I was surprised to see that there were many people asking "why?" as if this was a useless exercise.
For them, here are some answers;
- Because it is there.
- Because it was fun for the people that did it
- Because they may have learned something while doing it
- Because it proves one of the benefits of an open environment: portability.
- Because that is how we've gone from scavengers to hunters, to farmers, by trying things that aren't status quo, as futile and useless as they may seem.
Will it have a practical application down the road? who knows, that's not the important news here.
Why do people climb mountains and swim across a channel?
Because that is a challenge that can be conquered
Why is there a "Perimeter institute for theoretical physics" where people research and think about science without a clear application?
Because that's how knowledge is acquired and transmitted. That's how we've evolved.
I'm not expecting those dinosaurs to understand this but I am still surprised that they haven't gone extinct.