Sometimes it seems that all we do is listen to complaints - about application performance, about security policies, about broken web sites, about the need to track a single HTTP request across 4 different systems and 9 separate - and uncorrelated - log files. It's overwhelming, at times; this complex web of technology that takes up most of our time and attention during the day and, for some, the night as well.

In the midst of all that rushing around just stop for a minute and look around you. Look at all the blinking lights, the cables that connect you to the outside world. Listen to the servers humming, the clickety-clack of someone typing.

AS Map of the Internet Now think about everything that has to be working just right in order to get a packet from Point A to Point B. Consider all the people, products, and technology that went into buildling the infrastructure, the physical hardware, the applications, the operating systems, the drivers, the network processors, the cabling. Consider the amazing depth of amassed knowledge that is required for to even have the opportunity to complain about it in the first place.

Really think about how amazing it is that we can transmit messages, pictures, video, music, and text using light and electrical signals. Think about how incredibly awesome it is that for the majority of the time it all works correctly. The fact that the Internet works most of the time is nearly as overwhelming as the ginormous effort and knowledge it took to build it, and continue building it.

So go ahead, whoever you are, and pat yourself on the back. You are almost certainly one of the people who keeps things in the incredibly complex set of internetworks working on a daily basis. It might even put a smile on your face to know that you're part of a pretty amazing system without which businesses - and people - all over the world would be somewhat paralyzed, at least during business hours. If you think about what that means, how Herculean that task really is, you too might become a little overwhelmed and amazed that it almost always works as it should.

At least until the next time your beeper goes off.

Imbibing: Coffee

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