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Re: Public: Science news posts & Mediocrity

Amanda Baker wrote:

> Good morning, all!
>         So, what do we, the subscribers to public@setileague.org, want the
> list to become?

Good morning to you, Amanda...

I thought I'd jot down some of the topics that have appeared
on various SETI Mailing Lists or Newsgroup posts which are
acceptable here, severely flamed there, or even successively
well-received and scornfully rejected on the same List. Rather
has the appearance of a Comedy of Errors or Commedia del'arte:

[1]  The experimental procedures and instrumentation of SETI;
[2]  The theoretical or hypothetical basis of SETI;
[3]  Speculations concerning the nature of ET's and ETI;
[4]  The editorial justification of SETI to the general public;
[5]  Published references to SETI;
[6]  The relationship of SETI to SETV;
[7]  SETI search strategies other than RA or OSETI;
[8]  The relationship of SETI to Exobiological Research;
[9]  The relationship of SETI to Exoplanetary Research;
[10] Speculations concerning the probability of success;
[11] The history of belief in the plurality of inhabited worlds;
[12] Quotations to motivate and inspire the Quest;
[13] The putative psychological basis for SETI research;
[14] SETI and distributed computing; SETI@home.
[15] The History of Scientific SETI;
[16] Debates over On- and Off-topic posts.

In my opinion, what is needed is a decision or consensus on
the perspective to be adopted from which members view the
complex phenomenon called "SETI".  A book published in l991
ought to be required reading for the discussion of this issue:
the title is "FIRST CONTACT The Search for Extraterrestrial
Intelligence" edited by Ben Bova and Byron Preiss and pub-
lished as a paperback by Plume (originally by Penguin). The
ISBN is 0-452-26645-9. This anthology contains articles by
major scientists and scientific journalists representing a
variety of viewpoints.  Please check it out at your library.


Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA