I am father of two girls and a boy living in a nice house in VÃ¤sterbotten, in northern Sweden. All four of us are connected to the internet and using it for work and fun. Since we have a communications server (an "old and outdated" machine, ;-)) to distribute the internet traffic and to protect our home network I thought in 2001 that SETI@home running on this computer would be one way of utilizing the CPU-cycles which otherwise would be useless. After some days I installed the program in other computers. Now all our computers crunch different projects on the BOINC-platform. Seti@Home has been crunched continuously since 2001.
My hobbies are computer hardware (I built my first computer in 1975 and all the computers in our home), statistics, travelling (usually two trips of at least two weeks each a year) and reading (everything from science fiction to philosophy). The kids are since the untimely death of my wife in cancer the most important humans in my life and we have a lot of fun together. In this pic we are in the mountains of Tärnaby, where some of the best skiing in Sweden is. By the way - do you see my son - in the blue jacket? The wind blew very hard when this pic was taken ...
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Distributed computing in projects such as SETI@home is one of the best ways to use the dormant power of unused CPU-cycles which exist in so many computers. Whether this power is used for signal analysis or for analysis of data for genomic research does not matter. However, the SETI-project has stimulated my feeling of the fantastic. Science fiction books are numberd by the hundreds in our library and they represent a wast mixture of ideas most of which are as yet not usable.
I believe in extraterrestial life. It seems also extremely probable that this life form has developed communication skills. What these skills are we do not know. Since we have the curiosity to look for these life forms, why not look for them in the way we are doing now? We don not have other sensors that can bridge the very large distances involved.
However, I think that extraterrestial life will surprise us in more ways than one, and the most surprising way may be a new way to communicate. I think that curiosity is innate in humanity and that until now curiosity has represented a survival trait. It may very well be that this trait also may become a necessity for our survival in the future.