My name's James, and I've lived in the San Francisco Bay Area in California my whole life. I'm currently attending the University of California at Berkeley (the home of the S@H servers!), majoring in EECS, or Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
I am firmly convinced that extraterrestrial life exists somewhere out there. The probability of alien life existing, given the billions upon billions of solar systems out there, is quite large. Whether ET has actually visited us, leaving crop circles and abducting backwoods folk, is something of which I'm not so convinced. I also believe we may never detect ET or learn of life beyond our own Earthly presence. But, that won't keep me from donating a few extra CPU cycles to the cause.
Some of my motivation to participate in SETI@Home stems from this quote from Carl Sagan's novel, Contact:
"We're just beginning SETI. You know how many possibilities there are. This is the time to leave every option open. This is the time to be optimistic. If we lived in any previous time in human history, we could wonder about this all our lives, and we couldn't do a thing to find the answer. But this time is unique. This is the first time when anybody's been able to look for extraterrestrial intelligence... Nobody's guaranteeing success. But can you think of a more important question? Imagine them out there sending us signals, and nobody on Earth is listening. That would be a joke, a travesty. Wouldn't you be ashamed of your civilization if we were able to listen and didn't have the gumption to do it?"