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The 4th Dimension

Michael Schwartz June 10, 2012

This blog is in honor of Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time. My wife and I were trying to explain the idea of a fourth dimension to our daughter (and to ourselves). After considering the tesseract (the illustration to the left is what the 3D shadow of a 4D cube would look like), we ran into a video of Carl Sagan explaining the unlikely scenario of a 2D circle being picked up and dropped by a mischievous 3D object: Sagan says we cannot imagine a fourth dimension, but we can think about it, which got me thinking what if your social graph is the fourth dimension of the Internet?

But how can we explain the benefit of a fourth dimension, to a three dimensional world? “The Web” is a fantastic metaphor that enabled people to grasp the power of the third dimension, before the promise was actually realized. What is the easily graspable term for this new Internet network based on secure, open graph technology?

Neil McEvoy suggested to me today that the term already exists: the Cloud. The Cloud is the next generation “Web.” Its a game changer for business: “leverage the cloud, or you’ll lose your competitive advantage” say the pundits.

The Cloud has the ability to transform both our business and personal use of the Internet. The hard marketing work has already been done: so maybe its time to jump on the bandwagon?

Does graph technology become part of the cloud stack, as HTTP became part of the web stack? That does seem to be the direction. And if I were a two dimensional object, I’d have to say that things are looking up.

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Mike Schwartz

Mike has been an entrepreneur and identity specialist for more than two decades. He is the technical and business visionary behind Gluu. Mike is an application security expert and has been a featured speaker at RSA Conference, Gartner Catalyst, Cloud Identity Summity (now "Identiverse") and many other security conferences around the world.

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