2001 : WHAT QUESTIONS HAVE DISAPPEARED?

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Science Historian; Author, Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe; Darwin Among the Machines
What does the other side of the moon look like?

This can be elaborated by the following anecdote, from an interview (2.99) with Herbert York:

"Donald Hornig, who was head of PSAC [President's Science Advisory Committee, during the Johnson Administration] was not imaginative. I can give you an example of this. I was very enthusiastic about getting a picture of the other side of the moon. And there were various ways of doing it, sooner or later. And I argued with Hornig about it and he said, 'Why? It looks just like this side.' And it turned out it didn't. But nevertheless, that was it, and that's the real Hornig. 'Why are you so enthused about the other side of the moon? The other side of the moon looks just like this side, why would you be so interested to see it?'"

GEORGE DYSON, a historian among futurists, has been excavating the history and prehistory of the digital revolution going back 300 years. His most recent book is Darwin Among the Machines.