SETI: When is enough enough?

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SETI might have just missed Alien Probe

Post by ElectricMonk » Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:41 pm

https://www.space.com/42352-oumuamua-in ... -sail.html


Oumuamua is extra-solar, very oddly shaped and moves in ways that are hard to explain without resorting to some technological explanation.
But it moves so fast that we probably won't have a chance to get a close look before it exits the solar system again.

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Re: SETI might have just missed Alien Probe

Post by landrew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:35 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:41 pm
https://www.space.com/42352-oumuamua-in ... -sail.html


Oumuamua is extra-solar, very oddly shaped and moves in ways that are hard to explain without resorting to some technological explanation.
But it moves so fast that we probably won't have a chance to get a close look before it exits the solar system again.
I think we'd advance our knowledge more quickly, if we ignored all the hype and hysteria that surrounds these strange and unexplained phenomena, and just got down to business with weighing and studying all the evidence.
But that's just me.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by ElectricMonk » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:21 pm

they've done all the observation they could, given available instruments, and they still can't be sure it isn't alien tech.

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:48 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:21 pm
they've done all the observation they could, given available instruments, and they still can't be sure it isn't alien tech.
I could be wrong, but I think there tends to be a strong aversion factor away from studying such strange subjects. Fear of ridicule tends to divert researchers away from certain subjects, which is unfortunate in my opinion.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by ElectricMonk » Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:55 pm

landrew wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:48 pm
ElectricMonk wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:21 pm
they've done all the observation they could, given available instruments, and they still can't be sure it isn't alien tech.
I could be wrong, but I think there tends to be a strong aversion factor away from studying such strange subjects. Fear of ridicule tends to divert researchers away from certain subjects, which is unfortunate in my opinion.
You are wrong.

Interest in Oumuamua is very high, exactly because it is so new and strange. Most likely, many such objects travel through the solar system every year, but this is the first of such fast objects we have been able to track.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CA%BBOumuamua

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gord » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:27 am

Here ya go, landrew:

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:10 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:21 pm
they've done all the observation they could, given available instruments, and they still can't be sure it isn't alien tech.
I was surprised that mainstream astronomers would go out as far on a limb as they have already done in this case. There's always the danger of getting into bed with people like Velikovsky and von Däniken. It's great for fiction like Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama or Fred Hoyle's The Black Cloud, but scientists try to be careful about such public statements. (I must make an exception in the case of Hoyle, whose steady-state universe theory crashed against the evidence and who then turned to "debunking" archaeopteryx.) But all scholars know it is professionally dangerous to have TOO open a mind on this subject, as one can see from the case of John Mack. By the time his very carefully-worded statements got to the public, he was being depicted as a believer in alien abduction. Well, the pattern for that was established by the previous expert in UFOs, J. Allen Hynek, who was a professor at Northwestern and quite respected when I was there in the early 60s, but gradually went round the bend in the 1970s and ended up as a total crank on the subject. I remember reading some articles on the quality of his "investigations" written by Phil Klass in The Skeptical Enquirer back in the 1990s (by which time Hynek was dead but his enterprise MUFON was continuing).
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Re: SETI might have just missed Alien Probe

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:32 am

ElectricMonk wrote:
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:41 pm
https://www.space.com/42352-oumuamua-in ... -sail.html


Oumuamua is extra-solar, very oddly shaped and moves in ways that are hard to explain without resorting to some technological explanation.
Hmm, sometimes natural objects, especially those with very irregular mass distributions, do move strangely under the effect of gravity, as in the case of the Kovalevskaya Top. However, Oumuamua is in free fall, which would simplify the equations of motion for the Kovalevskaya Top considerably.

(The linked video runs about half an hour, but only the first 90 seconds will be of any interest to anyone but the hardiest of algebraic geometers. I showed it to a meeting of math professors some 30 years ago, and absolutely blew the audience away. It's the only case I know of where a highly technical paper at the juncture of algebraic geometry and ordinary differential equations and published in a journal devoted to pure mathematics has been made into a film.)
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:50 am

Gord wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:27 am
Here ya go, landrew:

Very nice. Of course, like all such speculation, this sample uses as a model the technologies we know about, just as Chekhov's characters in The Three Sisters speculate that "in a hundred years, men will fly around in balloons." They (Chekhov) couldn't imagine heavier-than-air flying machines (and Chekhov was on his deathbed when one was finally produced), much less the current wide-body jets and the SST, satellites, extra-planetary robot excursions, etc. If there are aliens Out There, what technology would they be likely to have that we can't imagine? Well,...we can't imagine.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:15 pm

Men do fly around in balloons.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:55 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:50 am
Gord wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:27 am
Here ya go, landrew:
Very nice. Of course, like all such speculation, this sample uses as a model the technologies we know about, just as Chekhov's characters in The Three Sisters speculate that "in a hundred years, men will fly around in balloons." They (Chekhov) couldn't imagine heavier-than-air flying machines (and Chekhov was on his deathbed when one was finally produced), much less the current wide-body jets and the SST, satellites, extra-planetary robot excursions, etc. If there are aliens Out There, what technology would they be likely to have that we can't imagine? Well,...we can't imagine.
My favorite line: "Two civilizations briefly shouting in random directions and hoping to hear each other."
Last edited by landrew on Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:31 pm

If you never listen you'll never hear.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:25 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:15 pm
Men do fly around in balloons.
When I first heard about the Lawnchair Larry flight, I thought it was a joke.

No, it really happened.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:40 pm

The Mythbusters reproduced it. But I was talking serious ballooning.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gord » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:44 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:40 pm
The Mythbusters reproduced it. But I was talking serious ballooning. BBC's website that breaks the boards
fixt
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gord » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:44 am

landrew wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:55 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:50 am
Gord wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:27 am
Here ya go, landrew:
Very nice. Of course, like all such speculation, this sample uses as a model the technologies we know about, just as Chekhov's characters in The Three Sisters speculate that "in a hundred years, men will fly around in balloons." They (Chekhov) couldn't imagine heavier-than-air flying machines (and Chekhov was on his deathbed when one was finally produced), much less the current wide-body jets and the SST, satellites, extra-planetary robot excursions, etc. If there are aliens Out There, what technology would they be likely to have that we can't imagine? Well,...we can't imagine.
My favorite line: "Two civilizations briefly shouting in random directions and hoping to hear each other."
Mine too!
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE
Is Trump in jail yet?

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:41 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:15 pm
Men do fly around in balloons.
And balloons had already been around for more than a century when Chekhov was writing in 1901. That much, they could foresee easily based on the technology they had. (Which was, after all, my POINT about foreseeing the future: speculation relies on what is already known, and it misses new inventions that change the world.)

Just another example of the cloudiness of a crystal ball. (Sometimes referred to as "future shlock.")
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:51 am


US Civil War balloons used for recon.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:32 pm

We still haven't perfected balloon travel:
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:29 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:51 am

US Civil War balloons used for recon.
Yeah, I believe this was part of the plot of Jules Verne's novel "The Mysterious Island." Also, "Erewhon" by Samuel Butler has its narrator/hero Higgs escape from Erewhon in a balloon. I'm wondering when the first true dirigible balloon was developed, one that could move against the wind and be steered in any direction.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:11 pm

Chachacha wrote:"Oh, thweet mythtery of wife, at waft I've found you!"
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:32 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:29 pm
I'm wondering when the first true dirigible balloon was developed, one that could move against the wind and be steered in any direction.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airship#History
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:51 pm

Thank you again! So, earlier than I could ever have imagined. Think of it: 1852, and they had mounted an engine on a balloon, and hence were ALREADY flying around in balloons, a fact of which Chekhov must have been ignorant.

As a kid back in the 1940s, we had an old "cyclopedia" from the 1890s in the house with an article on flight. The article said that some people thought flight was in principle impossible. It also said that current research was focused on using steam power to turn a propeller. The problem with external combustion engines is that they need to be fairly heavy, and the it's hard to find a way to shield the passengers from the heat. Although, the old Stanley Steamer set land-speed records while it lasted.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:55 pm

landrew wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:32 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:29 pm
I'm wondering when the first true dirigible balloon was developed, one that could move against the wind and be steered in any direction.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airship#History
Thanks. That's the information I was hoping to get from Google by searching for "dirigible." I should have searched for "airship."

Well, what's now left to say? Maybe a joke from 20 years ago.

Q: What's the difference between the Hindenburg and Rush Limbaugh?

A: One is a flaming Nazi gasbag; the other is an airship.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:41 pm

One is filled with cow farts, the other with hydrogen.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Poodle » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:14 pm

I've just read through this thread again, and I have only one thing left to say ...
If we stop searching, we will never know if ET exists unless he/she/it arrives here.
If we carry on searching, we may find ET tomorrow.
I have, admittedly, drunk far too much wine tonight. This does not invalidate my Earth-shattering conclusion.

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:13 am

Poodle wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:14 pm
I've just read through this thread again, and I have only one thing left to say ...
If we stop searching, we will never know if ET exists unless he/she/it arrives here.
If we carry on searching, we may find ET tomorrow.
I have, admittedly, drunk far too much wine tonight. This does not invalidate my Earth-shattering conclusion.
Even though it's not funded by taxpayers, I have a philosophical issue with the waste of money, being poured down a bottomless hole for decade after decade. It just seems a bit like repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
The job of a skeptic is to investigate the unexplained; not to explain the uninvestigated.

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gord » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:42 am

landrew wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:13 am
Poodle wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:14 pm
I've just read through this thread again, and I have only one thing left to say ...
If we stop searching, we will never know if ET exists unless he/she/it arrives here.
If we carry on searching, we may find ET tomorrow.
I have, admittedly, drunk far too much wine tonight. This does not invalidate my Earth-shattering conclusion.
Even though it's not funded by taxpayers, I have a philosophical issue with the waste of money, being poured down a bottomless hole for decade after decade. It just seems a bit like repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
It's not a waste of money.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:31 am

Gord wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:42 am
landrew wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:13 am
Poodle wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:14 pm
I've just read through this thread again, and I have only one thing left to say ...
If we stop searching, we will never know if ET exists unless he/she/it arrives here.
If we carry on searching, we may find ET tomorrow.
I have, admittedly, drunk far too much wine tonight. This does not invalidate my Earth-shattering conclusion.
Even though it's not funded by taxpayers, I have a philosophical issue with the waste of money, being poured down a bottomless hole for decade after decade. It just seems a bit like repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
It's not a waste of money.
Damn it! LANDREW HAS SPOKEN!
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Poodle » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:59 am

Indeed he has.
However - your use of the term 'waste of money' tells us that you have prejudged the issue, landrew. Your presentation of the case proving that it IS, in fact, a waste would be interesting. As it is, it's merely your opinion and, necessarily given our state of knowledge, based upon nothing more than your personal preference. Clyde Tombaugh's name would not be known had he followed your guidelines.
However, on a purely human level, don't you want to know? Would you rather that Africa was a narrow strip of land across the Mediterranean, and Australia just a word someone had invented (Yeah - I accept that one's debatable :D )? Where's your sense of wonder? Where's your impulse to push at boundaries? Did Gagarin's adventure not fire your soul, or Apollo 11 not stir your gloopy bits?
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:04 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:41 pm
One is filled with cow farts, the other with hydrogen.
Now this is exactly how collaborative scientific breakthroughs happen, by people talking and giving each other ideas. So, I'm now going to invent a blimp that will be filled with methane. (In case of leaks, we'll add a bit of hydrogen sulfide to the methane so people will be able to detect it with their noses.) We'll make millions. Just give me your bank account number, GS, and I'll share the royalties with you.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:05 pm

Poodle wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:59 am
Indeed he has.
However - your use of the term 'waste of money' tells us that you have prejudged the issue, landrew. Your presentation of the case proving that it IS, in fact, a waste would be interesting. As it is, it's merely your opinion and, necessarily given our state of knowledge, based upon nothing more than your personal preference. Clyde Tombaugh's name would not be known had he followed your guidelines.
However, on a purely human level, don't you want to know? Would you rather that Africa was a narrow strip of land across the Mediterranean, and Australia just a word someone had invented (Yeah - I accept that one's debatable :D )? Where's your sense of wonder? Where's your impulse to push at boundaries? Did Gagarin's adventure not fire your soul, or Apollo 11 not stir your gloopy bits?
I completely fail to understand any opposition to research based upon uninformed opinion.
In any case, of all the wastes of money there are, this seems the least harmful. Nobody's budget is 100% efficient (certainly not my household budget, which is crammed with waste---maybe even...corruption?).
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

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landrew
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:14 pm

Gord wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:42 am
landrew wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:13 am
Poodle wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:14 pm
I've just read through this thread again, and I have only one thing left to say ...
If we stop searching, we will never know if ET exists unless he/she/it arrives here.
If we carry on searching, we may find ET tomorrow.
I have, admittedly, drunk far too much wine tonight. This does not invalidate my Earth-shattering conclusion.
Even though it's not funded by taxpayers, I have a philosophical issue with the waste of money, being poured down a bottomless hole for decade after decade. It just seems a bit like repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
It's not a waste of money.
Would you feel the same if it was your money?
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Lance Kennedy » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:23 pm

We cannot predict what will come of this research. The history of science is full of examples of people researching one thing and discovering another.

Personally, I consider it unlikely in the extreme that they will discover aliens, but I will always support research, including this kind of unlikely research because that is how we find stuff out.

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landrew
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by landrew » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:37 pm

Lance Kennedy wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:23 pm
We cannot predict what will come of this research. The history of science is full of examples of people researching one thing and discovering another.

Personally, I consider it unlikely in the extreme that they will discover aliens, but I will always support research, including this kind of unlikely research because that is how we find stuff out.
I understand, but the SETI organization seems stuck in a rut. I'd be surprised if the list of donors hasn't changed greatly over the years. I'm not seeing the degree of innovation that I'd expect from an effort that has spanned many decades. People who work in stagnant organizations are easily convinced that their efforts are worthwhile, and I think SETI is no exception.

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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:40 pm

Thank Buddha nobody listens to landrew.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by OlegTheBatty » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:50 pm

There is more money being wasted in dingy bars every second than SETI wastes in a year.

Sometimes I think that the only reason money exists is the potential for wasting it.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:21 pm

Money is just a way of keeping score.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Gord » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:44 am

landrew wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:14 pm
Gord wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:42 am
landrew wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 3:13 am
Poodle wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:14 pm
I've just read through this thread again, and I have only one thing left to say ...
If we stop searching, we will never know if ET exists unless he/she/it arrives here.
If we carry on searching, we may find ET tomorrow.
I have, admittedly, drunk far too much wine tonight. This does not invalidate my Earth-shattering conclusion.
Even though it's not funded by taxpayers, I have a philosophical issue with the waste of money, being poured down a bottomless hole for decade after decade. It just seems a bit like repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
It's not a waste of money.
Would you feel the same if it was your money?
Of course! That's the {!#%@} point! It's not YOUR MONEY. Other people are funding it with THEIR OWN MONEY, ON PURPOSE.

If it were my money, I would be contributing it on purpose for the function it is fulfilling and would therefore not consider it a waste of money.
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Re: SETI: When is enough enough?

Post by Austin Harper » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:12 pm

I'm sure there are people who think the Skeptics society is a waste of money. I guess we should shut this forum down.
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