Palace and Wastelands

2008-03-20

We’ve had a series of good meetings, I got lots of chance to talk about metadata. It’s clear to me that there is plenty of work to be done, but that it’s starting to happen. It’s not clear to me who will play what role, nor whether we will just repeat the history of bioinformatics. I guess neuroinformatics has the opportunity to do something new, ignore the legacy, that it could even avoid the pitfalls; having said that, one of the biggest pitfalls of bioinformatics was doing everything afresh without looking into the rest of the world.

Yesterday, I got a proper chance to do the tourism thing; we ended up in the electric district, partly by chance — Paul had a guide book, but the hotel wouldn’t let us back into our rooms to retrieve it, so we have no above ground map. The electric district is, like the rest of Tokyo, an information overload but more so. At any time, you can here four or five recorded voices, there are flashing lights and music, and signs in Japanese and English everywhere. After that we went down to the palace gardens but they were shut by the time we got there. Evening was food with our ever gracious hosts; lovely again.

Back on the plane now, we are suspended above a Siberian wasteland. Perhaps 2km below, highlighted against the curve of the world there’s another plane running parallel to our course. Another ton of carbon released into the air.

Originally published on my old blog site.