Sep 11 2015

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SETI seeing returns from billionaire donation

SETI reborn: The New Search for Intelligent Life.

$100 million over 10 years for SETI — that’s over five times more than SETI has ever gotten. I was once a big proponent of SETI, even devoted a lot of my computer CPUs to help crunch data. I’ve since become luke-warm to the idea, because

  • We’ve been looking since the early ’80s one way or the other, and we haven’t found anything yet
  • It’s hard to argue with the argument that David Drumlin made in the movie Contact, which was (paraphrasing here) “When you finish this search, you come up with reasons why the search failed, and need more money to conduct different searches on different frequencies and deeper into the sky, and those will come up empty also.”

Of course, in the movie, Drumlin was proven wrong. I’m A OK with SETI continuing as a privately funded experiment, and I hope that either they find evidence of alien life, or they use the data collected to make other big advances in astronomy.

I’m just saying if I had $100 million to spend, I don’t think I’d have spent it on SETI, but that’s me.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/09/11/seti-seeing-returns-from-billionaire-donation/

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