Enquiring minds want to know – now!

When I was a teenager, I was a big fan of a TV series and a book entitled “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World”. I think Arthur only lent his name to it – he made brief cameos at the beginning and end of the episode. The focus of the series was genuine unexplained phenomena as opposed to paranormal guff. Stories included the Baghdad battery, cryptozoology, ball lightning and those crazy Central American crystal skulls. O.K., that last is dubious.

One of my favourites was the Antikythera mechanism, an ancient mechanical computer found in a Greek shipwreck. Today in Wikipedia, I discovered that it’s been subjected recently to an X-ray imaging technique which has allowed 95% of the text on the mechanism to be deciphered. And the results? Are to be announced later this year.

What is it with archaeologists as compared to, say, the open-access rapid publication philosophy of bioinformaticians? I want to know now!

2 thoughts on “Enquiring minds want to know – now!

  1. Greg Tyrelle

    It is an intriguing question, what is it with archaeologists ? Why do we have to wait ? Like releasing unfinished sequence, why can they just lest us know what’s going on… There must be a huge amount of information generated in archeological digs etc. is this a field of study, archeo-informatics maybe ?

    In the mean time you may want to try the Python implementation of said mechanism.

  2. Stew

    HP built the 3-D x-ray imaging scanner that has revealed the text, maybe they’re delaying the results for a publicity coup just before they announce some bad financial results. :)

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