What happens when everyone owns a telescope

I reminded a member of our staff of the following quote yesterday:

Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes. (Dijkstra)

But what happens to astronomy when everyone owns a telescope?

If you had millions of people using telescopes for 8 hours a day, what would happen of the astronomers? Can you still continue to do astronomy as if only there were only a few serious astronomers in the world?

See also my post The medium is the message, in Computer Science?

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

One thought on “What happens when everyone owns a telescope”

  1. My interpretation of Dijkstra is that a computer is an instrument for looking into another world that can only be glimpsed dimly without a computer, the world of fractals, large matrices, high dimensions, advanced compression algorithms, public key cryptography, and turbo codes. The fact that millions of people have computers is only slightly relevant to Dijkstra’s point, as I see it.

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