The Frontispiece.
A sky full of peculiar
specimens The avian skin collection held at the
Natural History Museum in London
contains almost seven-hundred and fifty
thousand specimens of birds, representing
ninety-five percent of the world's nine-thousand-
and six-hundred known species. The Division
of Birds at the Smithsonian in Washington
contains a further six-hundred and forty
thousand specimens. How many more birds have
been captured and tagged and stored in The Cloud?

of dense clouds shrouded in a gloomy distance.
Forms assumed by clouds gathering for
thunderThe crashing rumble of thunder is produced
by electricity passing through the air
due to a cloud developing regions of
differing electrical charge within.
Storms are highly characteristic in
structureThe Cloud is an increasingly essential
element of infrastructure powering
industry, government, finance and commerce -
as fundamental to us as plumbing and roads.

The Cloud is an airily deceptive name
connoting a floating world far removed
from the physical realities of
dataData centres worldwide use thirty billion
watts of electricity annually.
Most of that is spent on avoiding downtime.
Guarding against the event of grid failure
banks of generators emit diesel exhaust.
The language of The Cloud is a barrier.