I am a Linux-obsessed computer hobbyist living in Devon, U.K., where I am surrounded by green fields, cows and sheep for much of the time. I enjoy messing around with computer networks and electronics, as well as occasionally listening to utilities on the HF band with my SW radio.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I don't think that we are the only lifeform in the universe - the chance of us being alone when there are so many similar stars and planets to our own is inconceivable, and I'm sure that other sentient life exists but that the distances involved are so immense that it's going to take some time for them to make contact.
When we do discover life (or it finds us), the implications will hopefully shock mankind out of its insular existence and bring us to a new stage of emotional maturity, where we forget our petty disputes over territory and tribe and realise that we are all the same kind of being and that we should work together to improve ourselves and more than that, improve our planet and stop exploiting its resources for our own greed.
Given our short and traumatic history, I think that if we do send a signal to extraterrestrial lifeforms, by the time they receive it we will be long gone. Either we'll be victims of our environmental meddling or will have left the planet to explore our local habitat. The Voyager probe left with a message, of course, but a radio signal will travel many times faster. I think the signal should be a simple repeating sequence. I think the Fibonacci sequence was seen as a good choice. Me personally, I'd like to send simple symbols from the LIFE program - perhaps a 'glider gun' or 'traffic light' [g].
I run Seti@home for several reasons:
1. I like to give my computers something useful to do when I'm not running anything (or I'm asleep).
2. It's good to be a part of a project that has a meaning and a purpose, and is interesting.
3. I don't have much of a talent for HTML and my webpage is totally lame. I therefore feel that I should give something to the Internet - I reckon I can afford a bit of CPU time.
4. The competitive nature of being in a team makes me want to keep running Seti@home. I changed my e-mail though, and my block count went back to zero. If there's an option to 'retire' an e-mail address (as on distributed.net), I haven't found it yet.