Free Speech and SETI@home

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Eric Korpela Project Donor
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Message 1863881 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 3:50:26 UTC

Once again I need to explain our policies on free speech, as I've been getting lots of nastygrams both here and on twitter and facebook.

First, let me explain our relationship to the UC Berkeley administration. Despite the fact that I met with the Chancellor once for about 15 seconds, the UC administration neither knows nor cares that SETI@home exists. Threats of quitting SETI@home or withholding donations will be about as effective as kicking a stray dog because you don't like something the dog catcher did. They won't notice. They don't care. They get no direct benefit from SETI@home, so here will be no effect on them, or the on University. We could shut off our servers tomorrow, and nobody in Sproul Hall would notice a thing.

So here are our project commandments on free speech.

0. Thine speech is free as in freedom, not free as in beer.
1. Thou mayst speak thine mind.
2. Thou shalt do so in the appropriate forum.
3. Thou shalt recognize that speech has consequences to thine self and to others, some legal, some financial, some painful.
4. Thou shalt not force others to pay for the delivery of or the consequences of speech they may not agree with.
5. On public SETI@home forums, thou shalt use language a parent would not mind their 12 year old hearing.
6. Failure to obey the forum rules will result in moderator action. If thou dost not understand, see thou commandment 4.

In other words, if you want to be heard on the current controversy, try the Politics forum. Then use twitter, facebook, instagram and whatever social media you want. SETI@home in general and me in particular have no power to effect change of any sort.

It sounds like there's still going to be a riot in Berkeley tomorrow because a group of white supremacists and a group of left wing anarchists are ignoring commandments 2, 3, and 4. The people of Berkeley and the people of California will be picking up the tab for their "freedom of speech" whether they want to or not. And personally, I think that's what's been missing from the whole discussion.

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Message 1863885 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 4:20:47 UTC - in response to Message 1863881.  

I love your passion for SETI. I also love the way you manage these threads.
Sometimes, you can be subtle and use obscure language. Sometimes you have to spell it out unequivocally.

Well said!!
I could add to your comments, the bad-mouthers comments really only affect those directly affected (Ie USA and North America).
So all those SETI Denizens in the rest of the world see their comments generally as pointless and ineffectual.

Keep up the good work,

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Message 1863886 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 4:31:23 UTC
Last modified: 27 Apr 2017, 4:34:21 UTC

+1 Chris - is everybody getting enough sleep over there...? :| ps. "... or on the University..."
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Message 1863888 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 4:47:37 UTC - in response to Message 1863886.  
Last modified: 27 Apr 2017, 5:20:10 UTC

Thanks for posting this Eric. It really needed to be said.

I look from afar at Berkeley and wonder what planet some of the folks there are from - being
from almost as far away physically as possible and still be in the US (about 22 miles from the
Atlantic Ocean) and most likely an equal distance politically as well.

In my view - Seti is far more important than any political position - political party or politician.

I shake my head at both sides of the brouhaha and wonder where simple civility (and common
sense) has wandered off to.....but I'm still all in for Seti.

So thank you for saying what needed to be said.............from those of us who crunch for the simple goal
of answering the 1 question we all want to know - "Are we all alone in the Universe?"
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Message 1863889 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 4:53:17 UTC - in response to Message 1863886.  

Perhaps part of why we are all searching for the Electronic Thumb!

Be upset but don't let it get you down, as those before me stated; it is not the entire world that are misbehaving in that particular way.

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Message 1863893 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 5:08:31 UTC

很多人并不觉得自己那些无意义的话语会产生“蝴蝶效应”。 好的科学技术不应该被政治和自私所影响!
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Message 1863898 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 5:41:21 UTC

I have to say that I am utterly appalled to learn that Eric, of all people, has been receiving abusive messages on social media, in addition to here. That in my book is totally unacceptable and unwarranted. I am one who has had the privilege of being in his company for a number of days some years ago, and I can tell you from first hand knowledge that his sheer dedication to the Seti project is an example to us all.

Before they had remotely bootable power strips and moved to the CoLo, Eric would think nothing of driving to the Lab on a Sunday morning from home to re-boot recalcitrant servers with the blessing f his loyal wife. I believe UC do take a small cut from donations for admin purposes, and a side benefit is the PR from hosting a worldwide famous scientific project. But they will survive even if Seti itself doesn't.

I have had long discussions with Fred, who is tasked with overseeing the Forums Policy, some of which is imposed by UC itself. I am not in full accord with a few things, but we agreed to disagree on those. I have my own views upon the Politics forum, but ere is not the place to discuss them.

Suffice it to say it is sad that Eric found the need, yet again, to remind people of the basic rules of courtesy and good manners that should be in force in a Democratic 21C society.
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Message 1863900 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 5:50:04 UTC

As an Italian I am keeping away from discussing American politics. I receive regularly the Berkeley online newsletter and I am amazed that it never mentions SETI@home. When I was working for Honeywell-Bull I had used the UNIX Berkeley Software Distribution, so Berkeley was a familiar name to me.
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Message 1863901 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 5:56:38 UTC

There are different traditions in "free speech" define.

Currently too many understand "free speech" as "I can say whatever I want and there should be no consequencies for that".
That's ultimately ill approach to free speech that makes any communication non-valuable. Cause in the world where anyone says anything truth and lies indistinguable.
Real free speech always means responsibility for what was said. Of course it requires some self-esteem also.
SETI apps news
We're not gonna fight them. We're gonna transcend them.
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Message 1863902 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 6:13:59 UTC - in response to Message 1863893.  
Last modified: 27 Apr 2017, 6:15:55 UTC

sry - had to google what you said:
很多人并不觉得自己那些无意义的话语会产生“蝴蝶效应”。 好的科学技术不应该被政治和自私所影响!

"Many people do not feel that their meaningless words will produce "butterfly effect". Good science and technology should not be influenced by politics and selfishness!"
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Message 1863905 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 7:08:50 UTC - in response to Message 1863881.  

+1 on this post Eric.

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Message 1863907 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 7:40:13 UTC

What's going on? I can't understand from France.
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Message 1863908 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 8:07:07 UTC - in response to Message 1863907.  

What's going on? I can't understand from France.

Nutters from the Left and nutters from the Right are using Berkeley for their protests/riots.
Apparently other nutters feel that the University should do something about it or they will stop crunching Seti work.
All too silly for words really.
Darwin NT
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Message 1863909 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 9:22:54 UTC - in response to Message 1863908.  

Nutters from the Left and nutters from the Right are using Berkeley for their protests/riots.
Apparently other nutters feel that the University should do something about it or they will stop crunching Seti work.
All too silly for words really.

100% agreed.
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Message 1863910 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 9:30:31 UTC

My my, this kinda stuff is everywhere, no escaping it, not even here, who woulda thought.

Keep crunchin'

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Message 1863913 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 10:29:14 UTC

The issue of free speech is an important one. Berkeley needs to deal with it in a proper manner, not try to sweep it under the rug. SETI should not be involved. The moderator's views about paying for free speech are out of line.
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Message 1863917 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 11:12:57 UTC - in response to Message 1863881.  

i do not know why people want to riot. if certain groups are ignored then they will stop having their little tantrums. i would like to be able to donate funds to seti but my 500 dollar social security check does not go very far. all i can do is to process data. burkley is not one of my favorite memories. all the people protesting us coming back from vietnam alive. many things about this country can be made better but the want of one can rule the lives of many. what would be done back in the days of "the little house on the prairie".
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Message 1863922 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 11:58:59 UTC

I frequently send e-mails and/or post in various Internet forums, including my own personal blog, bragging about the numerous scientific research projects, including the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, that my computer is being used for by the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, and urging them to also participate.

As an elderly disabled veteran of the war in the old Republic of Viet Nam, I already have encountered occasional reluctance from some of my fellow veterans, who, like myself, also have bad memories of the violent war protesters at the University of California at Berkeley.

And now, we have this!

This is very embarrassing for everybody connected with S.E.T.I. and B.O.I.N.C.

Anyway, in spite of it all, I'll continue my own participation in these invaluable scientific research projects, and try to encourage others to also do so.

Oh, and by the way, I also frequently use my e-mail and the assorted Internet forums to express my own personal unpopular and controversial opinions on a variety of subjects, but that is always separate from any of my communications regarding S.E.T.I. or B.O.I.N.C.
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Message 1863925 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 12:31:46 UTC - in response to Message 1863881.  

I'm seriously disappointed to see people taking it out on what is a very loosely related project, I'd say Berkeley is just the HQ for SETI@home, it's more of a NASA/ESA thing since that is what SETI is. Politics doesn't belong in science. Even my personal views of these lunatics doesn't matter (although I try to be centre, I'm starting to move a little more right to remain impartial) It is completely unacceptable to personally attack someone for something they aren't even involved in.
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Message 1863926 - Posted: 27 Apr 2017, 12:33:46 UTC

Personally I don't give a monkeys about the politics surrounding Berkely or anywhere else for that matter. I joined Seti@home to try and help you hear that message from ET just in case he, she or even it, is trying to get in touch. I only joined in February of this year after watching UFO programs on the TV which mentioned the Seti@home project and I thought I would like to try and help. I haven't even set up a full profile yet or joined any groups and this is my very first forum post.

I don't do social media not Twitter not Instagram or even Facebook. I'm here purely and simply to try and help the Seti@home project in my own small little way.
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Message boards : News : Free Speech and SETI@home

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