"Madness is rare in individuals- but in groups, parties, nations and ages it is the rule."
"The most common lie is that which one lies to himself; lying to others is relatively an exception."
Perhaps a sense of futility attracts me to SETI. There are several other more practical applications for massively distributed computing, but searching for signals from intelligent life in the universe is just too hard to resists despite what appears to be rather long odds. There may indeed be life elsewhere, but most life forms probably have not evolved far enough yet to send radio signals. Other life may have recently started to send signals but may be so far away that it will take millions of years for the signals to reach us. Other civilizations may have attained and already lost the ability to send signals millions of years ago. I am crunching for signals nevertheless.
It's a long shot but we definitely need help. Perhaps SETI will be successful and provide something that helps dig us out of the horrible dilemma we now face. There are billions of people on this single planet and we are all pissing in the pool at an alarming rate. We are rapidly contaminating the only biosphere we have: Planet Earth. Moreover, we lack the ability to expand our rather filthy way of living off-planet. Yes, we are trapped on this rather tiny blue marble and we are destroying it. The most likely outcome is we fail as a species on this planet well before ever detecting any sign of extraterrestrial life.
Sorry about these negative waves but that's how I see it.