Incomplete Thought: The Curious Case Of the Carnival Cloud
As a follow-on example to my blog titled The Curious Case of the MBO Cloud, in which I detailed the mad rush of companies to deploy something — anything — that looks like a “cloud” to achieve an artificial benchmark of cloudiness, I present you the oft-experienced “Carnival Cloud.”
What’s a Carnival Cloud?
Have you been to Disneyland? Perhaps a Six Flags theme park? Perhaps even Coney Island? If so, you’ve likely marveled at the engineering and physics associated with some of the rides. Seeing a train of interconnected people haulers hurtling around a steel (or wooden) substructure of vomit-inducing gravity abuse is a marvelous thing.
I saw a documentary on the construction of some of these modern wonders. Amazing. Well modeled, precision engineered, expertly designed and a remarkably good track record of safety. Yes, sometimes bad things happen, but rarely do you see a rollercoaster at a theme park decommissioned due to inherent design flaws.
I do however sometimes reflect on these rides and the notion that one willingly slaps down some money, straps in, gets rocketed around at 60+ mph pulling G’s rivaling that of some fighter aircraft and realize there’s really no Plan B should something go ass over tea kettles.
One simply has to trust in the quality of design, the skills of the engineering, the on-going maintenance efforts and the 16 year old who pushes the go-button after your crotch-squashing safety bar is slammed into one’s lap and morphs your unmentionables.
…keep your hands inside the ride at all times…
We trust that we’ll come out the other side and give no pause to the fact that the hopes for such are granted by the fact that these rides are often heavily automated, computer controlled and are instrumented to detect failure or flaw.
Now, have you been to a local fair or carnival?
Contrast your experience at Six Flags — often with the same level of risk — with a local carnival ride that’s unloaded from the back of a 1972 Chevy Stepsider, bolted together (and repeatedly unbolted) with some handtools and the sticky residue of lubricating oil and cotton candy.
I don’t know about you, but putting my life in the hands of carnie who does double duty as the bearded lady doesn’t inspire confidence, especially when the Tilt-o-whirl has the potential to demonstrate the unfortunate ramifications of cascading failure domains in physics that run well beyond the fact the some of these operators can’t count past the 4 missing fingers they have on their right hand.
This isn’t saying that carnivals aren’t fun. This isn’t implying that toothliness ain’t close to Godliness (especially when the afterlife is one missing bolt away.) This isn’t saying you shouldn’t go, thereby missing the nacho cheese-dipped pretzel logs and colon-clogging funnel cakes.
Nay, the point is to simply suggest that there’s a lot to be said for solid infrastructure — regardless of where it’s sourced — that’s performant, safe, operated and maintained in a ruthlessly diligent manner, instrumented well and is subject to constant rigor and inspection.
Relating that to cloud, your experience — depending upon your appetite for risk (and nacho cheese) — will dictate whether your E-ticket ride ends well or as a footnote on MSNBC.
Mmmm. Ableskivers and giant stuffed armadillos. Anyone got change for a $20?
- NY and PA Injury Lawyer: Dangers Lurk at Fairs, Carnivals and Amusement Parks (zifflaw.com)
- 3 rescued from carnival ride (faircarnivals.com)
- Cloud Computing, Open* and the Integrator’s Dilemma (rationalsurvivability.com)