The closer I try to get to the cloud, the further it retreats. The cloud is a symbol for so much that its impossible to apprehend. Which, of course, is very much like the image of clouds in general.      The digital cloud, however, is a mockery and a euphemism, at least insofar as it relates to our perception of ourselves as enlightened individuals who strive for knowledge. The cloud, much like the digital offshoots of capitalism, lies straight to our faces. It doesnt upset us because it also makes our lives more comfortable. The cloud strips us of the desire to understand how things work. Where our data is, how its processed, who has access to it, what I say to whom, and what risks it all entails.      Although the development of photography represents a key milestone in the world of rationalization, it also has a magical effect. The images emerge like a miracle to our senses. Of course, we could also explain that in rational terms. We could do the same with the cloud. Wed rather be consumers. Photography and the cloud cater to, serve, and benefit our day-to-day laziness. Our desire for everyday practicality and convenience benefits those who understand the inner workings of human nature and technology: political and economic demagogues.