Looking Back: Remembering Bracewell's Observatory

from the only-going-forward dept

Silicon Valley isn't known for looking back much. We're a culture that's based on forever looking forward. However, that doesn't mean there isn't value in learning from the past. As we enter into what looks like another bubble situation, it certainly wouldn't hurt to remember a few things from those who have gone through it before. Andy Kessler has summed that up pretty nicely in his latest piece, that starts out by highlighting the lack of historical landmarks in Silicon Valley, relative to the area's contributions to the world, but then focuses on the set of rusty 60-foot dishes mostly forgotten up in the hills behind Stanford. The dishes received a fair bit of local attention over the summer when they were condemned to be destroyed. The area had been at risk for a while, and while it only took the official announcement to cause people to suddenly taken an interest, Kessler's piece does a nice job demonstrating how certain scientific breakthroughs go well beyond what they were first intended for. Bracewell's work not only did what it initially was set up to do (mapping the sun's surface), but also ended up leading to certain algorithms that were central to medical technology advancements such as CT scans and MRIs. So, while the area may get paved over, the real legacy of the place will live on. Though, in the meantime, if you want to visit it, you might want to do so soon (Kessler gives fairly specific directions, too).
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    dorpus, 24 Oct 2005 @ 1:15am

    Oh yes, the culture

    Like in 1999, when San Jose put up plastic statues of sharks all over the city to celebrate San Jose's "culture"? Or they opened a new science museum with old computers in it, hailed as a great monument to culture.

    The most "culture" we'll find in that region are the Cinco de Mayo or Tet festivals, which the white people hate. Otherwise, there are a few small art shows by white hippie artists who live far away in the hills, and really hate talking to people.


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Oct 2005 @ 1:24pm

    No Subject Given

    What about Lick Observatory...Oh wait UCSC operates that nevermind.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

Introducing the new Techdirt Insider Chat, now hosted on Discord. If you are an Insider with a membership that includes the chat feature and have not yet been invited to join us on Discord, please reach out here.

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.