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Doc, Michael on New Orleans

I haven’t found anything I’ve had to say about the hurricane that anyone hasn’t already said better. And Doc Searls just said much of what I would want to say, if I was as wise as he is:

This event will change the country as much as 9/11 did, and perhaps even more so. After Katrina, we will again begin investing in real homeland security, real infrastructure, real caring for the civilizing natures of vital cities and family farms, of small towns and real communities, sustained by governments that care more about their people than the high-dollar sources of election funding.

Katrina also force us to face a subject even Demoncrats have stopped talking about, although it lurks beneath everything: class. When the dead are counted, most of them will have been poor. Count on it.

I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

And, like every other (current and former) data center geek out there, I’m reading Michael Barnett’s LiveJournal and wondering whether I’d have been brave enough to stay and keep my servers running if the government ordered me to evacuate. Probably not. Cheers, Michael – there’s not a geek on the web who isn’t rooting for you right now.

3 thoughts on “Doc, Michael on New Orleans”

  1. Brave? For staying in a disaster area, sucking up resources, to run a non-vital service? Try stupid.

    If his company had planned correctly (he’s the crisis manager, right?), they’d’ve had a disaster recovery site, like any well-managed (and many poorly-managed) company.

    I’ve been through a tornado in a data center–the third floor was called the blow-away zone, a metal add-on to a brick building, was primarily for vendors and you could hear the roof flex under hard wind–and if it’d been flooded instead, you know what? I had a door card to get into the disaster recovery site, a hundred miles away, where I often worked and where we were ready to go if a meteor hit the general office.

    I’m rooting for their connections to go down and for them to do something intelligent:


  2. Correction: there’s at least one geek not rooting for you, Michael…

    I don’t know their disaster recovery plan, Adam, and whether it involved a small team managing part of the infrastructure in NO while other servers came up in other parts of the country. It’s quite possible that it wasn’t realistic for Michael and his team to evacuate from the server room once it became clear how severe the situation was – I don’t have the details, and chose to assume that this was the account of someone trying to do a tough job under impossible circumstances.

  3. I’m rooting for them to live through it, but this isn’t vital infrastructure, and there are better ways to use the resources. This wasn’t a wise decision, and there’s poor planning under it.

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