As a writer, ancient history inspires me - Paleontology, ancient civilisations and the abundance of opinion surrounding them. Times built out of bones and rocks, with nothing but fertile imaginations and intuitive leaps fleshing out otherwise desiccated, mute remains.
But nothing gets much older than the stars. Sometimes a walk at night produces worlds of creativity.
I'm the technical advisor in a corporate video production company. I also write, play Ultimate Frisbee here in New Zealand, do a little DTP, and play the odd computer game.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
If we find anything, I hope to hell we can apply the lessons we've learned in communicating via the Internet:
1) Don't spam them with rubbish: use a nick, and stay distant. Rather than say "Hey, we're Earth! We wanna be friends! Here's a big box of encyclopedias about us!", let's just start with "Wassup. I'm Hydra. Would You Like To Know More?"
2) Don't flame. Comments such as "Hey Kermit", "Excuse me, Bughead" and "Hello" could be horribly misconstrued.
3) I think setting up a beacon is a stupid idea. Any beings that have the bloodimindedness and frivolousness to bend enormous technological resources towards finding a radio signal light-years away from home is not a race I want to meet, quite frankly. Especially if they're doing this while letting other parts of their planet rot in squalor and war... uh...
...Anyway... If they really want to find us they can use Google like everyone else.
4) On no account should our delegates arrange to meet EBEs in real life... without an exchange of photographs, maybe some phone calls, and both sets of parents chaperoning. Goodness know there's enough weirdoes on THIS planet without having to tempt fate going on a blind date with 'Basil', some 8-foot tall purple rat with a comb-over.