By Nate Strauch

By Nate Strauch

Herald Democrat

Everything is in "the cloud" these days, if you haven’t noticed. Want to rent a movie? It’s in the cloud. Listen to a song? Cloud. Access your pictures? Clouds in the forecast.

Even the software I’m using to write these very words is in the cloud. So much of our daily lives now exists as an unfathomable string of ones and zeros in some remote bank of computer servers.

With this transition has come many benefits, like being able to access a lot of what you’ve bought no matter your location. Thanks to the cloud, you can watch your DVR at the airport or access a work document from a hotel lobby.

But I worry the cloud has brought with it a loss of ownership — or at least a loss of sense of ownership. Not so many years ago, when you bought a tape or CD, you owned those songs and you could do with them anything you desired. If you wanted to sell them to a friend, that was your prerogative.

That’s no longer the case. The economic model we’re moving toward is less about ownership and more about licenses. It’s all rather unsettling, especially when it comes to money.

True confessions: I just spent my last dollar on a bag of Chili-Cheese Fritos. Literally, it was the last of the change from a $20 bill I got as a gift. I can’t remember the last time I actually pulled cash from an ATM; it just isn’t necessary anymore.

My employer tells my bank I have the right to an accounting entry every time I’m paid, and then the bank tells my credit card company that some percentage of my purchases were matched with debits, and ‘round and ‘round it goes.

It has taken the pride out of earning and the fun out of spending. Something that once was so cut-and-dried — "This how much I have," — now seems more like a philosophical exercise than a fiduciary one. Cash in the cloud has left our currency consciousness, well, pretty cloudy.

Happy Birthday to Mark Davis, Reginald Cameron, and Madison Patti of Denison, Brent O’Bannon, Zeke Johnson, David Nelson, James Jackson, Annette Rawls and Khalila Nickens, of Sherman, Griff Servati of Van Alstyne, Phyllis Branham of Bells, David Nelson, and Marie Bounds Swanger of Fallon Nevada.

Happy Anniversary to Jerry and Jeanine Sewell of Denison, 20 years; Bobby and Pam Bently of Sherman, 35 years and Mike and Vickie Sims of Sherman, 2 years.