SDN and Mancala

Back when I first started at my writing post, I listened to a lot of Vampire Weekend, especially their Modern Vampires of the City LP (I use the vinyl nomenclature only in deference to the band’s hipster airs). Marvin and I saw them at Lollapalooza last August in what has since become for me the ideal of music festival-going, sunglasses-wearing summer. Even in winter, the coolly cloudy album cover provided suitable context for the season, and my parents grew to like “Unbelievers” and “Diane Young.”

But Modern Vampires of the City is forever the album I listened to while learning about SDN on one hand and mancala on the other (what a literal scene that would be – setting up routers and switches while moving stones around on a board):

  • I can’t think of a topic more dense than SDN (software-defined networking). It is both intensely technical, involving every IT buzzword in the book (cloud, agility, blah blah) and weirdly abstract (there’s always talk of, well, “abstracting” tasks from the physical equipment that was once required to run them). As a non-IT guy (thank God), I’m still learning tons about SDN all the time as I (try to) blog about it. Even Diane Young won’t (can’t?) change my mind about this topic.
  • Mancala is lighter, the Contra to SDN’s Modern Vampires of the City. I once wrote about its influence on Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga. The central mechanic of moving stones around pits is like shuttling packets across the Internet, true, so there’s benefits of writing about both SDN and mancala in parallel, on a compressed schedule.

I may not get to see Vampire Weekend again this year. Instead, I’ll be going to NYC to see Above & Beyond’s live event for the 100th episode of ABGT. Already, I can see the synergies between their single “Blue Sky Action” and all the writing I have to do about the cloud

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