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Why is SETI unsuccessful?
Further to the link posted on behalf of OA on Facebook, I would like to offer an idea; one that is an extension of a idea quite often mentioned.

Some have said that we ought to be looking for the signature of Dyson swarms, which would be a large object emitting roughly the same power level as (say) a Sunlike star but all in deep infrared.

My extension of this (maybe it's been said somewhere else, but I haven't seen it) is that we really are thinking too small. For example, AFAIK nobody has worked out the reason for the existence of spiral arms in many galaxies. Maybe they are a common type of engineering project?
Quote:AFAIK nobody has worked out the reason for the existence of spiral arms in many galaxies. Maybe they are a common type of engineering project?
That question was the heart of Greg Matloff's recent article at Centauri Dreams. He reckons it is possible that stars themselves are conscious, and move themselves by volition around the galaxy to produce the various location anomalies. This seems to be directly inspired by Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker.

Sentient structures might be too massive to recognise as such, or they might be too small (entire civilisations in a warp bubble) or they might be simply too weird.
I'm of the opinion that the odds of intelligent life are much steeper than Fermi thought.

The universe is too big for us to be *all* alone, but I'm putting even odds or better on us being the only ones in this galaxy.
The thing about SETI (and any other alien civ detector) is that it has finite resources. It can't look for everything so it has to prioritise things we know intelligent species produce that can be detected, like radio waves. Beyond that we could look for things that are reasonable speculation like matrioshkas.

Anything beyond that is anyone's guess. Dark matter could be some exotic matter intergalactic civilisation for all we know but how we'd determine that at the moment is unclear.

Also I agree with Bear. From an evolutionary perspective I have a hard time seeing how intelligent life (of our standard) would be common, there's little reason such life couldn't have evolved on Earth at any point within the last few hundred million years, but there's no evidence it did.
OA Wish list:
  1. DNI
  2. Internal medical system
  3. A dormbot, because domestic chores suck!
I tend to be more optimistic on this front - but think we are probably going to find out that we've been looking in the wrong way or for the wrong things, or otherwise missing the forest for the trees - probably in some fashion that will seem both amazing and obvious in retrospect when we finally learn what it is.

TYC 1220-91-1 is the best candidate for SETI. It is a solar twin older than the sun, and a few years ago a "WOW!" type signal was picked up at 21 cm/Pi 1420 MHz*Pi...a magic frequency.
It convinced me to run SETI@HOME on my Mac when I heard about it.
perhaps this is it:

probably it is just an unusual debris cloud but one can hope Wink

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