere, stopping completely elsewhere, always mixing, morphing, competing, winning, losing.

Our thoughts are the potential difference between the two pole…

Architecture, Engineering, Operations - iteration 1

The world has infinitely more stuff to be "done" nowadays. At least in the sense of building/running an institution that uses technology, there are many roles that are involved in making things work. The world of IT and technology in general makes the speed and variety possible. We now have a platform of IT that is globally scale-able if we can put some new thinking to the old problems of "getting things done".

There are great organizations that do this well, and they use "modern" IT principles to achieve this.

Fundamental to engineering a modern IT (or infrastructure organization) are the three roles of Architecture, Engineering and Operations. Some would say Architecture is encoded Engineering-history, but for now, we will keep them separate.

The popular definitions for these roles are about "output" delivered or the "domain" of discourse. The personality drives that determine the actual performance are not discussed, as far as I ca…