Re: SETI@home


Dr. H. Paul Shuch (n6tx@setileague.org)
Sun, 05 Sep 1999 11:40:33 -0400


At 03:42 PM 9/5/99 +0100, Derek Harrison wrote:

> Somebody, somewhere is saying to me: hey, dumbo, just lend me your
processor and stop asking damn fool questions !
  
Derek,
        I just went to this technical article on the I just went to this technical article on the SETI@home site:
<http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/sciencepaper.html>

It starts with:
        "Warning: This paper on "Warning: This paper on SETI@home is written for scientists and engineers.
In order to confuse and obfuscate the public, we utilize substantial
technical jargon"

        Aside from the obvious grammatical error (you can confuse the public, but
you can only obfuscate the *information*), the arrogance of the above
statement is a real turn-off -- no wonder you are frustrated at the lack
of technical explanation! Yes, somebody needs to write a good of technical explanation! Yes, somebody needs to write a good SETI@home
primer, for the general public (that is, the educated layman). Yes, it
would be nice if it could come from The SETI League, even though would be nice if it could come from The SETI League, even though SETI@home
is NOT our baby. And yes, I wish I had the time and resources to educate
SETI@home's 1 million users -- but to do so would be to neglect my real
job, which is supporting The SETI League's 1100 users in implementing our
own Project Argus. So let's you, me, and our fellow SETI League members
brainstorm this dilemma.
        My original suggestion still stands -- if some member has the time and
expertise to write the needed explanation of expertise to write the needed explanation of SETI@home and its functions, I
will see to it that it gets published. In fact, the reason I'm cc'ing our
email list on this is that I hope someone might step up and volunteer.
        BTW, you had asked about colors. I found (again, buried in the BTW, you had asked about colors. I found (again, buried in the SETI@home
site, at <http://setiathome.ssl.berkeley.edu/screensaver/FFT_graph.html>):
        "The colors you see in the graph signify absolutely nothing. They were
used only for aesthetic purposes. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. "
        Your support of The SETI League is very much appreciated, Derek. Don't be
deterred from asking the difficult questions just because I can't
necessarily answer them!
        73, Paul N6TX
--------------------------------
H. Paul Shuch, Ph.D., CFII, FBIS
Executive Director, The SETI League, Inc.
433 Liberty Street, PO Box 555
Little Ferry NJ 07643 USA
voice (201) 641-1770; fax (201) 641-1771
n6tx@setileague.org www.setileague.org
Project Argus station FN11LH

"We Know We're Not Alone!"



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