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DSC Weekly 29 Nov 2022 – Winter is Coming

  • Kurt Cagle 


  • Cloud security threats in 2023 range from data breaches and lack of cloud security architecture and strategy, all the way to insider threats and insecure interfaces and APIs. The threats are numerous, and creating and implementing a strategy to contend with them all is more complex than ever before. Join cloud security experts for a special three-day Summit where they’ll share best practices and insights into how IT security leaders can get ahead of cloud complexity and protect their businesses, customers, partners and supply chains.
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The winter is coming outdoor, person in winter

Winter is Coming

I live near the top of one of the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in the Puget Sound, my first year of living here after spending the last decade in a valley near sea level, only a few miles away. Warily, we’re watching the heavy, sullen clouds move in even as a cold weather system presses in from the north, a guaranteed recipe for snow. Winter is coming.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the days immediately after American Thanksgiving’s Thursday meals, have passed with very mixed results. Even with Covid restrictions increasingly in the rear-view window, brick-and-mortar retail saw moderate but not frenzied shopping. While there are signs that supply-chain-driven inflation is finally fading, gift buyers continue to move into the virtual world to shop in what is likely now a permanent pattern. Online sales were robust, but no doubt a lot of retailers are wondering whether this is a sign of truly increased demand or instead is simply a reaction to transportations and logistics hiccups that saw delivery trucks delivering Christmas gifts in late January.

There’s another aspect retailers likely haven’t yet considered, which may signify a permanent phase transition. People are simply buying fewer atoms and more bits: gaming, entertainment, production software, and self-education products. When large-scale purchases such as automobiles are being purchased, whether the vehicle runs on gasoline or electricity is secondary to its ability to provide continued access to high-speed internet. The pile of presents under the Christmas tree has been replaced by plastic cards containing registration numbers, downloadable content (DLC) codes, and electronic tickets to experiences such as restaurants, resorts, and even escape rooms offering murder mysteries and AR/VR-driven alternate worlds.

If you’re looking for the real metaverse, there it is. It can be argued that humanity developed its narrative muscle because winter is the deadliest season. Spring is a time for planting, summer for tending, and fall for harvesting. Why? Because winter was deadly cold, treacherous, and frequently impassible, and because we had to do something with ourselves when snow was chest-high in the fields, and we had exhausted our options of sleep, eating our depleting larder, having sex, sewing clothes, and carving furniture, and engaging in mock combat. We needed to explore outside of ourselves, learn about our world from others, and reaffirm our connectivity.

Escapism has long received a bad rap from the stewards of culture and moral rectitude. Still, at its root, escapism is a form of play – practicing skills and making decisions in a simulated environment. It can be taken to extremes to the extent that it impacts physical and mental health, but this is true with many other kinds of behavior, including becoming a workaholic. Increasingly, these environments also provide venues for profit, especially given that the physical world is becoming increasingly hostile to this.

Indeed, this may be one of the areas where people, especially younger people, are disappearing to when trying to figure out why workers are leaving the workforce. They’ve decided they’re tired of playing Office, and have chosen to play Warriors and Witches instead.

In Media Res,

Kurt Cagle
Community Editor,
Data Science Central

DSC Editorial Calendar: December 2022 

Every month, I’ll update this section with many topics I’m especially looking for and are more likely to be featured in our spotlight area. If you are interested in tackling one or more of these topics, we have the budget for dedicated articles. Please contact Kurt Cagle for details. 

  • Post Twitter Social Media
  • 2023 Data and Technology Trends
  • Generative AI
  • GPT-4
  • Surviving the AI Recession
  • Graph Vector Embeddings
  • 3D Web Graphics
  • Data Meshes
  • Digital Twins
  • Secure AI

If you are interested in posting something else, that’s fine too, but these are areas that we believe are hot right now. 

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