So someone thought this was real.
This reminds me of a similar experience I had. In 1999, I was excited to use my new computer’s amazing CPU (450 MHz!) to process SETI@Home data in the search for signals from intelligent life in space.
But before I get to the point, a little background: I truly believe life has arisen on other planets, and that some of that life achieved the ability to emit signals that we can receive. The biggest problem is separating a signal from all the noise the Universe produces.
That’s where the distributed computing of SETI@Home comes in. You run a program that downloads and processes chunks of data recorded from the huge parabolic radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico (which you may have seen in GoldenEye, Contact, or The X-Files). When each chunk of data is done being processed, your computer sends the results back.
Now, one of the coolest things about SETI@Home is that if your computer is the one that finds the first signal from an alien race, you will be named as a contributor to the discovery and be remembered forever as part of this singular, transformational event in the history of all of humanity.
Back in 1999, I was trying to convince a dumb-guy coworker to run SETI@Home on his new computer. When I got to the part about being named in the discovery of intelligent life, he said, “Oh yeah? How many people have done that?”
“How many people have done that?“
Like it happens all the time.
“How many people have done that?”
I’m pretty sure he thinks Star Trek is a documentary.
“HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DONE THAT?”