Friday, December 11, 2009

Science for Sciences' sake


I don’t like the author or the article, particularly, but the following line stood out:


“The resulting gushers of raw data will be winnowed in real time, both automatically by software algorithms and on the fly by human number crunchers. The distilled one-tenth of 1 percent of the data—the equivalent of 55,000 CDs’ worth of information each day—will be sluiced out to 160 different academic institutions. To be sure, says Gillies, “it wouldn’t be possible without the Web.” How fortunate, then, that at the very moment the L.H.C. was being dreamed up at cern, 20 years ago, so was the World Wide Web, by a computer programmer at cern named Tim Berners-Lee. The moral: cern-style science for science’s sake is not to be pooh-poohed, even when it seems impossibly arcane.

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