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Team CMOT! Welcome Letter


[Team CMOT on 5 July 2004 changed to Team Orkut (for both Classic and Boinc versions) came into being 19 July 2004 and 8 October 2009 switched back to Team CMOT because the name has far more personality..]

Hello There:

I'm Eric A. Seiden (aka CMOT TMPV), and I'd like to plug Seti@Home which I joined 21 June 1999. I'm doing this because I believe it's a wonderful cause as do millions of others around the world. I have donated my computer time in the form of Seti@Home, and I have also donated financially to support this worthwhile project. The effort to prove life exists on a planet besides our own is a very worthy cause. Whether you are a believer or not, the answer is something we'd all like to know. It's a goal that transcends gender, race, nationality and is an idea that captivates us all.

If you've never participated in Seti@Home before, you should consider it. It's for people like me who want to find ET. It's also for people like Ed who are doing it to prove people like me have lost all their marbles. So, as you can see, it's pretty much for everyone. It doesn't matter what your reasons, because Seti@Home needs you!

First, go to the Seti@Home site and download the software. Then after you have it, register for an account. Ideally, you'll join our team once you're up and running.

If you have a website, you should also link to the main Seti@Home page using any of the Seti@Home banners on this page or on the Seti@Home site. It's important to publicize Seti@Home as much as possible.

E-mail your friends, co-workers, relatives, or even random strangers! You can install Seti on multiple computers too -- home, work, etc. If you need a way to encourage people to join, the excellent post from usenet further down this page will certainly help make your case. If you haven't joined Seti@Home, shame on you!

Seti@Home uses part of your computer's processing power to process data from the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico as part of the SETI@Home project. The Seti@Home client downloads a small data packet to your computer -- your computer will spend many hours processing it in the background without interfering with your regular work. When it's done processing your data packet, the Seti@Home program will use your internet connection, return the processed unit, and get a new unit. There is never any cost to you. All of Seti@Home's computers, routers, connection time, and so forth are donated by companies and people around the world who believe in this global project. (Our team is designed as cross project, so you should be able to access it from any of your BOINC projects.)

Seti@Home will run on your computer(s) at home and work whether they be Mac, PC, any flavour of AIX, UNIX, LINUX, SOLARIS, BE/OS, etcetera. There are many versions available, so there is one for your machine. Depending on your computer, you can run Seti@Home as an application, a screen saver, or in text (command-line) mode. If you were running Seti@Home classic, you can transition to BOINC and take all your data with you.

Speaking of BOINC, "Team CMOT"! is now cross-project and not just exclusive to Seti@Home. If you want Team CMOT to be on your project and we're not already there, drop me an e-mail and I will gladly add it to your project too. If you run multiple projects with BOINC, then BAM is for you. It's free, manages your client and projects and resource allocations. It also can manage your memberships and teams including registering you easily. We're currently on: ABC@home, Climate Prediction, Einstein@Home, Leiden Classical, LHC@Home, Malaria Control, Rosetta@Home, SETI@Home, SIMAP, and World Community Grid.

It's pretty fun and often quite entertaining. Many of your friends are probably already involved. I encourage you to try even one unit just for the experience. And you'll get to be part of the largest shared computing project in the history of the planet Earth. Way Cool. Really.

Just click the appropriate link at the top of this page. Do not install this program on your work computers without the permission of your employer; or at least don't get caught. :)

PS: For those who ask, the background audio on this page is from the movie Contact which brought Seti to the attention of millions of people.

Thank You!
<Signed On the computer>
Eric A. Seiden


--- post from alt.sci.seti ---


Posted Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 21:44:33 GMT
Posted From: (posted with permission)
Posted Subject: The Success of Seti: Think along, if you will please ...

With over a million, and thousands joining forces every day, the Seti project has surpassed all expectations. Countries, clubs, organisations, individuals like you and me -- each of us feels involved in our own special and not-so-special ways in this endeavour. The more I think about this, the more I wonder what this huge effort signifies. After all, there are other distributed computing efforts: finding prime numbers, breaking encryption keys, etc. None is so successful, or has had the mass appeal that Seti has. Question: why? To get the thread going, I shall also shortly say why I think such a thread is important, here are some preliminary thoughts by way of answering the question.

  1. The first possible answer: the search for the exotic appeals to the Romantic in us. May be, but it is not satisfying. It does not explain why we allow our computers to keep crunching out the WUs even when we know (after the first few minutes) that this is not the famous signal.
  2. We do this because we would like to be in the top 100 (or the top ten) or whatever. While definitely true for some of us, it fails to elucidate why the majority participates at all. With one P-133 chugging along at the rate of 74 hours a WU, there is not much of a chance that one will be in the top hundred.
  3. It is the feeling that one is contributing to human knowledge, doing something worthwhile as it were. This is closer, I think, but not close enough. After all, discovering prime numbers is as much a contribution to knowledge as contributions go.
  4. There is a sense of wanting to help: the Seti project is not funded by the authorities and we would like to support it. Yes and no: if a fund-raising campaign was initiated, I do not believe that there would be such a massive participation.
  5. There is a certain sense of community among the Seti volunteers. Imagine that you bump into a stranger in a party and, quite by accident, you discover that s/he also has Seti at home. I am quite willing to bet that very soon you will be chatting away as old friends. It is almost as though each one of us feels that we are all involved, as indeed we are, as a community -- each pitching in according to her/his ability -- a feeling that we are involved in an enterprise that is morally worthy.

Why do we need to think about such issues?

Would there be such a massive participation if our computer time was needed to find a cure for cancer, AIDS, or a disease that kills a million children each year? I am tempted to say yes. There is nothing romantic in these kinds of searches. I believe that a very similar gut- level feeling makes us participate in the Seti project: we are contributing to human knowledge; the beneficiary is the human kind; and as such it is a morally worthy enterprise. While other considerations might play a role, they latch on to this vaguely felt but strongly present 'intuition'.

Hence the reason why I consider it worthwhile to reflect on the success of the Seti project, before some sociologist (or a media-specialist) ends up reducing this into a 'phenomenon' much like a successful film (or a fad). I think that people are making some kind of statement right now: the only problem is to figure out what we actually are saying. Do I make sense? Or am I sounding like a Martian?


--- post from alt.sci.seti ---

"They're made out of meat!"

©2002 by Terry Bisson as it was originally published in OMNI Magazine in 1991. This short-story was nominated for a Nebula, and it is reprinted here with the permission of Mr. Bisson -- please do not redistribute or reproduce this without his permission. Don't drink whilst reading it because you will have liquid coming out of your nose and he will not be responsible for the ensuing mess. (There are other altered versions of this floating round the Internet, but this is the unedited original written by the author.)


"They're made out of meat."


"Meat. They're made out of meat."


"There's no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They're completely meat."

"That's impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars."

"They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don't come from them. The signals come from machines."

"So who made the machines? That's who we want to contact."

"They made the machines. That's what I'm trying to tell you. Meat made the machines."

"That's ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You're asking me to believe in sentient meat."

"I'm not asking you, I'm telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they're made out of meat."

"Maybe they're like the Orfolei. You know, a carbon-based intelligence that goes through a meat stage."

"Nope. They're born meat and they die meat. We studied them for several of their life spans, which didn't take too long. Do you have any idea the life span of meat?"

"Spare me. Okay, maybe they're only part meat. You know, like the Weddilei. A meat head with an electron plasma brain inside."

"Nope. We thought of that, since they do have meat heads like the Weddilei. But I told you, we probed them. They're meat all the way through."

"No brain?"

"Oh, there is a brain all right. It's just that the brain is made out of meat!"

"So... what does the thinking?"

"You're not understanding, are you? The brain does the thinking. The meat."

"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"

"Omigod. You're serious then. They're made out of meat."

"Finally, Yes. They are indeed made out meat. And they've been trying to get in touch with us for almost a hundred of their years."

"So what does the meat have in mind?"

"First it wants to talk to us. Then I imagine it wants to explore the universe, contact other sentients, swap ideas and information. The usual."

"We're supposed to talk to meat?"

"That's the idea. That's the message they're sending out by radio. 'Hello. Anyone out there? Anyone home?' That sort of thing."

"They actually do talk, then. They use words, ideas, concepts?"

"Oh, yes. Except they do it with meat."

"I thought you just told me they used radio."

"They do, but what do you think is on the radio? Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

"Omigod. Singing meat. This is altogether too much. So what do you advise?"

"Officially or unofficially?"


"Officially, we are required to contact, welcome, and log in any and all sentient races or multibeings in the quadrant, without prejudice, fear, or favor. Unofficially, I advise that we erase the records and forget the whole thing."

"I was hoping you would say that."

"It seems harsh, but there is a limit. Do we really want to make contact with meat?"

"I agree one hundred percent. What's there to say?" `Hello, meat. How's it going?' But will this work? How many planets are we dealing with here?"

"Just one. They can travel to other planets in special meat containers, but they can't live on them. And being meat, they only travel through C space. Which limits them to the speed of light and makes the possibility of their ever making contact pretty slim. Infinitesimal, in fact."

"So we just pretend there's no one home in the universe."

"That's it."

"Cruel. But you said it yourself, who wants to meet meat? And the ones who have been aboard our vessels, the ones you have probed? You're sure they won't remember?"

"They'll be considered crackpots if they do. We went into their heads and smoothed out their meat so that we're just a dream to them."

"A dream to meat! How strangely appropriate, that we should be meat's dream."

"And we can mark this sector unoccupied."

"Good. Agreed, officially and unofficially. Case closed. Any others? Anyone interesting on that side of the galaxy?"

"Yes, a rather shy but sweet hydrogen core cluster intelligence in a class nine star in G445 zone. Was in contact two galactic rotations ago, wants to be friendly again."

"They always come around."

"And why not? Imagine how unbearably, how unutterably cold the universe would be if one were all alone."

SAH 10

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This page last updated 2 March 2010 and was created 25 June 2000.