Re: Seeking extropian opinion: GIMPS vs SETI?

Paul Hughes (
Sat, 15 May 1999 00:36:28 -0700

Michael Wiik wrote:

> What should my computer be doing in its spare time?
> Until an hour or so ago it was running the Great Internet Mersenne Prime
> search. Currently it's running SETI@home.
> I have some doubts that an advanced alien civilization would be
> communicating with radio, and think perhaps that if my PC finds anything
> at all, it will be alien losers who missed out on their civilization's
> singularity.

I agree that SETI may ultimately be seen as 'electromagnetic chauvinism', and that if any signals we do find there, will be of aliens around our level of development. This would certainly narrow even further the odds of detecting anything. But even still, the discovery that there *are* other intelligent civilizations out there, will be one of the greatest discoveries of all time. The complete relativity between our culture and theirs and the mutual knowledge shared, could be of immeasurable value. I'd place my bets and spare computer time on SETI@home, or you can have it continuing its search for another prime number (yawn).

Paul Hughes