I'm from Friesland, a Northern province of the Netherlands. I started an 'internet'-company in '99, together with my father. Since July 2001 it's become a full-time job.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Computers are definitely one of the most significant inventions of the human kind. And with this invention we will find extraterrestrial life.
The big questions remain: when? How? and What will happen? The answers to these questions can only be answered in time.
Personally, When? I'm hoping in my lifetime (I'm 34 now..) How? Very much depending on what ways of communication we have then for those great distances. But also, what they have, also very much dependant on their level of technology. And that immediately follows into What will happen? Are they (mostly) benign? will a Star-Trek like future develope?
or are they hostile? And will the future unfold like Titan AE?
or something like Babilon 5, are we part of a bigger picture?
or will they find us (could also happen!) and have the makers of 'Earth final conflict' the right vision of the future?
That's what I like about Science Fiction, what could happen, view (and think over) the possibilities, thanks (again) to the computers, the special effects make them more credible then ever before.
Transmit a beacon?
Hmmm, that's like an invitation. And when do you invite people over? Right when the house is neat and clean.
No, I don't think the earth is 'clean' enough for us to invite our (future) neighbours. I'm not saying there should be 'world piece' before we are 'ready', but there is too much hate/distrust/frustration in the world, this is not a good thing. And looking at the events that happened on 9/11/2001 in New York and after, don't make things better, we must accept that the world is for all of us, and all of us must try and make it a better one, there is a saying: "Improve the world and start with your self"....
Why do I run SETI@home?
I guess it's the human trait... curiosity... :-)
Maybe there is an other curious species inviting us... and I wouldn't want to turn down an invitation like that!