archive: SETI Just sent in SL Application

SETI Just sent in SL Application
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 07:44:14 EST

For those with such an interest, I have sent in my SetiLeague Application.

I have done so with mixed feelings: I do not feel that the principle
premise--using individual small dishes-- has any value in SETI. However,
neither does parsing out time-strips of data to 100,000 PC's, or looking at
1000 stars, or looking for laser light from nearby stars, or emphasizing the
water hole at the expense of a detection elsewhere in the microwave window.

The main difference between the SL and programs run by other non-profits is
that we are not being importuned to buy a bill of goods--and support SETI do
or die (or at least some deluded views of what a scientific problem is and how
to solve it.)

SETI is in for some tough times--all the exciting 'new' directions are bound
to fail and SETI will be discredited (this is not what--I-- want; this is what
is bound to happen after the excitement of the search sobers to the reality of
the lack of success The difference now is that 100,000's of individuals will
be directly or indirectly tied emotionally to the outcome). The handful of
people who make decisions on SETI projects are analogous to the 'speaking
dolphin' researchers of the early 1960's: Thirty five years later such
research is only slowly making advances beyond that point. Such is the fate of
fringe sciences, which invariably have their fates tied into a very few
individuals who lose track of the science and how science is done.

There has to be some kernel knowledgable individuals to pick up the pieces.
SL function like the old rocket societies of yore, and in that capacity allows
for fostering of the approaches that will lead to contact.

Chip N1IR