Profile: Prognatus

Personal background
Hello, my name is Bjorn T. Jonsson. I live right outside Norway's oldest town, Tonsberg, about 70 miles south of Oslo. Some of my interests/hobbies are history, nature, animals, humanism, philosophy, genealogy, sci-fi films (Contact is one of my favorites).

I have worked about 20 years with computers as a professional programmer and IT consultant before, but nowadays I'm retired. I also run an Open Source project called Prognatus, which seriously needs my attention to get going again.

Best way to reach me is through e-mail at petosiris[at-sign]gmail(dotty)com. My Skype ID is Prognatus.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
1. Why do you run SETI@home?

I do beleive extraterrestial life exists in many forms. Also intelligent life, both more "primitive" and more "advanced" than us. I hope we'll someday (soon) get in contact with an alien culture on another planet, so we can learn how to preserve our own civilization and planet.

2. What are your views about the project?

I have my doubts that radio signals are the answer. They are fragile and easily distorted by other noice and gravity, and they travel "only" with the speed of light. That makes them slow for ET communication tasks, difficult to direct to a specific point/destination, and unreliable. It seems to me unlikely that an advanced culture would use primitive and slow radio waves for communication with other worlds. I don't know what to use instead, but perhaps we could somehow harnise sub-atom particles for communication uses.

We should definately send our own beacon out in space. The beacon could include some useful information about our planet. In case it is interecepted, the receiver will at least get some interesting research data to analyze, even if the signal is thousands of years old and a reply would be ridicilous. The signal should also have inbuilt algorithms for signal consistency and recovery, so that any receiver would have a way of knowing what it looked like when it was sent. Hence, the signal should be built robust, so that if small pieces are destroyed, the overall meaning could still be understandable.

I beleive that if someone out there are advanced enough to visit us, they will not be hostile. Hostileness is a sure sign of primitiveness, in my opinion. More likely, they will be afraid of us! As we are decendent from the big apes, we are relatively physically strong and have a violent behavior.

3. Any suggestions?

For different BOINC projects, why not have some useable science links right in the program? For instance SETI could have a star map and showing the position where the work unit is collected from.

Keep up the good work! :-)
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SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.