Retired Brit Mil Pilot...probably the best job in the world. Now, an editor and aviation cartographer....well, it stops me hanging around on street corners....
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
..........just too big not to be there!
If instances of ETI are relatively rare, then the chances of detecting it are very small as probable distances are just too great and therefore probable signal strengths just too low.
Now, though, that planetary systems are being discovered almost "daily", the prospects are improving that detections will be made.
Even if they are too far away for two-way communications to be attempted, the philosophical effect on the human race of "knowing" will be incalculable.
If the origin of a "signal" is close enough to reply to, then we have the interesting concept of our descendants, maybe many generations down the line, listening intently for a reply......