The New OSI Stack

Content, the Internet, and intolerable people

October 8, 2007

2 Min Read
The New OSI Stack

4:40 PM -- I've been hanging out at higher layers of the OSI stack recently. For those of you not familiar with the OSI Model, the higher you go in the layers, the flakier the people.

In fact, I've noticed that different layers of networking tend to attract different subcultures. Let's recap:Layer 1: Hardcore nerdsville. Pencil-protector for sure. Lots of fans of Richard Feynman. They might tell a joke like this:

  • So this neutron walks into a bar, orders a pint of lager and begins to open his wallet. The barman says: "For you, no charge!"

Layer 2-3: Gruff and scientific but with a bit more of a mainstream edge. Think of Jack Klugman in the television show "Quincy." Overall, my favorite people. This is the blue collar zone of the OSI model (this is because their business has been largely commoditized): "Hey, we're just switching frames, man." If you have to choose, hang out with Layer 2-3 people in the bar. Layer 4-7: Increasingly eccentric and more prone to wearing black turtlenecks. The packet crew also tend to be snobby and like to brag about the new Screaming Warthog Cabernet they have in the wine cellar -- even though they'd never share it with you. Tell them to be quiet and write a check.

More than Layer 7 (Web 2.0): Combine last subculture with a total lack of basic social graces, such as the capability to say thank you or even to stand in line. They don't drink Screaming Warthog -- they own the vineyard. They hire people to stand in line for them -- "standing in line should be a virtual function." Add a fake proclivity toward zen gardening and a superficial knowledge of the Matisse oeuvre. Might say they "adore Jazz," by which they mean they have a few pirated Charlie Parker MP3s on their iPod. Tell them to get lost!

— R. Scott Raynovich, Cultural Director, Light Reading

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