To hell with the OSI 7 Layer Model

Back in the 1980's, when all music sucked and men dressed like sissies, a bunch of sissy Europeans got together in a passionate effort to overstandardize computer networking. They created this thing called the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) networking suite. Anyone who has taken a CS (Computer Science) or CIS (Computer Information Systems) course knows this; they cram this fact down the student's throat from day freaking one. It is only when the student enters the real world do they realise that the OSI seven layer model is a sham.

First off, what the hell is any European organization doing dictating standards that have to do with computers or networking? (Well...besides that paradigm shifting Linux stuff and all that other huge shit) Hello! How many bleeding edge computer or networking innovations have we seen come out of the European continent? Are they even participating in this revolution? Part of this is not really directly their fault; it probably has something to do with the fact that a minimum of venture capital spent in Europe even goes into high tech; most of it goes into high fashion and entertainment instead. No wonder we booger eating Yanks think the Europeans are sissies. Hey, we may be pigs, but at least we are running the Internet. Nah nah na-na nah.

Secondly, the seven layers proposed by OSI are completely out of touch with reality. The defacto networking standard is TCP/IP. TCP/IP is the grandaddy of XNS, IPX/SPX, Banyan, AppleTalk, and a host of other protocols and pre-dates that seven layer thing because it was funded by the largest organization in the world devoted to maintaining Eurocentric socioeconomic domination; the US Military. And for some reason, that makes it better. Yeah.

And yet this seven layer curse won't go away. Companies still have staffs of Marketing inspired artists drawing up elaborate maps of how their protocol maps to the OSI Seven Layer Model. Sham! Its a sham I say! To hell with the OSI Seven Layer Model!

To its credit, we have found that there are indeed a few things in this world that actually follow the seven layer model; but none of them have anything relevant to do with today's high tech world. Case in point; the Taco Bell Seven Layer Burrito.

You can currently buy one of these babies for just a buck (well, 99 cents anyway) and experience for yourself a portable example of what happens when pure Hispanic culinary brilliance gets flattened into consistency by the grinding blandness of American commercialization. I should know; I eat there once a week and suggest Taco Bell to all my friends.

To illustrate my point, I have included a table that compares the Taco Bell Seven Layer Burrito to the sham that is the OSI seven layer model.

OSI Seven Layer Model
Taco Bell Seven Layer Burrito
Layer 1: The Physical Layer

The Physical Layer describes physical properties of the media, such as the electrical properties and interpretation of exchanged signals.

Layer 1: Refried Beans

Refried beans are always the first thing to be placed on any kind of intelligently built burrito. They not only make a great foundation, but also act as a glue to hold the tortilla together. And due to their high levels of sugars, they are also the largest reason you'll get gas after eating one of them. The resulting gas causes electrical exchanges, most often between married couples aproximately 6-8 hours after ingestion.

Layer 2: The Data Link Layer

The Datalink Layer describes the logical organization of data bits transmitted on a particular medium, for example the logical addressing of Ethernet packets.

Layer 2: Seasoned Rice

Rice is logically the second ingredient on a burrito. It is also a filler, just as beans are, but don't qualify as a foundation and cannot hold the tortilla together like beans can. Therefore, rice builds upon the foundation that beans have built, and rightfully deserve to always be the second ingredient.

Layer 3: The Network Layer

The Network Layer describes how a series of exchanges over various data links can deliver data between any two nodes in a network; basically describing how packets get routed through the 'net.

Layer 3: Lettuce

One of the most wonderful properties of Iceberg Lettuce is its almost complete lack of nutritional value and its ability to route itself directly through your digestive tract to your back door. And it, like beans, also gives you gas.

Layer 4: The Transport Layer

The Transport Layer describes the quality and nature of the data delivery.

Layer 4: Tomatoes

Tomatoes are added to the burrito to give the eater the impression that they are eating something healthy and natural.

Layer 5: The Session Layer

The Session Layer describes the organization of data sequences larger than the packets handled by the lower layers. Basically, its the job of the Session Layer to fix what the other layers have screwed up.

Layer 5: Guacamole

Guacamole is added to hide any kind of poor or bland flavor that may have come with the Iceberg Lettuce, the rice, or the beans.

Layer 6: The Presentation Layer

The Presentation Layer describes the syntax of data being transferred for communication with dissimilar systems.

Layer 6: Cheese

There isn't a whole lot of combinations of incompatable foods a bunch of cheese can't gloss over with its unique mixture of fats, cholesterol, and salt. When in doubt, throw in some cheese.

Layer 7: The Application Layer

The Application Layer describes how real work actually gets done; its the reason we do things in the first place.

Layer 7: Sour Cream

Its been said that the purpose of sour cream is to allow white dudes to eat spicy food. Without sour cream, most white folks couldn't bear to eat exotic foods like the kind that Taco Bell are serving up.

Try and see how many things you can find that honestly conform to this sham of a model, and let me know what you find.

Ok, so this is flawed. I spaced that there is an eighth layer; the flour tortilla. No biggy; here's a better one:

  1. Two all beef patties
  2. Special sauce
  3. Lettuce
  4. Cheese
  5. Pickles
  6. Onions
  7. On a sesame seed bun


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dogman@europa.com