The search for intelligent life somewhere other than among non-governmental homo sapiens has been given a reprieve. Thanks to private donations, the SETI Institute will soon resume scanning the skies for extraterrestrial signals. "We are absolutely thrilled that thousands of people from all over the world stepped forward to …
Resolution of the Fermi Paradox?
I used to be near the top of SETI@home contributors, but dropped out, partly because of my very early advocacy of the BOINC approach, but also because I concluded the Fermi Paradox has a bad resolution. The key question is the transition from naturally evolved Turing machines to artificially designed Turing machines. I've concluded we humans don't have much of a future, Iain M Banks not withstanding, and the best possible scenario is a Gamesters of Triskelion thing, where radio silence is enforced as part of the game. [Much] More at:
Cloud it Out?
Why don't they simply rent this things out to average people? I caculate for about 400.00 dollars and ~ 8000 people paying, they might turn a profit. Now, not sure what cool things can be done, but I am sure someone can think of something.
Maybe combining renting with launch of amateur satellites sent up into space. I can see trying to send home built satellites to Mars etc ..., and using these babies to communicate with them. Would be interesting to see how far they actually make it. Cost of lunching would be an issue, but we just need find company to do so relatively cheap, or just use a bunch of model rockets.
Cost of Lunching...
So you've tried that new organic place near Farringdon as well, have you?
"But with the budget of the US Department of Defense currently a prime target of ongoing budget battles"
This is what I was talking about
I guess real facts never quite penetrate your tinfoil hat.
The Defense budget was already cut $350 billion as part of the debt ceiling bill and stands to have another $600 billion cut when the super committee can't agree on a plan to cut $1.2 trillion to meet the release numbers for the next round.
Lets hope we find some soon...
And borrow like crazy!
Hawking was talking about aliens arriving here, not picking up their signals and establishing that they are out there. Speed of light issues mean that neither invasion nor two-way communication are likely to ever take place.
c is a speed limit.
That doesnt mean that there are not ways to effectively move about trans-luminally.
I am not saying these methods exist, or even if they do that a living creature can survive but...
- Star Trek's concept of 'warping' space - the ships dont travel faster than light, they shorten the distance to be traveled.
- inter/trans dimensional transport - 'hyperspace', it might be possible given String Theory is correct, to 'open' one of the extra dimensions and traverse it, then return to some (to us 3D'ers) very far location, having traveled 'faster then light'.
I don't agree with Hawkins that contact would lead to something akin to the European invasion of the Americas. The main reason is that transporting large amounts of goods and people across interstellar distances is never going to be practical, so the plunder and Lebensraum expansion that the Europeans did in the Americas won't happen. So contact will in the main be through communication and not through physical contact.
Note that this does not mean that the Human Race is bound to stay in our solar system forever. But any colonisation will be through small colonies that slowly expand locally instead of by significant added immigration. Think "Songs of Distant Earth" rather than Star Trek.
> The main reason is that transporting large amounts of goods and people across interstellar distances is never going to be practical
How can you possibly know that? We haven't advanced our technology much beyond very large fireworks so can you even attempt to predict what future technologies might be capable of?
transporting [across] interstellar distances is never going to be practical
and so when they get here. they'll have to pinch our stuff, steal our planet, and breed.
Thank goodness for that, I was even worried there for a moment that it might turn out badly.
Regarding the shortage (or not) of ET's, see "The `Great Silence': the controversy concerning extraterrestrial intelligent life", http://www.brin-l.com/downloads/silence.pdf
I distinctly remember the STI project, the Search for Terrestrial Intelligence. Last I heard they shut down due to lack of funding and not finding any evidence for terrestrial intelligence.
I recall someone telling me not so long ago that the window of opportunity for detecting a civilisation is probably shorter than one might expect. Humanity seems like it will go from nice big powerful AM radio broadcasts to much smaller, lower power, more efficient devices that broadcast across a vastly wider range of frequencies.
Give it a hundred years, and you might not see anything broadcast from earth that looks like a carrier wave in the EM spectrum between DC and visible light... just wall-to-wall cunningly encoded wideband signals that are more or less indistinguishable from noise.
Me, I'd rather look for the sort of asteroids and comets that might terminate our civilisation before its time.
It's a damn shame to have the facility mothballed, but I'd rather have them doing real astronomy than looking for ET.
Waste of frikkin' money
Enough problems down here: if ETs want to get in touch they'll find a way (which we may not like much)...
Let's be quiet and they might go away
If I was to form an opinion on the human race based on the stuff that we continually leak out into space, I think I would treat earth and it's inhabitants like a street canvaser and hope I can get by unnoticed.
Although I do find a scenario along the lines of 'Galaxy Quest' oddly appealing...
Dirty great satellite dishes and radio antenna arrays aren't the way to contact for off civilisations across space. All you need is a circular saw blade, Speak & Spell, a brolly and a few other things found in a 10-year-old's bedroom!
When they arrive, we should act like the Japanese not like the indians.
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