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there is no cloud

There is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer.

sticker by Chris Watterston

This is a sticker created by designer Chris Watterston that went global”: http://www.chriswatterston.com/blog/my-there-is-no-cloud-sticker

I first read about it (before seeing it) in this writing about local-first software by Ink & Switch (Martin Kleppmann, Adam Wiggins, Peter van Hardenberg and Mark McGranaghan).

The cloud seems to be a pretty good example of Heidegger’s concept of enframing in which human encounters with things (or resources) in the world are shaped in particular ways that change our relationship with that thing. For example, when we damn a river to produce electricity, the river is enframed as a power source and no longer a river.

In this case, other people’s computers are enframed as the cloud and cease to be thought of as other people’s computers.

The popularity of Watterston’s sticker is perhaps an expression of our suspicion or even fear of digital technologies. In some circumstances we want to resist enframement.

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