"The aliens are in touch. Whenever I use my computer, they underline certain strange words on the screen ... It's a message."
That's an email received by Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute, a scientific organization seeking evidence of life beyond Earth. I'm thrilled that Seth will be speaking at Boing Boing: Ingenuity, our live theatrical experience taking place in San Francisco on August 18! (You'll have another chance to win tickets tomorrow, Thursday 8/8!) The SETI Institute are the ones listening for a phone call from ET. Seth is a delightful happy mutant, keeping an open mind and sense of humor about what it means to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, in the hope of better understanding the origin of life in the universe and our place in it. The email above is just one example of the inquiries he responds to daily. Seth's humility, patience, and warmth, even when presented with the deeply strange, is inspiring to me.
"I try to answer every one of these mails and phone calls because, after all, it's not a violation of physics to travel from one star system to another," he writes in a new essay. "Difficult as it is, I resist the temptation to become so hardened in my skepticism that I erect a shield against considering possible new evidence… Indeed, an inflexible mind-set is one of the two principal arguments made by the UFO community to explain why mainstream scientists are doubtful of their claims: They lament that pointy-headed scientists just won't look at the evidence. So I take that as a caution."
Don't miss Seth's essay, including an FAQ "for those who would call or write with extraordinary claims."
"Contact With Aliens? Think Before You Call." (HuffPo)
Boing Boing: Ingenuity in partnership with Ford C-Max.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the mind-expanding modus operandi of the counterculture spread into the realm of science, and shit got wonderfully weird. Neurophysiologist John Lilly tried to talk with dolphins. Physicist Peter Phillips launched a parapsychology lab at Washington University. Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill became an evangelist for space colonies. Groovy Science: Knowledge, […]
In a lead editorial in the current Nature, John Wilbanks (formerly head of Science Commons, now “Chief Commons Officer” for Sage Bionetworks) and Eric Topol (professor of genomics at the Scripps Institute) decry the mass privatization of health data by tech startups, who’re using a combination of side-deals with health authorities/insurers and technological lockups to […]
The Wall Street Journal reports that storytellers—people with a natural inclination to craft concise yet compelling narratives without rambling—were found to be hot by science. Feels good to be a writa. The results were the same across all three studies: Women rated men who were good storytellers as more attractive and desirable as potential long-term […]
Having to pack and drag your stuff through security can put quite the damper on your vacation plans. Thankfully, we’ve got your back with one way to make traveling more painless: the Jumper Overnighter Travel Bag.This compact bag is so lightweight that you can effortlessly carry it, and fit it into any overhead compartment. But just […]
Learning is a 24/7/365 proposition, and it never ends. And if you’re truly serious about leveling up your skill sets and career prospects, get a subscription to Stone River Academy’s massive course collection. This offer normally is worth over $1,400, but is now available for just $89 in the Boing Boing Store.A respected name in information technology […]
Home audio has taken some big leaps forward in recent years–not just in terms of sound quality, but also in the style department. The FRESHeBAR Leather Soundbar, now 56% off in the Boing Boing Store, is proof.The FRESHeBAR comes packing almost all the options you’d ever need for a home sound system, including Bluetooth streaming capabilities.The unit’s 90 […]