One on the shores of the great data lake

This article is neither a feature nor a comment article, it is a reaction. lake 2 One stood on the shore of the great data lake. Iridescent blue and green ripples glimmered in the murky light. The lake seemed infinite, yet somehow it all looked familiar to One. A noise penetrated the heavy air around the lake. It was the distant sound of something being poured into the lake somewhere beyond the horizon. As if a large truck had reversed onto the lip of the lake and was slowly tipping its load into the murky substance. One knew what it was. One stood and observed. She was bewildered. As she watched, One could see a cluster of three hadoops hovering slowly across the surface of the lake, sucking up the waters. With every gulp it looked as if the lip of the lake would ebb away from the shoreline. It didn’t. The lake had a strange quality, the hadoops could hoover up all of its content and yet it remained the same. And all the time, the sound of more and more stuff being poured into the lake. One couldn’t tell if the “waters” of the lake were toxic, changing from an oil like slimy substance to a crystal clear spirit-like as if it was shiny glass window that had just been cleaned. He leaned forward and as ripples came and went he could see what looked like a series of numbers, a fragment of a text string @biebe A wave of shiny oily stuff rippled over the text before he could finish reading it. In its wake he could make out #birthd It was gone again. Huge swaths of the lake were being cordoned off, as if by a great rope, and then hooooo00000101010101010vered up by another hadoop. Looking up One saw a flock of mapReduce swooping over two hadoops lifting part of the content then returning it in somehow altered form. And all the time. The lake seemed to be growing and staying the same simultaneously. Its content seemingly only affected by the great mass of data constantly poured into it. One could swear she could see the distant shores of the lake to the left. There were banks and banks of trucks pouring their content into the lake. There seemed to be no discrimination and no clear logic as to how the lake’s water got its consistency. One couldn’t resist, she had to find out. She kneeled by the waterline and with a cupped hand scooped some of the content. The smell, as iridescent and clear as the colour for the water, filled her nostrils. Looking closely at what water remained in the shaking palm of One’s hand One could see the same stuff that he had earlier glimpsed on the lake floor. Bits of hastags and @ handles, an image of a dog in big blue glasses, bits of a double rainbow, numbers from an account. All were enveloped by number – like wet sea sand. He recognised some as csvs and JSONs and bits of code <.h1>Open, SELECT <>. As the last of the bits of stuff trickled through his hands, One could swear she felt some part of her skin trickle away with them. It was at that point that One noticed that almost everything he did had some impact on the lake. It was miniscule, basically unnoticed by all the other Ones standing at the shores of the lake. But One could notice something. Like a telepathic connection. A sense of universal being. It had become clear to One that it was his own actions that were somehow being poured into the lake, feeding the great Hadoops hoo10…vering up his data. The realisation startled One and for a flash her instincts took over and he flinched from the shores of the lake and fell to the ground. One lay on floor caught his breath and stood back up. As she did so she realised the lip of the lake receded. Imperceptibly. but One could have sworn it had receded. One drew a quick sharp breath with amazement. Then another breath. Then another. How could it be? One thought to himself. Then, another breath, and another. One looked to his right. All along the lake shore, as far as the eye could see and far far beyond everyOne were drawing breaths. Like him they had become aware. Aware that if he walked away from the lake it would stop being filled with stuff. Her stuff. His stuff. Our stuff. The hadoops would struggle to hoover up stuff from the ever shrinking lake, the mapReduce would shrivel and they would all collapse in a pile at the bottom of the dried up lake. Piled up like a bunch of frat boys on the morning after the greatest party of their life. One was ready. And took a step back. One awoke. One was free. [caption id="attachment_1585951" align="aligncenter" width="660"]lake 5 Rnbc[/caption] Rnbc]]>