In this limitless Web, there is always someone who will agree with us, supply the arguments and evidence we need to support what we thought anyway, playing on our emotions in a way that may or may not be honest. This may not necessarily lead us closer to truth.
Magnetic hard disks will soon be able to store one terabit (a trillion bits) per square inch. The technology, called heat-assisted magnetic recording, involves heating the magnetic regions on a disk that hold individual data bits, allowing those regions to be made tinier. Seagate says the method promises to keep increasing storage density, and it could lead to 60-terabyte hard drives. The company is targeting 2015 for its first commercial product featuring the technology.
Shaving a cubic millimeter of brain tissue would yield a petabyte of data.
But better technology alone won't get Seung to his connectome. "The challenge is analyzing them," he says. Toward that end, he'll need a lot more eyeballs. The more people who can proofread his connectomes, the faster his maps will grow. As a result, he and his colleagues have set up a website where the public can pitch in.
"We're trying to gamify it," Seung says.
Mary Meeker, Scott Devitt, and Liang Wu:
Do humans want everything to be like a game?
Someone once accused Craig Venter of playing God.
His reply was, "We're not playing."