Mostly bubbles and joy:
In 1995, the computer scientist David Gedye had an idea that could only originate at a cocktail party. What if the world’s personal computers were linked together on the internet to create a virtual supercomputer that could help with SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence? The network would be able to sort through the massive amounts of data being collected by radio telescopes, seeking signals that might point to an alien civilization around another star. A distributed supercomputer sounded outlandish at the time, but within four years, Gedye and his collaborator, computer scientist David Anderson, had built the software to make it a reality. They called it SETI@home.Daniel Oberhaus, “SETI@Home Is Over. But the Search for Alien Life Continues” at Wired
But we never found any aliens and Wired’s nostalgia piece can’t, understandably, address that. Of course space exploration will still be worthwhile but the central myth of our time—that superior space aliens will change everything for us—has come up empty.
See also: SETI @ home shuts down. Well, the state of computing has certainly changed but, after so many years of no Contact, the magic has probably also gone out of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project. Also, to use the “Woke” approach that is becoming increasingly popular in popular science, why should SETI get to say what is and isn’t a valid search for ET? Why should SETI control the narrative? Can’t everyone have or be their own ET? Sow the wind…