Friday, November 14, 2008

Less Than 20 Years Until First Contact?

Senior SETI scientist Seth Shostak said at an event in San Francisco Tuesday night that the array could become strong enough by 2025 to look deep enough into space to find extraterrestrial signals. "We'll find E.T. within two dozen years," he said.


No we won't, Seth. We'll be damned lucky to detect ET within 2,000 years and I can't help but think you know it.

Of course, having said that, I'll be more than delighted to have this post come back to haunt me.

5 comments:

a jaded, cynical kind of intense said...

Wow. I can't not wait. Gotta hand it to ol' Doc Shostak--first, the timeframe was, suitably, unknown and unknowable. Then it suddenly, with the Allen Array, was 25 years. Now, it seems, it's either two dozen or maybe 20 years. Funny, that.

I expect, at this inverse prediction rate, based on nothing more than extra, faster hardware, for the SETI Institute to announce the "alien beacon" will have been received and confirmed by yesterday, and will be announced in tommorrow's New York Times.

Or, maybe...more likely...at the end of another 20 or two dozen years, having spent all the private contributions to the institute, and it being finally, comprehensively realized that the whole process and manner in which the SETI Institute has gone about listening for a radio signal from relatively nearby stars, using rapid skips and jumps to momentarily listen before moving to the next star, nothing, absolutely nothing will be heard.

Then, it will be time (some might uncharitably suggest well past time) for Seth to retire, and leave the job to those more competent to know how and what to listen and look for properly and more pragmatically. Funny how that kind of projected timeframe works out, isn't it? Then, the Institute can close shop and get the hell out of the way. They have become more of an impediment to SETI than a practical or real effort.

At this point, considering the incredibly unscientific, self-serving statements, motives, and actions (and inaction, like with SETI protocol #2, on the IAA committee, to not even permit discussion of restriction of METI), that the SETI Institute, specifically Seth Shostak and Jill Tarter, are nothing more than regressive propagandists for a ridiculously restrictive attempt to not just control funded and organized SETI efforts of real value, but to, whether consciously or not, prevent more effective SETI from being carried out, which is both a tragedy and a shameful, corrupt effort on their part and those associated with the Institute who support their current methodologies and goals.

David Brin has pretty clearly outlined online the negative impact of SETI Institute policies and procedures. To me, imho, they are the Anti-SETI. Seriously.

Hey, I've got a unique, new idea: why don't we try and investigate the only body of evidence actually available, and historically recorded now tens of thousands of times, you know, the area around Earth involving, uh, what are they called? Oh, I remember, ufo sightings!

Might actually accomplish some real science, then. Get things done. Oh, watch out...logic is raising its' ugly, practical head.

c: "redop"[e?] [indeed...] 8^}

Anonymous said...

At least Ms. Goodchild only made us wait a couple months, and as far as I can tell, she didn't ask anyone to give her money for fancy radio telescopes.

Kent McManigal said...

I have no problem with people searching for extraterrestrial civilizations however they want. Just don't use my money, stolen through taxation, to do it.

We really need separation of science and state so that real progress and innovation can begin again.

Bruce Duensing said...

Three Words. Waiting for Godot.

Hugh Troy said...

You'd know better wouldn't you Mac? You being a SETI scientist an' all!NOT!