Totally off topic but…

I’m in Tempe Az. It’s SITI Co’s last of three residencies here. We will be performing Under Construction, next Saturday.

However, this week, we’re rehearsing Who Do You Think You Are. We will be performing WDYTYA at the Kranert in Champaign/Urbana in a few weeks but this is the only chance we’ll have to rehearse it.
We’re also doing workshops during the day with the ASU MFAs. Some of which were in Eurydice earlier this year, so it’s good to be back in a room with them.

But what I want to blog about here, briefly, has nothing to do with any of this. It’s a new thing that I’ve been doing online.

This is in addition to the Yelping, Chess With Friendsing (free on iPhone), Bright Kiteing and Twittering that I’ve been doing. If any of you know what those things are and care to join me…

My point here today has to do with the fact that there are certain things that humans, any human, are better at than computers, any computer. Combine this with the fact that we have more data coming into the world of astronomy than we know what to do with and you get Galaxy Zoo.

If you go to Galaxy Zoo and register and go through a bit of a tutorial process you can classify galaxies. You’re looking at actual images of galaxies and making basic decisions about what you’re seeing. This data you provide is cross referenced with other folks choices looking at the same images and what emerges is a fairly accurate/useful sorting process. This is not a game. It’s active, citizen science.

So I leave it open in a tab on my Firefox and every once in awhile I’ll just stare at stars and sort them. It’s kind of meditative and it’s also contributing. Busy as I am, I can work on our sharpening picture of the cosmos. This makes me happy.

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One Response to “Totally off topic but…”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I am totally sorting stars now. At least now when I procrastinate I can be doing something useful.