Thursday, 7 March 2013

Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained


A few days ago I was reading an article that reminded me of a post on this website by RLV Poehls ''The most complex simulation... or the biggest waste of money?".
This is the article and I encourage you to read it as it is very clear. It is a scientific overview of the possible problems that President Obama's "activity brain mapping" project may encounter.


He announced this big investment a month ago. Here is the NYT article about it. On the same newspaper, a few days later, a critic appeared. The author suggested that this kind of project might be very risky giving the example of the data problem, he said: "There are one million gigabytes in a petabyte. The LHC in Geneva generates about 10 petabytes of data annually. If the brain contains between 85 and 100 billion neurons, that means that the complete brain generates about 300,000 petabytes of data each year."
I don't know, and probably no one does, if this research will be successful or not, but research is a gamble. Often this gamble does not pay off and it does not end up as it was previously hoped. Some scientists spend their entire lives looking for answers they never find. Perhaps, a waste of money is nothing in comparison.

1 comment:

  1. While I agree, I think it is worth noting that oftentimes finding data that does not support a hypothesis is just as valuable as finding data that does...

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