The Outsider's Inside View post#002 - Publish or Perish


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Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : The Outsider's Inside View post#002 - Publish or Perish

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Grant (SSSF)
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Message 512514 - Posted: 3 Feb 2007, 4:55:07 UTC - in response to Message 512469.

I think we are paying quite enough in electricity for our machines to support the project. I have some machines that do nothing else but crunch, and they do cost money to run, not a fortune, but still significant.

You have volunteered those systems.
If their cost is of concern, but you still want to contribute- retire those systems & send in monetary donations to the value of the power you'd be using.


In an idea world, we would receive money for contributing processing resources and have running costs reimbursed.

Once again, you have volunteered your systems. It's not about receiving money.


Perhaps one day this could be a reality, but SETI et al and the incredible resource we supply would have to be taken seriously by mainsteam science and governments to supply appropriate funding to cover all our expenses.

Once again i mention the volunteering...


Somewhere in there perhaps we can get real credit for our contributions, instead of warm fuzzy feelings and willy waving opportunities!

Volunteering...
Notice the pattern here?

People provide the use of their systems when they're not using them to advance the project they support. Since i'm volunteering my systems time i won't support any project that is being run for financial gain. Others may want to.

But we do it because we want to support the project in question, not because we think it should be worth something of a monetary value. If you want to earn more credits than others, then commission all the machines you want- but please don't go on about how the project, government or whatever owes you for something you have chosen to do, voluntarily.
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Profile Andy Lee Robinson
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Message 513039 - Posted: 4 Feb 2007, 13:36:50 UTC - in response to Message 512514.

I think you're deliberately missing my point!

I believe in the aims of the project and am therefore volunteering, but I - and I'm sure many others - would prefer to be financially remunerated. At the very least to be able to see and share in the results, which at present are just gathering dust in a black hole waiting for a rainy day.

A big project such as this requires funding. Enough money has to come from somewhere to trickle down to nourish all the things that need feeding, including volunteers. However, they can't be paid in real money because that would be too difficult, so they get paid in pretend currency and that keeps them happy in the absence of a real model.

True altruism is a very rare thing - volunteers ahem, volunteer because they get a reward, even if it is warm fuzzy feelings or the opportunity to stand up and be counted or earn credits. They at least need to be fed with appreciation, results, hugs and not to be taken for granted and to feel exploited.

I wish there was a way where everyone could be happy, where projects get millions in funding and volunteers get their bills paid while they crunch.

Perhaps there is hope for a business case for BOINC. We are a growing 500 teraflop supercomputer, about double that of Blue Gene and don't even get a mention on www.top500.org!
At a rough guess, 1,000,000 machines are doing the work of a $500m supercomputer, that is $500 per machine, which probably doesn't cover the electricy costs for a year! Digressing, BOINC is probably the fastest distributed processing entity on the planet at the moment, with a half billion dollar yearly electricity bill!

Maybe it would make more sense to contribute money that would be spent on electricity to buy a next generation Blue Gene for all of BOINC and take a share of processor time on it.

How else to get funding? Advertising? argh.. hate the stuff, but seems to be a necessary evil on the web nowadays. A million mainly tech savvy users is a significant audience. Funding for SETI is a tiny drop in the marketing budget for example Intel, and they'd get a bargain in picking up street cred.

However, first on my list of companies to approach for sponsorship would be Google.

Profile Chris SProject donor
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Message 513167 - Posted: 4 Feb 2007, 17:46:05 UTC - in response to Message 513039.

At a rough guess, 1,000,000 machines are doing the work of a $500m supercomputer, that is $500 per machine, which probably doesn't cover the electricy costs for a year!


How about this?

We contact the people that ARE using super computers and offer to do the same work for them at half price, provided they give that fee to SETI.
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j2satx
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Message 513200 - Posted: 4 Feb 2007, 18:32:09 UTC - in response to Message 513167.

At a rough guess, 1,000,000 machines are doing the work of a $500m supercomputer, that is $500 per machine, which probably doesn't cover the electricy costs for a year!


How about this?

We contact the people that ARE using super computers and offer to do the same work for them at half price, provided they give that fee to SETI.


Then who would crunch for SETI?

John McLeod VII
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Message 513862 - Posted: 6 Feb 2007, 2:36:56 UTC - in response to Message 513200.

At a rough guess, 1,000,000 machines are doing the work of a $500m supercomputer, that is $500 per machine, which probably doesn't cover the electricy costs for a year!


How about this?

We contact the people that ARE using super computers and offer to do the same work for them at half price, provided they give that fee to SETI.


Then who would crunch for SETI?

The deal would be that we give those that are actually paying some money part of the CPU time and the other projects that we do for fun the other part. After all BOINC is about sharing the CPU amongst projects.
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kevint
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Message 514592 - Posted: 7 Feb 2007, 15:13:09 UTC


I have donated to the project in cash - 3 times or more, and not tiny amounts either. I also crunch and crunch a lot. I pay for computers to be dedicated crunchers, and pay for the power to keep them on. - none of this is cheap to me. I don’t have the benefit of many others to be able to use company resources.

If it does become a pay per WU - even at a rate of .000001 per WU - I would be forced to take my crunchers elsewhere.

Silly idea to charge volunteers for volunteering IMHO.

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Profile Logan 5@SETI.USA
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Message 514646 - Posted: 7 Feb 2007, 18:16:05 UTC

"Pay to play" is not a feasible alternative as many people (the vast majority) would rather stop altogether then have to pay money for continuing what amounts to volunteer work at it's basest level.

If this is the best idea being presented to help resolve the current fiscal crisis for the S@H project, then I agree with Matt that it's better to shut the whole thing down completely and live off the fumes of already in place funding for as long as possible then to reasonably expect the projects volunteer base to come up with the 100's of thousands of dollars needed to keep the project running.

Those who are capable of giving already have and done so freely and those who have not by now, probably never will.

So, where does that leave the future of S@H?
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