Sending Messages to ET: Just say no, for now.

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Message 1648247 - Posted: 1 Mar 2015, 17:56:48 UTC - in response to Message 1648242.  

Considering SETI@home is only listening for a signal, I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion. Please explain.
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Message 1648906 - Posted: 4 Mar 2015, 0:00:17 UTC - in response to Message 1648247.  

He seems to be talking about the redundancy of finding a signal or sending one and waiting to get a signal back.
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Message 1648926 - Posted: 4 Mar 2015, 0:43:30 UTC - in response to Message 1648906.  

I'm failing to see the redundancy in what SETI@home is doing. Why would SETI@home's looking for a signal, and the SETI Institute's wishes to send a signal mean that we are wasting our clock cycles and people should leave the project?
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Message 1649088 - Posted: 4 Mar 2015, 11:05:37 UTC

Welcome to the project Marc:)
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Message 1649111 - Posted: 4 Mar 2015, 12:48:23 UTC

I agree with you Eric!

P.S: somebody must turn off these haughty xxx the energy supply!
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Message 1649820 - Posted: 6 Mar 2015, 4:22:31 UTC - in response to Message 1648926.  

We're not going to see the result in our lifetime.. It makes it redundant for us, since we most likely won't live to see the result. The same way the Greeks invented the steam turbine, but with no practical application for it with the other technology they'd developed, it was basically a curiosity to them.

Redundant to us today might have application or a result 500 years from now. It's not wasting time really, if it might have an application later when our technology develops further. Promising results are still probably years or even decades from being proven as scientific fact (repeat signal results isn't necessarily enough to prove an intelligent origin, the next step would be figuring out if and what data the signal holds and us being capable of figuring it out, which would be more research). If we did get a signal it could be a big question to science for centuries before we can figure it out..It's fairly routine for things to be stored in museums or piles of research archives only to be "rediscovered" 100 or more years later.
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Message 1649822 - Posted: 6 Mar 2015, 4:26:05 UTC - in response to Message 1649088.  
Last modified: 6 Mar 2015, 4:35:49 UTC

Welcome to the project Marc:)


TY. I was participating in SETI till the switch to boinc (it bogged down my computers I had at the time and I didn't really dig the way it worked compared to the old version). I don't think I ever posted on the forums or anything there before, though I wish i remembered my old e mail address so I could retrieve my prior account's work units... (Edit: Remembered my old email address, so I got the classic credits back it looks like...

Anyway I just recently decided to try it again...
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Message 1650113 - Posted: 6 Mar 2015, 22:24:24 UTC - in response to Message 1649822.  

Welcome to the project Marc:)


TY. I was participating in SETI till the switch to boinc (it bogged down my computers I had at the time and I didn't really dig the way it worked compared to the old version). I don't think I ever posted on the forums or anything there before, though I wish i remembered my old e mail address so I could retrieve my prior account's work units... (Edit: Remembered my old email address, so I got the classic credits back it looks like...

Anyway I just recently decided to try it again...


Good decision! :)
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Message 1650329 - Posted: 7 Mar 2015, 15:48:12 UTC - in response to Message 1649820.  

We're not going to see the result in our lifetime.. It makes it redundant for us, since we most likely won't live to see the result.


That doesn't make it redundant. Not to be pedantic, but redundancy is a duplicative and unnecessary effort. Giving up on SETI@home because a signal possibly won't be found in our lifetime wouldn't be a redundancy, that would be defined as a futile effort, not that I agree with such an assessment.

Of course, you're also speculating on OldPugVA's statement, or perhaps only speaking from your view. What you are saying here may not be what OldPugVA meant. I'm still confused as to what Eric may have said that suggested to OldPugVA that we should ditch SETI@home, because I don't see anything in his statement here that even remotely suggested such a reaction.
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Message 1650851 - Posted: 8 Mar 2015, 23:02:32 UTC

So, 'is' 'Signal' 'Science' used Here, 21st Century-like 2005 and Later-or, Late 20th Century, or 1960s?

If 'Signal' 'Science' Used 'is' not State of Art, what 'is' Reason to Continue?

Gooba Gabba.

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Message 1651263 - Posted: 10 Mar 2015, 4:56:11 UTC - in response to Message 1650329.  

We're not going to see the result in our lifetime.. It makes it redundant for us, since we most likely won't live to see the result.


That doesn't make it redundant. Not to be pedantic, but redundancy is a duplicative and unnecessary effort. Giving up on SETI@home because a signal possibly won't be found in our lifetime wouldn't be a redundancy, that would be defined as a futile effort, not that I agree with such an assessment.

Of course, you're also speculating on OldPugVA's statement, or perhaps only speaking from your view. What you are saying here may not be what OldPugVA meant. I'm still confused as to what Eric may have said that suggested to OldPugVA that we should ditch SETI@home, because I don't see anything in his statement here that even remotely suggested such a reaction.


What I said was exactly how you quoted it... Redundant to us... To us, in our lifetime, it's sort of an unnecessary effort.. But a lot of science isn't applicable in the real world at this point in time (or at it's point of discovery), with the technology we currently have... That doesn't mean people shouldn't try though. If I didn't believe in the merits of the project I wouldn't have gotten going with it again, or even bothered to come on here to discuss it.
Reading the original post I can just sort of see where VA may have been coming from with his question. I definitely was speculating on what he might have meant. It's important to note that he wasn't making a statement, but asking a question. And going back and reading the original post, I can see why he might have decided to ask. We live in a disposable now now now society... When we won't likely see a result in our lifetime, it's logical to say a lot of people today would decide to do something else for their instant gratification. A lot of people don't get that science and research aren't like that... It usually takes a lifetime of research and experimentation to flesh out a theory or discover something new. Sometimes a lifetime of research won't have anything to show for it till another scientist comes across old research papers or sees a theory they want to prove or disprove etc... I felt that expanding on that aspect, rather than "why bother doing it", to illustrate why people should was just a better direction to go with it..
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Message 1651340 - Posted: 10 Mar 2015, 10:00:51 UTC - in response to Message 1651263.  

What I said was exactly how you quoted it... Redundant to us... To us, in our lifetime, it's sort of an unnecessary effort.


Not simply "unnecessary", but duplicative. The important part of redundancy is duplicative. While some may view our efforts as unnecessary, I still can't see defining it as redundant.

It's important to note that he wasn't making a statement, but asking a question.


It actually seemed like a loaded question to me. After all, why would a Project Scientist openly state that their project is unnecessary and that all users should quit the project and do other things? What was it that Dr. Korpela said that made him feel that way, specifically?

But I don't know that VA was asking a loaded question, which is why I decided to open the floor up for discussion. I wanted VA to explain his position in more detail. I was hoping to get it from the horse's mouth instead of speculation.

Though I do appreciate what you're saying. I do not find fault in what you are saying, and I agree that most people cannot see beyond their own lifetime when it comes to R&D and science. Still, I wanted to combat it directly at the source by engaging someone who feels that way directly.
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Message 1651455 - Posted: 10 Mar 2015, 22:00:27 UTC - in response to Message 1650851.  

So, 'is' 'Signal' 'Science' used Here, 21st Century-like 2005 and Later-or, Late 20th Century, or 1960s?

If 'Signal' 'Science' Used 'is' not State of Art, what 'is' Reason to Continue?

Gooba Gabba.

Yep.


I always call radio astronomy the most empirical science to search for extraterrestrial intelligence:))
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Message 1653138 - Posted: 15 Mar 2015, 10:53:54 UTC

Its greedy and stupid to transmit with no planning but We don't know if ETI exist or not. Therefore we should do both transmission as well as listening to deep space. If ETI responds then we can be sure they exist. The day we get signals from ETI would be rewarding.
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Message 1653295 - Posted: 15 Mar 2015, 19:18:50 UTC - in response to Message 1653138.  
Last modified: 15 Mar 2015, 19:29:47 UTC

... Therefore we should do both transmission as well as listening to deep space. ...

Yes, sending a signal with mathematical contents (for recognition) to let them know that we exist(ed) is not a political statement so I don't see the need to be elected for doing this. It will not become a "conversation" anyway in the near future so it's more relevant for them, not so much for us.

Receiving a signal will have way more influence on the human society - no matter when it has been sent and wether the sender still exists or not. If we would like to know that we're not alone, it is only fair to give them the same chance. p.s.: Just imagining that 4-armed 8-eyed guy writing "Wow" at the edge of a paper sheet :-)


The negative point is the energy consumption required for sending frequent signals strong enough to stick out of the cosmic noise. If we could use the sun like a lighthouse though - something like intercepting small parts of the sunlight (it would probably suffice to clear out one typical spectral line now and then and use it like Morse code) ... well, not possible in the near future I guess.
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Message 1654295 - Posted: 18 Mar 2015, 22:06:04 UTC

Isn't it rather late to worry about sending messages out into space? We've been broadcasting our various TV and Radio programs and their sponsered advertisements in multiple languages for more than 70 years. I wonder what the aliens think of War of the Worlds (the original radio program by Orson Wells), I Love Lucy, Fox/CNBC "News", Deep Throat, and the various USA Presidential Debates. Maybe we have already been blackballed. Or maybe they'll send us a list of questions!
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Message 1654302 - Posted: 18 Mar 2015, 22:17:46 UTC

My biggest question is how do the SETI@Home/BSRC folks hold Carl Sagan in such high regard when he was responsible for some of the most famous (or perhaps in their view, infamous) examples of METI, like the Voyager Golden Record and the Pioneer Plaque?
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Message 1654622 - Posted: 19 Mar 2015, 19:27:05 UTC - in response to Message 1654302.  

My biggest question is how do the SETI@Home/BSRC folks hold Carl Sagan in such high regard when he was responsible for some of the most famous (or perhaps in their view, infamous) examples of METI, like the Voyager Golden Record and the Pioneer Plaque?


The best thing we did! We did it in the golden ages of our evolution where terror, wars and crime weren't overruling (which would have gravely disturbed the message we tried to send.) We did send out a message with the Arecibo telescope as well:)
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Message 1654657 - Posted: 19 Mar 2015, 21:09:45 UTC

A very big difference between sending out an unmanned probe with a couple of bits of metallic advertising material stuck on the outside to the transmission of an RF signal.
For the first ET has to actually be in a position to see the bit of space junks, and given the current speed of the Voyagers it is going to be a very long time before they reach even the closest star system. Then ET would have to understand that the engravings are an that this object is worthy of tracking back to its source. ET would then have to track back to the Earth, taking consideration of all the gravitational and other forces that will have diverted the "junk" from its course - no easy matter over what would probably be tens of thousands of years...
With the RF signal its a case of detecting it, deciding to see where it came from, and the plotting back to see the source is our solar system - and given it will take four years to reach the nearest star, which I don't think has a planetary system, or realistically a few tens of years and the first detection is potentially within a human life span - and we haven't even thought what to say when the inter stellar double glazing salesman comes along...
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Message 1659671 - Posted: 31 Mar 2015, 5:43:11 UTC
Last modified: 31 Mar 2015, 5:44:00 UTC

Well, a straw poll tells me we have a perfect explanation for Fermi's "Great Silence" here don't we?
...And there I was looking at the growth of man-machine interfaces and thinking the universe tended instead towards an Asimov's "Childhood's End" - end.

I tend to err towards caution myself too and could easily embrace many of the isolationist attitudes, but then I am not the type to want to be an astronaut or Mars colonist either. Mankind generally is that type of course - and that's the problem.

As a result of that spirit of free-thinking and independent action that we humans possess I strongly suggest that we come together and find ways to put it to the UN that it starts to seriously think about addressing these unplanned communications - preemptively.

Regardless of what Big Science or government proscribes by law ...and with or without organization we can expect people to be sending their own messages - and looking out over a brief multi-century technology scale those messages are likely to get very powerful and effectively targeted very rapidly. Didn't I just read that those independent transmissions are already starting to occur? I think I did. (Matter of fact when I saw the SETI candidate list taken down for service a while back it actually crossed my mind "good, now at least the hobbyists don't have a target list to work from").

In real terms we each stand in a glass-walled planet Earth with no curtains and the lights full-on. To think we can actually hide for eternity - or even are hidden today - is likely extremely naïve.

I haven't done the math, but I suspect that equally unlikely are the odds of any listening intelligences being close (within centuries or millennia) of our own technological level as stated in a few responses here - feels to me that probability would instead drive the technology gap to be cavernously large. We are likely not hidden at all today then. By my logic and thanks to our own people we certainly won't be in the future. Isolationism has been proven time and time again not to work - and in the US's experience, trying to stay out of the pool at all only gets you in deeper water for longer.

Organized or not then, signals are going to be sent - and maybe someday a few received and replied to. Given that I suggest that we had better be driving at least the social spirit of the content and the social and political response to any communication - and we can do that best generationally through education of course.

On a related educational note, perhaps it would not do mankind any harm at all to commit to a project that lasts for a century or even millennia... doing so might even start us all thinking with a more useful perspective and event horizon to our own actions.

Perspective: The direct impact of our own actions today on our grandchildren's, grandchildren's grandchildren's lives is something that we are all of us demonstrably incapable of thinking about in any realistic generational terms today - be it when we pour used oil down a ground-water drain or live in today's resource-consuming, waste spewing lifestyles or vote for geo-political strategies which in retrospect have untenable results like war, famine and genocide.
Teaching a ten year old that our actions today will profoundly influence the planet in 40 generations time might not be such a bad thing for them to learn. ...I'd be happy to get us planning in terms of the roundtrip time to the nearest stars and back even - most of us can't plan our retirement effectively - never mind the retirement of our great-grandchildren's kids.

There are plenty of corporations and governments today that do in fact effectively plan and keep track of events over timescales exceeding that of today's human lifespans... and at least one religious organization to my knowledge that has kept plans and policies in effect for a millennia and a half at least already - and that without the benefit of electronic archives until the last 50 years or even printed paper for the first 1000 years. This kind of planning can be undertaken then - and of course it should.

To be clear, I am absolutely not saying that any resulting contact would be a good thing - and we all know that societies of differing technology levels meeting-up has had a really lousy batting average previously. I absolutely do believe that it is human nature to send signals and to reach out experimentally come what may... and that given that fact alone,(plus if there is anyone out there at all of course), then sooner or later a two-way message is going to be initiated... Some day a generation of people possessing some of our genes will have to deal with the results of that communication, so we might as well try to get our technology, our social planning, our education and societies attitudes ready to respond to it when it does. "Be Prepared" - Boy Scout generational first contact strategy.


Jon Connell, Brooklyn NY

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Message boards : SETI@home Staff Blog : Sending Messages to ET: Just say no, for now.


 
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