Profile: Barry Watson

Personal background
I run SETI@home on my home PC and my PC at work. I wish there was a way for me to combine the two accounts into one....

I have retired from serving my country in the United States Air Force after 20 years and now serve the state of Texas as a computer programmer/analyst.

Barry Watson
Jack of all trades,
Master of none.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Extraterrestrial life? Of course!

Like Carl Sagan said, "... billions and billions of stars...". What are the odds that one of them has a planet that can support some sort of life? I think the odds are pretty good. Would we recognize it as a life form? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Doesn't matter so much as the fact that there is one.

I think of the universe as being infinitely large (it's easier for my brain to just accept that). And I couple that with the Vulcan phrase (from Star Trek: The Original Series), "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations".

Of course life exists "out there"!

When will discover it? When "they" are ready. We will never get out into deep space until we can take care of ourselves first. Possible benefits of discovering that ET exists: Once the shock wears off, it will cause us to grow philosophically and spiritually on a scale reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution. Possible danger of meeting ET? A virus or bacteria that wipes out human life. Or perhaps they want to have us over for "dinner"... Or they just kill us on purpose in order to take our planetary resources.

Should we transmit a beacon so we can be found? I think that until we know what the political situation of space-faring races is out there, we should explore cautiously. Intercept signals, decode, translate, learn. Then, when we think we have things figured out, contact them.

Why do I run SETI@home? So we can find out sooner rather than later about who else is out there. I think the idea of distributing the processing of SETI data to volunteers around the world is a fantastic idea?

Suggestions? I have seen the photos of the trip down to the How about putting some viewable videos online. Videos that talk about the project, interviews, discussion of SETI basics. I'd love to be put on an mailing list and notified if NOVA or Discovery channel was going to air a show on SETI@home or other "serious" documentaries.
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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.