Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud or No Cloud, the US is Doomed

Time to Lay Off the Cheetos, Actually and Intellectually

"It is important to stress that we see a one-year cyclical bounce in U.S. economic growth as a result of these monetary and fiscal policy measures, but also, that structural issues remain unaddressed, including the persistence and nature of elevated unemployment and extremely high public and private debt levels," Saumil Parikh, a managing director at a major bond trader, said in recent comments published in the Toronto Globe & Mail.

This article further noted that "analysts predict the U.S. economy will slow again in 2012...the U.S. economy will struggle to reach 3 per cent for several years starting in 2012."

Translation: We're doomed!

Reasons for Pessimism
The US economy is not coming back anytime soon. Three decades of a rusting industrial base, an incresingly morbidly obese population, along with consumer spending habits that are unique in the world--and the world's dependence on them--have conspired to lay the US low, in a way that may not be fixable, ever.

Add to this the very unhealthy global habit of dependence on US military might--the US military budget is about 40% of the world total and larger than the next 30 countries combined--and it looks like Lady Luck has finally left the table.

I was struck by a pair of articles that appeared next to one another in the Manila Bulletin in mid-December: one noted that 90% of Filipinos were optimistic about their economic prospects in the coming year, while the other noted that 90% of Americans were pessimistic about theirs.

Per-capita income in the US is about 30 times that of the Philippines, even when adjusted for the lower cost of living in the latter. Ingrained corruption and poverty, maddening traffic, and dominance of all things by a very small number of families in the Philippines can make a Westerner throw his or her hands up in despair.

Yet the Philippines is the optimistic place, a place that has seen much progress in recent years (particularly in building out its IT infrastructure and job opportunities related to it).

In contrast, Americans know their country is in big trouble. The quote that started this article refers to Christmas shopping in the US that was higher than forecast, shining a little bit of light into a room that's been very dark for the past two years. Additional light seems to be coming from Wall Street, which had a good year.

When Does the Cavalry Arrive?

But the Wall St. results seem to be based on some very short-term thinking that aimed to boost profits after a disastrous 2009, rather than any sort of long-term planning. And in the past, we could count on technology to ride to the rescue, regardless of what was happening on Wall St. at any particular time.

Maybe Cloud Computing can do this. Let's all hope for this, because the US is no longer the most competitive place on earth, nor the healthiest, best educated, most innovative, or leader in any category in any recent survey I've seen. This is not only bad news for the US, but for the world. If the US cannot lead, who will?

I see no prospects of leadership from the US Congress: Senate leadership involves a pair of uninspiring hacks, and the House has swapped out an idealogue for an apparent alcoholic. When it comes to technology, expect more talk of Internet kill-switches and other ways to control the Web rather than anything remotely positive.

Leadership may emanate from the White House, from a President who was savvy enough to appoint a "CIO-in-Chief" who continues to tout the Cloud's potential.

Not Pretty and Not Too Smart

Yet there continues to be someting ceaselessly tawdry about how the US presents itself to the world, not only through its political debate, but through its entertainment and major television media.

On the first score, I was struck by a laughable contrast of values during the recent Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito fight in Dallas: we saw the Philippine national anthem sung by a beautiful young woman in formal dress and demeanor (who sang beautifully), followed by three young American women in classless Dallas Cowboy cheerleader outfits (who at least sang well), followed for some reason by some guy grabbing his crotch and "singing" soporifically about something or another.

As far as US TV media are concerned, the less said the better. It's worth noting that if you can get the CNN International or Bloomberg feed while traveling outside of the US, you won't be embarrassed about your country. If things kick back to the regular CNN feed or any other US network, it's time to find the BBC, Deutsche Welle, or anything else. It's also time to wonder what's happened to America.

A new low occurred on Christmas Eve, when two CNN newsreaders couldn't handle the demands of covering Santa's journey (they had trouble placing the Philippines and other countries within, you know, Asia), but did fill a few minutes of airtime with the sort of unintelligible babble that will surely keep any aliens who watched it from visiting Earth, out of fear of being contaminated by stupidity.

How Are Our Friends Doing?

Meanwhile, the Eurozone has been under great pressure recently. But as a BBC commentator recently pointed out, its biggest economy, that of Germany, has been an ironic beneficiary of all the Euro-trouble; German manufacturing success is so pronounced that if there were still a Deutsch Mark, it would now be valued so highly that the latest German economic miracle would've died on the vine.

So the troubles in Ireland, Greece, and elsewhere have kept the Euro's value low enough to continue German economic might and to keep the zone's collective head above water. A counter-example may be provided soon enough by Switzerland, a country that is not part of the Eurozone and which has a currency so strong that it's driven the price of a simple cup of coffee to almost $8 US. I'll have to pass on that Patek Philippe watch, thanks.

Tech Might Help Here

Technology may be able to come to the rescue in Europe, which does not have the US's fatal trade weakness with China--the Eurozone imports less than a third as much from China as does the US, and German exports to China are about 80% of its imports.

Although Europe's 20th-century was historically abysmal, the old place is making a comeback in geopolitical importance as a counterweight to the foreign misadventures and cultural insipidity from the US.

In the face of excruciating economic pressure, its countries remain steadfast in maintaining their modern tradition of expensive citizen safety nets (helped in no small part by minor defense budgets). Something has to give, some new efficiencies simply must present themselves here. I would hope that the efficiencies of Cloud Computing can therefore present themselves in a major major way over the next few years, at least in the enterprise computing sphere.

One can hope for rational discourse on this topic throughout Europe, if current political discussions are a guide: for example, none of its nationally elected politicians seem to believe that humans shared the earth with dinosaurs.

Moving Further East...and South

In Asia, North Africa, and to some degree Latin America, Cloud Computing is the key for countries to catapult their way out of developing-nation status. One can only hope that the entrenched elites and sclerotic bureaucracies in these parts of the world are slapped into awareness of the opportunity.

In this vein, a recent exercise I started called the Tau Index sought to find the most aggressive IT deployers in the world. North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia as a whole were the big winners.

Sadly, there did not seem to be a correlation between democratic institutions and IT-driven economic progress. One can hope that such a trend is underlying and will emerge.

One can also hope that the United States, somewhere along the way, emerges from its Cheeto-infested intellectual and actual diets, to become the leader it once was.  Otherwise, as this article stated in its opening paragraphs, we're doomed.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale, a leading provider of systems and services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale has been involved in shaping the computing landscape. They've designed, developed and deployed some of the most important and successful systems and services in the history of the computing industry - internet, Ethernet, operating s...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TAZMO technology and development capabilities in the semiconductor and LCD-related manufacturing fields are among the best worldwide. For more information, visit https://www.tazmo.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...