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Explain to me the appeal of [email protected] (1 Viewer)

Rob Speicher

Supporting Actor
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Nov 24, 2000
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935
It seems like such a waste of resources. OK, so let's say Berkeley finds whatever it is they're looking for. Then what? They investigate it further. Every one so far has been nothing. But what if it's the real thing? So what. So there's something else out there - conspiracy theorists and X-Files fanatics are vindicated, job well done.

Another application is for serious computer users and overclockers to benchmark their system and compete against each other to see who can crunch the most numbers. Fine. But use that computing power for something useful - like finding a cure for a disease.

I just don't get it - so what's the appeal?
 

Chris Tsutsui

Screenwriter
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Feb 1, 2002
Messages
1,865
Some of those programs arn't a waste of resources. They use the unused computing power so as not to tax your system.

Some people think its fun to have statistics and numbers and rankings. They join teams and winning teams get prizes and such.

I think it's interesting that an impossible code can be cracked with the use of millions of computers working together as one.

You may "think" that every does it but its really a small percentage of ppl that do. Personally, I don't see any surface benefits other than keeping the processor warm.

The appeal is that sense of accomplishment and contribution I suppose. I also doubt a computer would be of any help doing anything other than cracking codes, some contain knowledge but they certainly lack wisdom. Heh, didn't obi wan say something like: "If computers could think then there'd be none of us left."
 

Ken Seeber

Supporting Actor
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Nov 5, 1999
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787
But what if it's the real thing? So what.
I think if we discover evidence that there is intelligent life out there, that we aren't the only living, sensient creatures in the universe, you may be the only person wondering what the big deal is about that. It would be quite possibly the biggest dicovery in the history of humanity.
 

Masood Ali

Supporting Actor
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Jan 31, 2002
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But what if it's the real thing? So what. So there's something else out there - conspiracy theorists and X-Files fanatics are vindicated, job well done.
For those of us who do find value in what [email protected] stands for, we realize that discovering life on another planet would be the single biggest discovery of this century, maybe even the millenia.
 

Scooter

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Glad this SETI thing came up. I allow use of my PC for SETY...but don't know how to get on the HTF SETI team. What do I do?
 

Dennis Reno

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
862
Scooter - To join the HTF SETI team click on the link below and follow the instructions in my first post:
HTF [email protected]
If you have problems joining, email me or post a message in the SETI thread. BTW, let me be the first to welcome you!
Rob - very good question. I can only speak for myself (of course) but I run SETI for several reasons. First, I leave my PCs at home and at work on 24/7/365. The fact that I can't be at every machine all of the time means a lot of computing power is wasted. Why not put some of this power to use?
I've always been interested in what is out "there", not just E.T., but other stars, planets, solar systems, galaxies, etc. With our limited technology today I see no other reasonable way to discover intelligent civilizations other than SETI. As great as the images are we can't use a telescope to try and locate other life! So SETI seems like the best bet.
As for the consequences of a discovery, I agree 100% with what Ken posted. This discovery, if made, will rank as one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind.
 

Greg D

Auditioning
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Nov 26, 2000
Messages
14
This discovery, if made, will rank as one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind.
It may also prove to be the undoing of mankind. Think for a minute: Throughout human history, every time one group came in contact with another that was technologically inferior, it led to the destruction of the weaker society. Why would it be any different for us if we were visited by a species from another planet.

Keep in mind that the destruction of the less technologically advanced society was often unintended, such as the diseases Columbus and his men brought to the New World in 1492. The newly introduced diseases spread far in advance of the Europeans. Just 50 years later, by the 1540s when Hernando de Soto led 600 Spanish soldiers through what is now the southern U.S., it's estimated that 90 percent of the native population had died from European diseases they had no immunity to.

Even if the species that visits us as a result of success with the SETI project has the best of intentions, we could still be headed for extinction. So if you want to do good using your PC's idle time, look for a cure for diseases instead.
 

Kevin P

Screenwriter
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Jan 18, 1999
Messages
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Discovering life out there won't lead to our extinction. Now if the aliens land on the White House lawn and announce to Mr. Bush that they're taking over the planet, THEN I'll worry. But looking for a stray extraterrestrial signal isn't going to bring about the end of the world. In fact, if they're on their way, it might be good to know about a few weeks in advance so we can create a virus that knocks out their shields, oh wait, they did that in Independence Day! :)
KJP
 

Dennis Reno

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
862
Greg,

Your assuming that if a signal is detected (big assumption by itself):

1. The species still exists

2. A signal will be sent from Earth "introducing" us to this species

3. The species will receive the communication and correctly interpret the communication

4. The species will be interested in communicating with or meeting humans

5. The signal detected is from a species that has interstellar travel technology

These are some major assumptions! Yes, the incredibly remote possibility exists that the Visitors will show up on our doorstep and make us their love-slaves or main entree or introduce disease(s) that will wipe out mankind. It could happen, but its far more likely a big asteroid will obliterate us before then.

Distributed computing is the perfect expression of a free society. You use your PC(s) to do something of interest to you and I can use mine for my own interests. Maybe your computer will discover the cure to the disease introduced by the E.T. my computer discovered!
 

Jeff Kleist

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
11,267
SETI is underfunded, basically all of us out there are helping to increase the data they can crunch.
 

Dave E H

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Messages
829
Distributed computing is one of the cooler things I've seen in the past 5+ years (and I work in tech.) It's a great way for large scale computational proccessing to get done cheaply and as efficiently as possbile. Building a single or a cluster of machines dedicated to crunching that much data is prohibitively expensive for most, possibly excluding the NSA, the DoD and Bill Gates.

If there WAS something out there that involved using my spare cycles for curing cancer, I'd do it. But until then, SETI is a good use of cycles...

FYI - I used to by heavily into Distributed.Net but have tailed off in recent years (after reading that horror story of the guy in Georgia...)
 

Vince Maskeeper

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 18, 1999
Messages
6,500


Isn't there one? I thought I read about some genetic research thing similar to the SETI program...

Regardless, I don't even care what they're looking for- I think the whole distributed computing concept is absolutely genius! It doesn't tax system resources, as it is a screen saver that only happens when you want it to. Unused technological muscle working together for reasearch: absolutely brilliant.

-Vince
 

KyleS

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
Messages
1,232
So do you guys feel that if they found something from numbers you computed they would tell you? I feel that even if we did find something (or have already) that they wouldnt tell you anyways. Still it cant hurt to help in the cause since your computer isnt doing anything anyways.

KyleS
 

Shayne Lebrun

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 17, 1999
Messages
1,086
Intel has some distributed computing thingies, including cancer research related ones, protien folding, all sorts of neat stuff.
 

Rob Speicher

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 24, 2000
Messages
935
quote:
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If there WAS something out there that involved using my spare cycles for curing cancer, I'd do it. But until then, SETI is a good use of cycles...
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Isn't there one? I thought I read about some genetic research thing similar to the SETI program...
I was assuming there was. And I thought they found a cure for anthrax quickly after 9/11 using something like this. That's why I couldn't understand using the spare cycles for SETI if they can use it to find cures for diseases. If not, well, go find some other lifeforms I suppose :)
And I'm not trying to stir anything up here guys. Do what you like and don't take it personally. I was just curious.
 

Greg D

Auditioning
Joined
Nov 26, 2000
Messages
14
Denis,

Given our current technology the idea of interstellar space travel seems far fetched. But like us, the Taino people living in the Caribbean in 1490 didn't envision a vehicle for transporting people across the Atlantic Ocean, or for that matter, guns that could kill a man with a ball of lead from a great distance. Just because it doesn’t seem feasible to us, doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

It seems to me the whole concept of SETI is to make contact with another species, the first step of which is to intercept radio signals. I for one would rather not have some alien species come calling because we encouraged them.

Remember, fifty years after they first saw Columbus’ ships, the Taino's numbers had dwindled from at least 300,000 on the island of Hispaniola to just 500. There’s absolutely no reason to believe things would be different for us if we were visited by aliens.

...but its far more likely a big asteroid will obliterate us before then.
You’re probably right, so let’s use our PCs to search for threatening asteroids. I'd rather take my chances with the asteroid, at least then I think we'd have a fighting chance.
 

Richard_s

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 25, 2000
Messages
267
I use it to stability test my system. If [email protected] is still running when I sit down to use my computer I know it is working perfectly :)
Helping others at the same time. Maybe we will find something
 

Mike Sogge

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 24, 2000
Messages
85
You know, some of these distributed programs can be run simultaneously. So you can search for ET and the cure for his virus at the same time. What a sweet deal!
 

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