Computer Science is the Science of the Future [and more pics from Cuba]

07 Dec 2008 | 333 words | future cuba photos technology education

So i finally finished uploading my pictures from cuba to flickr [see here and here]. among them is one more series that deserves special attention. it consists of a number of photos of an abandonened boarding school building that we found along the road from Bayamo to Las Tunas in eastern Cuba. The soviet-style prefabricated builing stands at a stark contrast with the surrounding countryside. When we first stopped there we had no idea what the building was. While exploring the building it became clear that it used to house a boarding school (there is a former boarding school head’s office next to the former communist party of cuba’s office) on the first floor of one of the wings.

I would guess that the building stands empty for at least 5 years or so. Based on this it is in remarkably good condition: Everything that can be reused (such as the window panes or the threads of the second staircase) has been taken away, but for the rest the building is remarkable clean and the walls are still covered with propaganda slogans promising support for Fidel, Raúl & the Revolution.

Most interesting were a number of rooms that seem to have been used as computer science labs. There are two rooms in the vast building that have inscriptions in a programming language (basic?) painted on the walls: In one – otherwise empty – room the inscription on the wall reads:

INPUT [“mensaje”] , PRINT [] OPEN “dispositivo:nombre” FOR AS [see picture here]

and in another room the inscriptions on the wall read:

PRINT [] DIM , INPUT [“mensaje”] , IF-THEN-ELSE IF THEN [else ] [see picture here]

Another wall in the same room also has ‘La Computacion es la ciencia del futuro’ (‘Computer science is the science of the future’) written on on it. What has obviously been intended as a motivational slogan for the pupils now stands in an almost absurd contrast with the surroundings. Guess the future happens elsewhere these days…