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astromark
2006-Sep-24, 06:54 AM
Seti is looking for what?
It seems inconceivable to expect to find anything we might recognize as a radio signal or communication intercepted.
What and how should we be looking for ? and what would we want to say?
It has been suggested that to ponder over some thing repeatedly or to spend more than 20 minutes on it is to become paranoid. Guilty as charged but, not overly concerned. Stephen Hawking has expressed his concern that making to much noise could draw unwanted attention to us and with it danger.
We do not know if there is another living entity anywhere in the universe. Let alone one we should fear. If he is right then maybe we should try to clean up some of that junk we are broadcasting daily. Are we guilty of polluting the local region of space with pornography and violence. Yes we are. but thats only if there is any thing there to receive/see it. I sleep well at night for I fear that in this region of the universe we might be it. The only form of life that has the slightest inkling of 'other'. Could we be alone in this galaxy? Yes.
Your thoughts would be welcomed

Selenite
2006-Sep-24, 07:10 AM
How does that Arthur C Clarke quote go?... Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.

I recall an old cartoon of some astronomer listening patiently to a radio telescope under a starry sky. One star says: "Should we respond"? Another replies: "Ye gods no!.. Pollution, strife, poverty? Let 'em keep it".

Maybe the silence is deafening because they fear us?

LucasVB
2006-Sep-24, 08:16 AM
Whether or not we pick up a signal, I think it's worth the shot. We could live in eternal doubt and never find anyone else out there, but at least this way we can say we've been trying, so I think any effort is worth. And if we do find anything, an incredible new perception of the Universe will unfold, and it'd certainly be a huge cultural step for mankind - hopefully for the best.

I don't find fear of broadcasting ourselves very reasonable, though. So what if evil aliens come here to enslave mankind? We acted on our best intentions, and that should be enough for us.

And what if aliens look at our signals and think we're horrible creatures?

Well, like it or not, that's us, that's what we've done, and that's what we do. We're too hypocritical to deal with our own problems, that's the truth. If our civilization acts shy to others, how could we expect any respect?

So it's a matter of integrity to me. We have to accept we are and were like this. We already try to hide these problems from ourselves instead of fixing them, and trying to hide it from the rest of the Universe is just too much...

All I have to say is, stand for who you are, always try to improve yourself, and always do the best you can. That works in any social scale you want, and that's what we, as a civilization, should be doing.

Ronald Brak
2006-Sep-24, 09:11 AM
I'd keep an ear open, but I wouldn't put a great deal of resources into it. At the moment we are really only capable of detecting deliberately sent signals, or incredibly powerful signals not meant for us but generated for some unknown reason. Then there is the small chance of learning anything usefull from a signal. (Yeah sure, getting a signal would be really neat, but a signal alone isn't going to pay any bills. We want cures for cancer and stuff.)

I'd suggest a strategy of putting a most of your money into fields with a likely payoff and a little into longshots that could possibly have huge payoffs.

I expect that in the future the equation will change. At the moment most of the world's population isn't terribly interested in alien life as just staying alive on earth is pretty hard. But as economic conditions improve, more people would be in a postition to apreciate the non material benefits of SETI.

Maksutov
2006-Sep-24, 09:25 AM
As a SETI member, I say, of course!

The consequences and risks as we see them are obvious.

But, the chance that we might share knowledge (as long as the civilization we've made contact with values knowledge and not belief, et al) is something that is worth the pursuit.

It's like one tribe in one valley communicating with another tribe in the next valley. The elders will say, "We must not, they will enslave us." The neo-scientists in the tribe will say, "Let's see what they know, and compare it to what we know. I bet we know stuff they don't, and they know stuff we don't. We will both benefit!"

Go, neo-scientists!