Sunday, January 31, 2010

My computer is looking for aliens

Yes, you read the title right. My computer is looking for aliens. How? I donate time to seti@home. When my computer is idle, BIONC contacts SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intellegence...I think), and downloads data from the radio telescopes and helps sift through them for alien pop songs and infomercials.
If looking for aliens isn't your thing, you can download BOINC and let it do other scientific work too, though. My computer doesn't JUST look for alien signals, it also does math for ...something or other. Some kind of math theorem type thingie. There's also several biomedical research projects that you can assist with, like cancer and AIDS research, or you can let you computer figure out climate change, or astrophysics. If you are indecisive, you can let your computer work on several projects. It will work on one for a set amount of time, then rotate to the next, then the next, and so on.
Now, the real question is Why, isn't it? My answer is easy. I like feeling like I contribute without having to actually do anything hard. I also would love to be the person who's computer found aliens. That would rock, and I'd probably get an interview on CNN or something. It's not hard, doesn't use up a lot of room on the computer, and I can turn it off if it frustrates me. Also, when the scientists behind these programs decide to take over the world (that's what scientists do. Watch and learn from movies), I'll be in good standing to become an evil henchman. It's win-win.

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