A 54 year-old ex-programmer from Halifax, UK. Married to Anne, with two teenage sons.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I think extraterrestrial intelligent civilizations are a dead certainty. The only question is: how far away are they? - I think its quite possible that we might be the only civilization within a million light years, in which case we'll never make contact. They also might be only 50 light years away - but we'll never know unless we search for them. I dont think we'll meet them physically in the next 1,000 years - if ever.
It this project pays off, it's going to put the differences between British and say, Chinese, into it's true perspective. Not to mention what it could throw up about the religions, warfare, science...
Yes, a beacon would be a good idea. At a present we should restrict it to "WE ARE HERE". I remember reading something about altering the solar spectrum by adding a couple of tonnes of an artificial element, like technetium, to the solar corona. That could be a worthwhile project for sometime in the next millennium.
I run seti@home because I think that, although the chances of success are remote, the payoff would be so big that it is worthwhile to contribute to the attempt.