Statement on Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence/Active SETI

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Message 1640402 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 22:40:54 UTC - in response to Message 1640325.  


Incorrect. The cautious remain alive to build upon each other's knowledge. The foolhardy do not take proper precautions and end up dead. Can you imagine what would have happened if no caution were exercised during any scientific experiment?

I think far too many here are confusing cautious with lack of interest in new knowledge. Indeed this is the only way we've survived.


If humanity were so cautious as antiMETI proponents, you would not be living in the US. The Americas would be unpopulated.
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Message 1640408 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 22:45:22 UTC - in response to Message 1640328.  

N9JFE David S wrote:
By our way of thinking, yes. Maybe they came to a different conclusion.


It's not my way of thinking, it's the reasoning of the statement. If the reasoning is right, as surely the signataries think, the ETI will reach the same conclusion, and then the scenario I wrote about follows.


You quoted me out of context. When I said "they," I was referring to ETI, not Human METI experts.

You make a good case that if we think it's a bad idea to actively send messages, other civilizations will also think that. But only if you take it as an absolute can you follow it to the conclusion that it's a complete waste of our time and effort to listen for any messages they might send. I certainly do not take it as an absolute.


I understood that you were referring to ETI. Again, if the reasoning were right, the ETI would arrive to the same conclusion (remember the I in ETI).
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Message 1640421 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 23:03:03 UTC - in response to Message 1640394.  
Last modified: 11 Feb 2015, 23:31:30 UTC

That's great, but the statement is suggesting that the larger population have a say as well, not just the METI community that obviously agree with each other, or they wouldn't be a part of that community.


I didn't say METI community, I said SETI/METI community, and no, that community doesn't agree with each other.


Splitting hairs, honestly. My real point was below that you addressed next:

As for the larger population, I consider it very unlikely that they will find better arguments for/against METI than the scientists that work on SETI/METI.


Doesn't matter what you consider very unlikely. The point is that some feel more people should have a say. I am one of those people.

...and again you miss my position entirely. Even if they are advanced enough to find us one way or the other, doesn't mean we have to go about broadcasting our position. If they happen to find us, then they happen to find us. There's little that can be done about such a scenario. That still doesn't mean we have to go about broadcasting our position simply because "they'll find us one way or the other".


You insist on your fallacy. It's much much much easier to detect us than to come here to kill us.


<sigh> There is no fallacy here, only your assumptions. You assume they are nearby us enough to detect our noise. You assume they are even listening in our direction. You assume there is even other life out there.

So, if they want to find some ETI to kill, they will find us quickly and easy, no matter what we do.


Again, assuming they are even nearby, or listening in our direction.

They don't need our METI to find us and they will not find our messages by chance.


Again, assuming they are even nearby or listening in our direction.

The jungle analogy is fundamentally wrong.


You can't possibly know that.

ON THE OTHER HAND, if they are non-hostile and we don't engage in METI, they can think we don't want to be visited or don't want to talk by radio.


Assuming they even know we exist, and then again, you are making assumptions about how they will interpret our lack of attempts to communicate.

To sum it, we have nothing to gain from staying silent and much to lose. Without METI, we all lose (we and they).


On the contrary, we have the survival of our species to gain by staying silent and just listening, and the extinction of our species if we happen to broadcast to a malevolent species. It still concerns me greatly that many METI Proponents are unable or unwilling to see this, or waive it off so easily.

We broadcast, they broadcast.
We don't broadcast, they broadcast.
We broadcast, they don't broadcast.
We don't broadcast, they don't broadcast.


You are supposing that all communication is broadcast. Energetically, this is very problematic.


Energetically doesn't really matter unless ETI is nearby. Otherwise our noise will likely be indistinguishable from the rest of the noise from great distances.

There are four possible scenarios here, and only one of them fits your Great Silence conclusion. There are still three other possible scenarios, which means you only have a 25% chance in being correct about your Great Silence. There's still a 75% chance things could happen another way.


Do you know that 83% of statistics are made up? 94% of people know that!


Except that my percentage A) wasn't a statistic and B) wasn't made up. I gave my examples of possible scenarios to indicate to you that there is more than just "If we think it is unwise, they will think it is unwise and we'll have a Great Silence".

Have you ever played "hide-and-go-seek"? Sometimes you give your own position away by accident, or because your legs cramped up, or whatever. Just because we can't hide absolutely, doesn't mean the only alternative choice is to give our position away, nor does it mean burying your head in the sand either.


Very bad analogy. Our situation is like being in a party and refusing to talk to anyone, sitting alone in a corner looking at our glass of whiskey.


Again, you make the assumption that life is plentiful and nearby. Only then would your party analogy make any sense. If life were that nearby, we likely would have detected them by now.

Apropos, my analogy is likely far more relevant than you wish to acknowledge.

As several posters have said, it's very easy to find us for a civilization that can kill us. If someone wanted to and could kill us, we would be already dead.


And what makes those posters any more correct? And it would seem you continue to assume that life is plentiful, nearby, and listening in our direction.
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Message 1640423 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 23:06:34 UTC - in response to Message 1640402.  
Last modified: 11 Feb 2015, 23:20:44 UTC


Incorrect. The cautious remain alive to build upon each other's knowledge. The foolhardy do not take proper precautions and end up dead. Can you imagine what would have happened if no caution were exercised during any scientific experiment?

I think far too many here are confusing cautious with lack of interest in new knowledge. Indeed this is the only way we've survived.


If humanity were so cautious as antiMETI proponents, you would not be living in the US. The Americas would be unpopulated.


Once again, you confuse cautiousness with a complete lack of adventurousness and curiosity. It wasn't a huge risk to travel around the world beyond the natural consequences of storms and hurricanes. We already knew the Earth was round for many centuries before sailing to the Americas. It would have been far more risky had we actually thought the Earth was flat at the time. Instead, it was a cautiously calculated risk in an effort to find a faster trade route to India.

But don't let the facts stop you from making quick talking points in an effort to support your view.
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Message 1640426 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 23:09:54 UTC - in response to Message 1640408.  

I understood that you were referring to ETI. Again, if the reasoning were right, the ETI would arrive to the same conclusion (remember the I in ETI).


Your thinking is still quite binary and absolutist in nature. There is hardly ever one empirically correct reasoning, so there's no reason to conclude that either the reasoning is correct and everyone does it or the reasoning is incorrect and therefore a fallacy.
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Message 1640431 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 23:17:04 UTC

Remember this is not a politics thread Ozzfan, you do make good statements tho!
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Message 1640439 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 23:40:25 UTC - in response to Message 1640325.  

Let's just go back to our caves and dance around the fire some more.

That was bred into us, that is how our specie evolved. Caution increase the chances of survival.


Actually, no. The cautious acquire no new knowledge, so they are less likely to survive. Of course, the foolhardy have the opposite problem.


Incorrect. The cautious remain alive to build upon each other's knowledge. The foolhardy do not take proper precautions and end up dead. Can you imagine what would have happened if no caution were exercised during any scientific experiment?

I think far too many here are confusing cautious with lack of interest in new knowledge. Indeed this is the only way we've survived.


NO! The cautious are the types that become bureaucrats. And they damp down progress because they don't need it to maintain their positions; in fact, progress upsets things, which is a big nono to people like that. If they could cope, they would likely be out working at or near the edges, and making new things/discoveries.
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Message 1640440 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 23:45:11 UTC - in response to Message 1640439.  

Let's just go back to our caves and dance around the fire some more.

That was bred into us, that is how our specie evolved. Caution increase the chances of survival.


Actually, no. The cautious acquire no new knowledge, so they are less likely to survive. Of course, the foolhardy have the opposite problem.


Incorrect. The cautious remain alive to build upon each other's knowledge. The foolhardy do not take proper precautions and end up dead. Can you imagine what would have happened if no caution were exercised during any scientific experiment?

I think far too many here are confusing cautious with lack of interest in new knowledge. Indeed this is the only way we've survived.


NO! The cautious are the types that become bureaucrats. And they damp down progress because they don't need it to maintain their positions; in fact, progress upsets things, which is a big nono to people like that. If they could cope, they would likely be out working at or near the edges, and making new things/discoveries.


So scientists aren't cautious? Methinks you have a stereotypical view of the world if you think only cautious types become bureaucrats and only explorers take chances.
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Message 1640444 - Posted: 11 Feb 2015, 23:56:30 UTC - in response to Message 1640431.  

Remember this is not a politics thread Ozzfan, you do make good statements tho!


Since you do not seem to be responding to my Private Message, I'll go ahead and respond to you here.

1. I do not know why you see fit to single me out in this discussion when I'm not acting any different than anyone else in this thread. 2. This isn't the first time you've told me during a discussion that "this isn't Politics" as if I'm supposed to know what that means. Either way, I don't appreciate being publicly chastised as if I'm doing something wrong when I am not.
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Message 1640483 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 2:35:45 UTC - in response to Message 1640440.  

So scientists aren't cautious? Methinks you have a stereotypical view of the world if you think only cautious types become bureaucrats and only explorers take chances.


Youthinks wrong. I was merely giving my generalized opinion; nonetheless, I would be willing to bet on which way the stats would break on those broad categories of people. As a rule, the cautious don't contribute much, and the seekers do.

Remember Heinlein's quote, which I think is very close to the truth:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.”


This discussion seems to worry too much about "right-thinking".
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Message 1640530 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 6:40:08 UTC

Please people, this is a VERY important news thread. If you want to discuss the topic, feel free to start a discussion thread in Politics.
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Message 1640567 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 8:27:19 UTC - in response to Message 1640530.  
Last modified: 12 Feb 2015, 8:31:11 UTC

Please people, this is a VERY important news thread. If you want to discuss the topic, feel free to start a discussion thread in Politics.

Why you constantly point to trash section for this discussion?

If News would be only announces they would not have comment option enabled.
But comment option enabled. So as long as comments belong to thread topic anyone can excersice his right for free speech and comment topic not being pointed to trash section. The original Statement calls for discussion, now you wanna stop this discussion???? About what your "kudos" in another thread then ???
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Message 1640577 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 8:38:29 UTC - in response to Message 1640530.  

OzzFan wrote:


Doesn't matter what you consider very unlikely. The point is that some feel more people should have a say. I am one of those people.


My opinion is not based on feelings, but on the reasoning that: (1) scientists specialized in a topic (any topic) have more knowledge than a layman (they know the literature, they know the physics, they worked a long time on the problems, etc.) and (2) after half a century of scientific debate, there is not much to add.


There is no fallacy here, only your assumptions. You assume they are nearby us enough to detect our noise. You assume they are even listening in our direction. You assume there is even other life out there.


These aren't assumptions. I already gave the reasons. They can use spectroscopy to study our atmosphere and detect us. They can use gravitational lensing and see us. Etc. It would be nice if you discuss my arguments instead of continuously saying that it's only my opinion or my feeling or my assumptions.


Again, assuming they are even nearby, or listening in our direction.


If they aren't listening in our direction, they can't detect our METI either. I said it but again you refuse to argue about it: "they will not find our messages by chance".


Except that my percentage A) wasn't a statistic and B) wasn't made up. I gave my examples of possible scenarios to indicate to you that there is more than just "If we think it is unwise, they will think it is unwise and we'll have a Great Silence".


My sentence was only an analogy, using an often cited kind of sentence. If you want a literal one, here it's: your probabilities are made up, you assign equal probabilities to all cases without any reasoning to support your assignment.

The rest of your post is a repeat of already refuted arguments.

As a last note, it seems unwise to me that S@H project leaders make statements like this one, that can make some chrunchers leave the project, and that will not contribute anything to S@H progress. Regardless of the signataries being wrong or right, this is a bad strategy for S@H.
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Message 1640584 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 8:45:24 UTC

Another threads that discuss Active SETI issue on these SETI forums (not in "Politics" section, of course; in SETI sience section):

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=76696
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=76560
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=76401
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Message 1640587 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 8:52:00 UTC - in response to Message 1640577.  
Last modified: 12 Feb 2015, 8:54:16 UTC

As a last note, it seems unwise to me that S@H project leaders make statements like this one, that can make some chrunchers leave the project, and that will not contribute anything to S@H progress. Regardless of the signataries being wrong or right, this is a bad strategy for S@H.


I would agree with this summary. The way Statement was written can be read (at least by non-native English speakers) as condemnation of METI in first hand, not just as call for discussion. Call for discussion only follows from that condemnation.
Yes, here are many comments already on this thread of kind "you read it wrong", but sorry, maybe it written wrong if such issue arise again and again?...
So, if the lead line is really call for discussion Statement should be worded differently.
Hence I see more bad than good from it right now.
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Message 1640603 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 10:05:53 UTC - in response to Message 1640587.  

As a last note, it seems unwise to me that S@H project leaders make statements like this one, that can make some chrunchers leave the project, and that will not contribute anything to S@H progress. Regardless of the signataries being wrong or right, this is a bad strategy for S@H.


I would agree with this summary. The way Statement was written can be read (at least by non-native English speakers) as condemnation of METI in first hand, not just as call for discussion. Call for discussion only follows from that condemnation.
Yes, here are many comments already on this thread of kind "you read it wrong", but sorry, maybe it written wrong if such issue arise again and again?...
So, if the lead line is really call for discussion Statement should be worded differently.
Hence I see more bad than good from it right now.


Very well put Raistmer.

'ETI’s reaction to a message from Earth cannot presently be known. We know nothing of ETI’s intentions and capabilities, and it is impossible to predict whether ETI will be benign or hostile.'

What would our reaction be ? Hostile or benign ?

'We strongly encourage vigorous international debate by a broadly representative body prior to engaging further in this activity'

There are about a dozen people here debating the issue and we can't come to a consensus - 7 Billion ?? I think this conversation is going to go on for a long time.

I was trying not to use the movie Contact as an example but I think this movie does show some of the possible bureaucratic reactions when religion, economic and national security interests are thrown into the mix.

I also feel the statement does the whole SETI project a disservice and doesn't add anything of value to S@H.
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Message 1640625 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 11:39:30 UTC - in response to Message 1640567.  

Please people, this is a VERY important news thread. If you want to discuss the topic, feel free to start a discussion thread in Politics.

Why you constantly point to trash section for this discussion?

If News would be only announces they would not have comment option enabled.
But comment option enabled. So as long as comments belong to thread topic anyone can excersice his right for free speech and comment topic not being pointed to trash section. The original Statement calls for discussion, now you wanna stop this discussion???? About what your "kudos" in another thread then ???


Now that you mention free speech, I do not want this topic to be trashed by people who feel 'important' and feel 'they have something to say' whilst they have sh*t to say.
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Message 1640644 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 12:19:05 UTC - in response to Message 1640625.  

[quote
Now that you mention free speech, I do not want this topic to be trashed by people who feel 'important' and feel 'they have something to say' whilst they have sh*t to say.[/quote]

Ok Julie, please nominate those who you feel are best qualified to discuss this topic. I hope SETI is not becoming elitist by judging who it feels is/isn't qualified to discuss individual topics and exclude others deemed not worthy.
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Message 1640645 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 12:20:46 UTC - in response to Message 1640584.  

Another threads that discuss Active SETI issue on these SETI forums (not in "Politics" section, of course; in SETI sience section):

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=76696
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=76560
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=76401


Thank you Raistmer!
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Message 1640646 - Posted: 12 Feb 2015, 12:21:20 UTC - in response to Message 1640625.  
Last modified: 12 Feb 2015, 12:23:57 UTC


Now that you mention free speech, I do not want this topic to be trashed by people who feel 'important' and feel 'they have something to say' whilst they have sh*t to say.


Even if it (though it was direct citation of my post) not aimed to me I red-crossed this insult. All participants of this discussion expressed his views on topic, such insults, especially from mod, are completely intorelable on any thread, especially in news.

EDIT: Quite sad, that started as scientific topic degraded to state "ready" for Politics thread indeed. Worth to do so?
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