Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Tom Kelly, Pat Romanski, Charlotte Spencer-Smith, Peter Silva

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, Agile Computing, @BigDataExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Small Cancers, Big Data, and a Life Examined

Socrates may have lived a little before Tim Berners-Lee and knew nothing about HTML or the WWW, but he was nobody's fool

"The unexamined life is not worth living."
Plato

There's no doubt that Plato was on to something. The observation, from Plato's Apology, is a recollection of the speech Socrates gave at his trial...and for all that Socrates may have lived a little before Tim Berners-Lee and knew nothing of HTML or the World Wide Web, he was nobody's fool.

Sometimes it is only by pure chance that some of us get a chance though to subject their own lives to Socratic scrutiny. In my case it arises because on this day two years ago I was operated on (successfully as it turned out) for the most lethal of all the cancers, pancreatic cancer – and if you can't scrutinize your life two years after having it salvaged by a sure-handed surgeon who succeeded 100% in resecting the tumor concerned, then when can you?

But here's the thing. In conducting my weekend scrutiny, I realized that most of my life – since my four children were all conceived (same wife, honest!) while I was relatively young – wasn't so much unexamined as unknown....to the kids, I mean. So I have decided to celebrate the two-year annivsary of my Whipple surgery by sharing with them some highlights of the life that I have been so very fortunate as to enjoy, and which two years ago today was given an extension that I hope I can somehow do justice to.

It's easy to deal with my education, since it took place in precisely three places: at my tiny primary school, St. Christopher's, followed by The John Lyon School, from which I went up to Trinity College, Cambridge.

Here they are, in order:

St. Christopher's School, Wembley Park, Middlesex
The John Lyon School, Harrow
Great Court, Trinity College, Cambridge

Quite a progression, in terms of architecture (and, admittedly, in terms of education too; Trinity College, which was founded by King Henry VIII, somehow survived my time there unscathed but only because long before my arrival it had already nurtured Sir Isaac Newton, Lord Byron, Ernest Rutherford, Wittgenstein, Vladimir Nabokov, Lord Macaulay, A A Milne, Andrew Marvell, Nehru, G E Moore, several British prime ministers, George Herbert, the mathematician G H Hardy, Thackeray, A E Housman, Bertrand Russell, and last but decidely not least no fewer than twenty-seven Nobel Prize winners in the sciences – more than the whole of France, as the Master of the Trinity in my day, the late The Rt. Hon. The Lord Butler of Saffron Walden, hugely enjoyed pointing out).

Traditionally one's education is followed by one's profession but in my case I was already, while at Cambridge, (far too) busily at work – having founded my own publishing company in my second undergraduate year, and having become, long before my final year, a creator of daily radio features for a commercial radio station based in what was at the time London's tallest office tower, Capital Radio (pictured below).

Capital Radio, London NW1

The popular success of my radio endeavors led in time to the start of my career at BBC Television & Radio (pictured below are BBC TV Center and BBC Broadcasting House, the two epicentres of my BBC years).

BBC Television Centre, London W12
BBC Broadcasting House, London W1

And those BBC activities were complemented by a delightful side-job as feature writer for the British national daily the Daily Mail, where I had the good fortune, under the then editor Sir David English, to write op-ed pieces about the vagaries of the English language.

Northcliffe House, Central London HQ of the Daily Mail


Next came the lure of book publishing, specifically academic book publishing...below are some of the many volumes in the long-running "21st Century Studies" series with which, guided by an incredible International Advisory Board of gifted visionaries and three very close colleagues who were highly accomplished forward-thinkers in their own right, I became most closely identified as Founder & Publisher:

Beyond the Dependency Culture Cover Image Chaotics Cover Image Rescuing All Our Futures Cover Image Changing Visions Cover Image The Evolutionary Outrider Cover Image
Beyond the Dependency Culture Cover Image Caring for Future Generations Cover Image Culture Cover Image Valueware Cover Image The Foresight Principle Cover Image
Praeger Studies on the 21st Century

- Praeger Publishers (now ABC-CLIO)

The appeal of analog publishing was steadily superseded by the lure of its digital equivalent, and so began the 13-year U.S. journey which began with magazine publishing but soon morphed into Web publishing. Below are just a handful of the 15 or so print titles that I had the good fortune either to edit or to co-create, before the print versions were retired in favor of their Web equivalents:


http://res.sys-con.com/story/oct08/698919/VJ_CoverMockUp.jpg

But no one said that technology magazines, whether published in print or online, would be sufficient to quench the thirst of Enterprise IT professionals for information, news, and analysis of the incredible trajectory of the Internet and all the many associated technologies it has over time fostered.

Accordingly much of the past decade has been devoted to helping produce different series of conferences and expos, from XML DevCon in 2000 and Web Services Edge in 2001 through SOAWorld and then AJAXWorld and Real-World Flex to Virtualization Conference & Expo and then, from 2008 onwards, the international Cloud Expo series, to which we've added Big Data Expo and (soon) SDN Expo.

These various shows, too, are most easily summarized visually. So here goes with a more or less random selection of shots from the 50+ shows that I have had the pleasure and the honor of "sharing and chairing"...

XML DevCon, New York City, 2000
Wireless DevCon, Santa Clara CA, 2000
Web Services Edge, Boston, 2005

1st AJAXWorld, New York City, 2006



6th AJAXWorld, San Jose CA, 2008
9th Cloud Expo, Santa Clara CA, 2010



10th Cloud Expo | Cloud Expo New York 2011
12th Cloud Expo | Cloud Expo New York - coming in June!


So there it is. A brief life-journey triggered by Small Cancer (that's what they term it when the tumor is only 2cm or less in size when they diagnose it...which is all too rarely the case with pancreatic cancer but I was one of the lucky few)...and which has ended in Big Data!

We will have to see if this counts as a life-examination – probably not, more of a very quick skimming of the surface...in which case my life remains "unexamined" by Socratic standards.

But at least it gave me the chance to dig out some old photos, and to make a start at least on making up to those four children (and their wonderful mother) for not often enough, over past thirty years, being on the same time zone as them...let alone the same continent!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
wariola 03/12/13 04:38:03 PM EDT

Jeremy - you are an innovator and as I've always said a market-maker. Thank God that your sphere of influence graduated from test books to a bigger stage. I know you've been modest in this recollection, however I cannot imagine the industry cycles would have been stifled without your energy and feedback: WS, SOA, Cloud, Big Data...Very Impressive.

@BigDataExpo Stories
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
With microservices, SOA and distributed architectures becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly harder to keep track of where time is spent in a distributed application when trying to diagnose performance problems. Distributed tracing systems attempt to address this problem by following application requests across service boundaries, persisting metadata along the way that provide context for fine-grained performance monitoring.
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on how much data there is, in his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing for HGST, will show how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources. See how HGST has used these solutions to gain more value out of the information we have – and capitalize o...
Data-as-a-Service is the complete package for the transformation of raw data into meaningful data assets and the delivery of those data assets. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lakshmi Randall, an industry expert, analyst and strategist, will address: What is DaaS (Data-as-a-Service)? Challenges addressed by DaaS Vendors that are enabling DaaS Architecture options for DaaS
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...