Profile: kinhull

Your personal background.
Sometimes I think we are alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we are not. In either case the idea is quite staggering. - Arthur C Clarke

I am from Hull (UK), and am the founder member of Team ACC - Arthur C Clarke Fans - join my group, please (I need help)

Here are my instructions on setting up BOINC and doing some science: BOINC mini-FAQ


The Galaxy Song

Whenever life get you down, Mrs. Brown
And things seem hard or tough
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft
And you feel that you've had quite enu-hu-hu-huuuuff

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour
That's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned
A sun that is the source of all our power
The sun and you and me, and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at 40,000 miles an hour
Of the galaxy we call the Milky Way

Our galaxy itself contains 100 billion stars
It's 100,000 light-years side-to-side
It bulges in the middle, 16,000 light-years thick
But out by us it's just 3000 light-years wide
We're 30,000 light-years from galactic central point
We go round every 200 million years
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whiz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure
How amazingly unlikely is your birth
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
Because there's bugger all down here on Earth


I pointed out to you the stars and moon, but all you saw was the tip of my finger.
- Sukuma saying, Tanzania

When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
- Clarkes First Law, from Profiles of the Future (1962)

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.
- Clarkes Second Law, from Profiles of the Future (1962)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
- Clarkes Third Law, from Profiles of the Future (1962)

For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.
- A Clarke Law?

All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest.
- from The City and the Stars (1956)

The fact that we have not yet found the slightest evidence for life - much less intelligence - beyond this Earth does not surprise or disappoint me in the least. Our technology must still be laughably primitive, we may be like jungle savages listening for the throbbing of tom-toms while the ether around them carries more words per second than they could utter in a lifetime.
- from Odyssey p390

HAL: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.
- from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

It is better to know the truth than to dabble in delusions.
- Where? (1973)
Your opinions about BOINC
Here are my instructions on setting up BOINC and doing some science: BOINC mini-FAQ

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1: I believe that life does exist elsewhere, whether they will be sentient or even intelligent is another matter altogether - life will be common but intelligence (as we might understand it) will be much less so. I believe that any intelligence that does exist right now (whatever that might mean given the enormous distances involved) will be either much more primitive or so far advanced that they will neither be looking for or trying to contact us, and if they do it will most probably by some other method. Any civilisation that may exist and be technologically comparable to us will most probably be too far away for any reasonable form of contact. Though I could be wrong (I hope so). The possible benefits of discovery, beyond the usual, just cannot be predicted. The dangers should be minimal, our psychology and their technology notwithstanding, solely because they will be so far away.

2: Until the day we can tap virtually limitless energy, there will be little point in sending a beacon except perhaps to a very few of the most promising locations (determining what is promising is another question altogether). All we need to send is hello and the location of the Sun.

3: I use BOINC to use up my idle CPU time (I paid enough for my computer to not want it to go completely to waste whilst I am not using it) and I believe Distributed Computing can be a powerful tool if used wisely.
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