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  1. Much as I appreciate your diss in the scoend paragraph of your reply, the arithmetic for calculating the cost is quite simple, but depends on having knowledge that cloud customers are selected for not having.Most anyone who has been writing PHP for more than two years can get up and running on a VPS in only a few minutes longer than it would take with GAE, but also be able to migrate to many other VPS providers without substantially more pain. The point of cloud computing isn’t having your trivial site up in 2-3 minutes, is it? I thought it was all about that scalability.On FB, my point is exactly that they have the same infrastructure internally, because there’s nothing magical about the cloud, it’s just infrastructure. But they’re not renting space on Google or Amazon, because it’s not cost effective at the high end. Which leads back to one of my core points, which is that the cloud is neither technologically interesting nor cost effective over VPSes or having physical machines.I would say you’ve hit the nail on the head about the last 30 years of technology. I think if there were zero innovation apart from hardware continuing to become cheap and widely used, I would have trouble saying life is worse than it is now. Definitely the last 20 years. We could be using Standard ML, the only language with fully specific semantics, but instead we switched from C to C++ and Java, bringing with them different kinds of unbearably inhuman complexity. We could be using Plan 9, the successor to Unix with truly integrated networking and distributed computation a true platform to build cloud-like services on but instead we’re using the Unix clone written expressly to the lowest common denominator. We could be using message passing instead of threading, we could be using a truer relational calculus rather than SQL, and so forth. It’s as though we chose wrong every time. We live in a world without a reliable networked filesystem, and instead we have so many logging frameworks in Java we have to have a meta logging framework to abstract over them. Now that I think of it, I would miss ZFS, HTTP, and Haskell, but I can’t think of too many other successes we’ve had in the last 30 years.Like most pessimists, I would say I’m merely a realist. The cloud never was your savior, so there’s no sense pining for the days when you thought it was. It never was anything more than marketing. If you want to do something good for technology, find a way to delete two lines of code for every line you write from now on. Avoid busy work but accept that some code just has to be written by a human and not hidden behind an abstraction layer.Thanks for listening to my crazy rant. I’ll return to irrelevance now.

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