98% of people have no interest in the projects

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John37309
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Message 23474 - Posted: 5 Mar 2009, 1:17:49 UTC
Last modified: 5 Mar 2009, 1:29:55 UTC

So.... a long time back, maybe a year ago, i had a guy on the phone, Billy was his name and he was interested in the idea of volunteering his computer for the SETI@home project.

Anyway i explained to Billy what the SETI@home project was about, how it worked and talked him through the process of installing BOINC on his computer and attaching to SETI@home.

Now this guy was very "Computer literate", he understood exactly how it worked and knew what the software was going to do with his computer. He had an excellent knowledge of computers.

So i talk him through it and he installs the software and attach's to SETI@home. I ask him a few confirmation questions to make sure its running and he confirms that, yes, everything is running fine!

Its Billy's following remarks that i have thought about many times since. It was short and sweet, he said;

[BILLY SAYS:]
Is that it? Is that all it does? What do i do next?


So i was was not expecting a response like that, i expected something like "wow" or "Cool, this is great" or even a plain "Very nice". But no, this guy was completely unimpressed by what he was looking at.

So i dragged it out a bit by showing him the screen saver and a few more tricks. I explained more about the science of SETI@home, he still was not very impressed. So we said our thank yous and ended the call.
******************

There are several ways to interpret this short story. Having thought about Billy's comments many times since, i believe that Billy falls into the category of 98% of all internet users today. I believe Billy had no interest in BOINC or in SETI@home. Billy joined my team, crunched for about 3 days and has never crunched since.

I believe that 98% of all internet users have no interest in any of the projects, SETI, WCG, Rosetta, any of them. They might be enthusiastic for very short periods of time when they hear about these projects for the first time. But in general, the vast majority could not care less about running a BOINC project of any kind on their PC.

Anyone any thoughts about this?

John.
| Irelandboinc.com | PaddysInSpace.com
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Profile Dr. C.E.T.I.
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Message 23675 - Posted: 14 Mar 2009, 9:53:56 UTC - in response to Message 23474.  



. . . maybe - heard it over a thousand times from the Classic Days 'till now - actually have met [in person]

most of the individuals i started with back in 2000 and had Originally chatted w/ on the SETI Social Club Boards

and right up until these days @ the SETI Boards . . . it's really quite 'enlightening' after meeting everyone in person . . .

and so rewarding - as well

< Johnnie - give a shout - GMail me and i'll give you my number - we should talk

i'm planning on goin' over to California [w/ my lady joanne] for a 'Document' shoot - referrin' to the Ten year anniversary @ Berkeley

- waitin' on the 'precise' dates - depending on certain individuals and it'll be a 'broadcast quality' - which i'll donate to SETI@home / BOINC / Berkeley . . .

there's a number of Individuals i've already set-up for Interviews - i would like to include you [meaning that it'd be important for you to be up there as well @ that time

- and it's sometime in May 2009 - btw ;)]

. . . anyhow - let's get this Project on the road ;)


. . . BOINC Help Links
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John37309
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Message 23696 - Posted: 15 Mar 2009, 19:33:26 UTC - in response to Message 23675.  

< Johnnie - give a shout - GMail me and i'll give you my number - we should talk

Email send Richard, thanks buddy!

John.
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Profile Daniel Michel
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Message 24902 - Posted: 16 May 2009, 23:37:26 UTC
Last modified: 16 May 2009, 23:39:18 UTC

If 98% of Internet users do not care...then you have to aim hard for the 2% that will care...It's a sifting process...Of those who try it...some will like it...some will even love it...You have message boards to build a community feeling...and that can act like glue to keep some crunching who might otherwise feel disconnected...Others may be satisfied and stay without ever using the message boards...If the projects do important work...and have a low downtime level...there will hopefully be enough people who continue what they started to replace the crunching power of those who leave...With the must faster crunching machines we have now it takes far fewer computers to do much more work...

I think of BOINC as a planetary brain that is always busy analyzing data.
I like the idea that people all over the world can help save this world and help discover new ones...That's why i BOINC.


"There's no such thing as normal people...Just abnormal people with delusions of grandeur"
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Profile mitrichr
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Message 25965 - Posted: 11 Jul 2009, 21:50:55 UTC

Can't worry about the ignorant. But, can try to involve people. I started running the screen savers on my work computer. I am crunching on 10 BOINC projects, and all of WCG. Well, the screen savers had people stopping at my desk asking questions. Of ten people in the office, I got three, persuaded them to join my team so I could watch them. All are still at it, over a year for one and two years for the other two. Not too shabby. With me, that's 40%.
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A. J. Smith

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Message 28765 - Posted: 14 Nov 2009, 21:11:15 UTC
Last modified: 14 Nov 2009, 21:11:54 UTC

I'm trying now to get a forum to start a BOINC team. Out of 853 members, only 2 have expressed interest so far. Geez!

Either they're just not interested, or some think it'll "mess up" their computer, or slow it down too much. Or maybe afraid it'll turn them into a Cyclops or something, I don't know.

Ignorance is Strength!
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Message 32577 - Posted: 4 May 2010, 10:08:52 UTC

Hrmm, some of this comes off in a pretty bad light...
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SekeRob

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Message 32579 - Posted: 4 May 2010, 10:34:52 UTC - in response to Message 32577.  
Last modified: 4 May 2010, 10:38:18 UTC

What part strikes you most badly lighted? Whilst some want a client that has about every bell and whistle they can think off, I'd rather have the developers to take a step back and truly work on a gold standard version of the client. Even thought of one that does not have anything in that relates to GPU, and drive for one that is set and forget.

No interest in the projects themselves?

How about FightAIDS@home recently announcing they've found 2 very promising compounds
How about Fight Childhood Cancer that has found 50 compounds in the first pass out of 3 million.
How about Discovering Dengue Drugs Together taking aim at 18 specific targets.
How about Help Fight Cancer and Help Conquer Cancer building databases of analyzed cancer tissue samples so that an very accurate on-line typing can be done within hours rather than weeks and that coupled to the best available treatment.

98% may not be interested, but the 2% that are and enrolled have collaborated to achieve this! Imagine if we could make that 4% and on top instead of have a 20% retention a 30% retention... those that keep crunching long haul.
Coelum Non Animum Mutant, Qui Trans Mare Currunt
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Message 32603 - Posted: 5 May 2010, 3:03:27 UTC - in response to Message 32579.  

I meant the "ignorance" comments. It seems to me to be a bit elitist/snobbish. If people are ignorant that doesn't mean they are willfully so.

I saw a few positive comments/approaches, but the negative/attacking comments are the ones that will stick with new users.
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Les Bayliss
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Message 32606 - Posted: 5 May 2010, 3:36:14 UTC - in response to Message 32603.  
Last modified: 5 May 2010, 3:36:44 UTC

Some/all of the words that you dislike may well just be due to cultural differences.

Not everyone is interested in computers, let alone distributed computing, just as not everyone is interested in mountain climbing, or hang gliding, or a variety of other pursuits.
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Message 32621 - Posted: 5 May 2010, 23:46:45 UTC - in response to Message 32606.  

I don't personally dislike any words, actually :)

I was just commenting that some of the thread gives a certain impression. It was merely an observation that I thought might be helpful in context...
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scarecrow

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Message 33121 - Posted: 29 May 2010, 18:30:58 UTC - in response to Message 32621.  

Not necessarily indicative of all projects... but here's SETI




(*Active means user or host has received credits in the past 30 days)

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Message 33122 - Posted: 29 May 2010, 21:29:55 UTC - in response to Message 33121.  

Those numbers for SETI are none too shabby. Here is what BOINC Stats shows today for all of the projects in BOINC Combined:





People come and people go. WCG is announcing the numbers of their new crunchers on their Facebook page. They are NOT announcing how many leave. They always talk in terms of total crunchers - ever - when they write about any sort of totals.

SETI also has a Facebook page. (So, too does BOINC.) But SETI does not announce numbers.

To the best of my knowledge, checking my nearly a dozen projects, no other projects have a Facebook page. LHC does have active bloggers and news writers for their RSS feeds.

I think that people can be inspired to join up. When something comes to my Facebook page from WCG, it goes to all of my "friends". BOINC has a Facebook page and I have done the same with it. While I have not done this yet with SETI, it is probably in my future.

Think about if you know any crunchers in your daily life, except of course, if you live in and work in an I/T culture where it might be the rule. My best friend and I got into it at the same time. We are each now above the 98th percentile of all time crunchers.My neighbor works at a Cancer institute which completed a WCG project. He crunches for SETI, but not for the two Cancer projects at WCG. Go figure. I started a team in my religious organization, Seven hundred families, I got two crunchers; also my next door neighbor, my boss, another employee, and some guy from actually three towns away who "wandered in" because the religious affiliation was in our team description. And, oh yes, some guy from another continent. We do not know where he came from.

I got a system tech who was visiting our company, I got three relatives during the grieving for a close relative.

There is all sorts of stuff to try, without being pushy. Like my daily exercize walks though town wearing a BOINC or WCG T shirt in warm weather, these past four summers, which has attracted squat. But, hey, I need to wear something.


http://sciencesprings.wordpress.com
http://facebook.com/sciencesprings

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David Madison

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Message 36307 - Posted: 1 Jan 2011, 17:38:31 UTC

People will not be interested in a Boinc project because they will not understand why it is important. Give them a reason. In late 2001 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)threatened to fire 17 employees for running Seti@Home on company computers. I wrote their inspector general this letter explaining why the program was so important:

Please rethink your decision to fire seventeen employees who used your computers to run the SETI program. Consider the following:

You may compare our world today to the then known world of September 20, 1519, when the greatest explorer the world has ever know, Ferdinand Magellan, sailed west in five leaky ships and 265 men from Lisbon, Portugal. Three years later one lone ship with 18 men returned from the east, sans Magellan himself who had died in the Philippines. However, he had already crossed between the 123rd and 124th line of East longitude where the Portuguese nine years earlier had arrived from the west. In doing so, he completely re-defined our entire known world. Together with Columbus, Magellan found and made available to the Old World all of North and South America as well as parts of the Far East.

What is the value of all the bank accounts, of all the property of every country in the Western Hemisphere, of all the people there and all their contributions to Mankind? It is incalculable. The scope of SETI is a hundred times greater. We are not going there in person, not yet, but we have found a way to see if there is someone else standing on a distant shore sending a message back to us. We do not have to risk our lives to make this discovery. We only have to donate our unused computer time. That minor cost vanishes in the glare of the potential discovery of a new planet around a new star that Man may take his children to. Where we find one such new world, we will find another, and yet another beyond it. Man will live in more than one location, so that no longer one catastrophic event has the capacity to silence him forever. The sentient beings we find there will challenge our beliefs like the Scopes Monkey Trial never thought possible. Race relations takes on new meaning, as would the inalienable rights spoken of in our constitution. Almost by definition, those we meet will have found a solution to a world at arms against itself. The common man chooses from an array of self actualized occupations never before thought of. Humanity gains entrance into an alliance of races where we contribute our creativity an ingenuity to a bigger everyone that we ever knew possible.

This is what SETI is about.

You stand as a guardian against mankind, preventing him from entering into these wondrous new worlds. Do not just stand aside. Verify to your own satisfaction, but quickly, the safety of the SETI system of distributed computing. Contact one of the SETI organizations such as The SETI League and ask them how you can help. Encourage participation in SETI@home by the employees of your organization. You have seventeen teachers; learn from them. At least some of them are visionaries like Magellan, and they will inspire the rest to contribute to the most significant project that the human race has ever attempted.

Be a part of the solution.

Seti@Hom probably will not succeed, but there is a small chance that it might. Because the consequences of success are so huge, it is important to continue even if you will probably not succeed. Give an explanation like this to those 98% and they might become part of the 2%.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who do not.
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Profile Joseph Stateson
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Message 38152 - Posted: 4 Jun 2011, 15:16:37 UTC
Last modified: 4 Jun 2011, 15:19:51 UTC

I am one of the 2% (but not a motorcycle 2%'er) and I check projects to see if they seem legit. If it looks like they are trying to crack a key to win a prize for the programmer (and not the end user) then I am not interested in working with them. I have some suspicions like when quantumfire closed down right after that PS3 key got cracked but I can't be sure they had anything to do with it ;-)

I quit processing WUs for climatechange when they got caught fudging the numbers (the "hide the decline" email crap). LHC is another bad one, they admitted the project would never provide real data for BOINC users as it was "too big" and "in fortran" and the amount of credit they provided was so small I thought it was because of a micro-blackhole they had implement in their code.

Anyway, I suspect that if you had provided Billy with a link to a Jodi Foster "Contact" screensaver he would have stuck around for SETI a while longer.

my 2c
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Message 38160 - Posted: 4 Jun 2011, 21:49:48 UTC - in response to Message 38152.  

I am one of the 2% (but not a motorcycle 2%'er) and I check projects to see if they seem legit. If it looks like they are trying to crack a key to win a prize for the programmer (and not the end user) then I am not interested in working with them. I have some suspicions like when quantumfire closed down right after that PS3 key got cracked but I can't be sure they had anything to do with it ;-)

I quit processing WUs for climatechange when they got caught fudging the numbers (the "hide the decline" email crap). LHC is another bad one, they admitted the project would never provide real data for BOINC users as it was "too big" and "in fortran" and the amount of credit they provided was so small I thought it was because of a micro-blackhole they had implement in their code.

Anyway, I suspect that if you had provided Billy with a link to a Jodi Foster "Contact" screensaver he would have stuck around for SETI a while longer.

my 2c


First, I run SETI@home on three of seven machines because I feel all of BOINC owes it to the grand daddy. I also donate regularly to the SETI Institute and follow them - along with all of BOINC and WCG - for my ScienceSprings blog.

That said, I think that anyone who runs SETI on public equipment w/o permission should have their head examined.

Second, I do read the science before I attach to a project. I do care about who I help.

http://sciencesprings.wordpress.com
http://facebook.com/sciencesprings

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