The thing is, astronomy research has no inherent profit in it. The work astronomers do can (and often does) eventually have a strong impact on human technology and society but, at the time the scientists are still doing it? Not really.

Astronomy research is not done for profit and frequently involves collaborations which straight up ignore national borders and political matters, focusing on acquiring knowledge and sharing it freely.

Honestly, capitalists hate it.

@InvaderXan what both, astronomy, and particle physics have done in the past couple of years is push the limits of technology

OpenStack came out of NASA.
CERN was the first to have tons of data to process, and had *actual* use for BigData¹ technologies

¹When your data can fit into RAM, you don't have BigData.
It's cheaper to just have it all in one database, that's running from RAM, than buy dozens of machines and employ 3 people to evaluate how many clicks someone made.

Oh, that's interesting. I'll admit, I could stand to know more about the specifics of these things...


WiFi came out of the Australian research organization CSIRO, specifically their work on radio astronomy.

@InvaderXan @hirojin
LOFAR, the enormous Dutch low-frequency radio telescope, archives all its data publicly. This is a challenge, because that means making quite a few petabytes of data reliably archived and publicly available. We do that by working with a computer science research group studying how to do precisely that.

@anne @hirojin
Another example of cooperation and interdependence, as emergent properties.

@hirojin @anne
Cool, I'm going to publish a book in a plant and distribute it as seeds.

@InvaderXan @anne or better yet: publish it in a fungus, and distribute it as (parasitic) spores.

Aan expensive book to read, as it stands; serving a genome is still pretty expensive per base pair.

@InvaderXan @hirojin
Plus it is a censored medium: while you can order DNA by the base pair, any lab that will do that will run it through a screen to make sure you're not ordering smallpox or the 1918 flu.

@anne @InvaderXan @hirojin

I read a thing on Radio 4 several weeks ago about people putting poems into bacteria. It seems best suited to shorter works, so far.

@InvaderXan @hirojin @anne there's a story similar to this in the original Brazilian Solarpunk anthology! I didn't love a lot of the stories in the anthology, but that one was 👌👌👌

@InvaderXan @hirojin @anne now that I'm looking through the TOC, I'm not finding the story that I had in mind. I'm gonna have to do some digging and let you know where on earth that story came from

@anne @InvaderXan @hirojin WiFi started with ALOHAnet, invented in the late 60s/early 70s at the University of Hawaii.

From Wikipedia:

The Australian radio-astronomer [...] developed a key patent used in Wi-Fi as a by-product of a [CSIRO] research project, "a failed experiment to detect exploding mini black holes the size of an atomic particle". Dr O'Sullivan and his colleagues are credited with inventing Wi-Fi. In 1992 and 1996, CSIRO obtained patents for a method later used in Wi-Fi to "unsmear" the signal.
@InvaderXan @hirojin

@anne @InvaderXan @hirojin yes, and ALOHAnet invented the way to deal with multiple active senders, so both statements are equally incomplete

@juliank @anne @hirojin
See, this little exchange proves another point. There’s seldom one single inventor or source for anything. It’s a series of continuing developments which make things useful.

@juliank @anne @hirojin And that science is full of weird stuff nobody knows what it is good for until it suddenly becomes the key part of some very important technology.

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