Profile: Sparrow45

Personal background
I'm retired and live in Minnesota, in the northern US. Most of the time, the name is Jim. At various times in my life I've worked as a newspaper journalist, musician, Unix system admin, bartender and school bus driver. I'm interested in almost everything. These days I work part-time for a small non-profit and read a lot, especially good speculative fiction when I can find it. I can't be physically active anymore, but I manage to find lots of things to keep me engaged and mentally active. And that, my friends, is the secret to enjoying later life.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I think SETI@home is a very long shot, but one well worth taking. We don't know enough real-universe values for the Drake equation to judge our odds of success realistically. It may be that long-lived technical civilizations are very rare and/or very far away. Civilizations which advertise their existence may fall victim to predator species. Or there may be a galactic civilization chatting away on some unknown FTL communication mode we haven't figured out yet. But if we don't look for signals by every means we can, we know we'll never find any. To my mind, this is much like buying a lotto ticket. When I spend a dollar or two for a ticket, I don't expect to win. But the ticket is very, very cheap, someone will win, and I can't possibly win if I don't have a ticket. So it would be pretty foolish not to play, despite the very long odds against success.
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