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SETI-OE?

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posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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Inspired by an exchange with Xtraeme, I humbly offer
Search for
Extra-Terrestrial
Intelligence-
On Earth

The purpose would be a research organization that uses standard scientific rigors to examine reports of signs of ETI on this planet (loosely defined, its brief could include the solar system.)

Thoughts?




posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
Inspired by an exchange with Xtraeme, I humbly offer
Search for
Extra-Terrestrial
Intelligence-
On Earth

The purpose would be a research organization that uses standard scientific rigors to examine reports of signs of ETI on this planet (loosely defined, its brief could include the solar system.)

Thoughts?


There's usually only one opportunity to get something like this right. I know many people that participated in SETI that eventually got frustrated with the software (or in some cases due to how intensive the CPU usage was it would crash hardware). These people don't return.

At the same time if the application doesn't provide some form of entertainment (ie/ the screen-saver mode for SETI) people aren't going to download it.

Also restricting it to a search for extraterrestrial intelligence assumes the application can, or should, only test one hypothesis. I envision it to be much broader. UFOs are such a bizarre phenomenon in the sense that the hypothesis set is massive. I don't rule out macro-scale quantum manifestations, something as bizarre as inter-dimensional clipping, perhaps evidence of quantum retrocausality, or strangest of all evidence of wholly or partially transcendent entities (intelligent or otherwise).

 

For people that weren't a part of the other conversation I think this provides a good high-level overview of the problem:

It's one thing to make a small tool that does automatic identification of airplanes, weather balloons, low magnitude planet / star identification, etc and also notifies other human beings in the area of the sighting.

It's another to hook it up so as it progresses through the on-device automated identification, it not only notifies humans, it distributes observational parameters to remote peripherals. Next would be the in-depth analysis step. With decent image processing software / audio decomposition / overlaying other data you could probably automate ~50-60% of the harder identifications. To decrease CPU load it would be best to break it up in to distributable tasks using BOINC. That still leaves ~40-50% that's manual. This also has to be distributed in an efficient manner. My best solution is mimicking Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

With a fully realized system identifications could probably happen within say 10-20 minutes. Anything outside of that would be a genuine unknown.

 

To copy and paste some of my ideas from this thread:


Originally posted by nablator
The most difficult problem in ufology is methodology. Applying the scientific method to ufology is very difficult. What is the best way to make progress, and not fall into the many traps that so many ufologists have fallen into?

- How to get uncontaminated data. Statistic analysis has failed due to 1. the huge number of sightings that cannot be confirmed or dismissed as hoaxes. Discriminating between the real unidentified, the misidentifications and delusions is nearly impossible. 2. the socio-psychologic aspect of UFO flaps.


You nailed the problem on the head. However I think this is solvable. Bluntly, the problem is the mechanism used to capture the report.

My current area of interest is computational and distributed tracking of UAPs using widely available technology (i.e./ GPS-enabled camera phones /w tilt-sensors). I'm currently developing a distributed mobile UFO detection, analysis, identification, and reporting platform for the iPhone that I later intend to port to the RIM BlackBerry Storm and Palm PRE.

The idea is simple, use the iPhone location services to notify other users within a certain radius of a persons UAP sighting to distribute the workload of recording numerous angles of photographic data and to rapidly deploy people with additional sensory equipment to the location.

Not only would this software package increase public awareness it maximizes the number of people recording data (more first-hand reports); decreases the lag between a sighting and the time it takes experts with equipment to analyze the event; and gives investigative reporters access to up-to-the-second sightings which may have the happy side-effect of a professional camera crew recording a UAP live, up-close and personal.

One thing I'd like the application to do is attempt to automatically identify various obvious UAPs. For instance if a person is observing the night sky and they see a bright object that isn't moving on the horizon I would want this application to use the accelerometer and the GPS device to determine heading (ie/ have the person walk in the direction of the object thus determining N-E-S-W orientation) and then using the tilt-sensor (oriented with the horizon transposed to the position of the object in the night-sky) to calculate azimuthal position.

With that kind of data I can quickly search a starmap database to quickly locate night-sky objects with a negative magnitude. Likewise I can query against meteorological databases to check for weather balloon releases to try and auto-rule out obvious explainable sightings.

I've tried to contact some of the bigger names in the field, with the hopes that I can get a little funding, so I can properly execute on the application.


- How to verify a hypothesis. Fortean phenomena are not subject to repeated testing.


This is another reason I like the idea of such an application. If I open-source it and use a platform-independent programming language it can be connected to any kind of sensory equipment. Thus as we start to formulate falsifiable hypotheses we can test them with all the devices deployed in the field using this software package.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 08:49 PM
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(continued)


Every instance is different, and could have a different cause.


I entirely agree with you. Not long back Nohup said something extremely insightful,


I like to imagine the above aliens meeting with our leaders and being shown photos of other UFOs, and them saying to us, "You got those things flying around, too? We don't have the foggiest notion what they are, either!


Which is to say while any unrealized UFO hypothesis exists there's the chance it might occur. Thus until all UFO hypotheses are proven or disproven (brute force exhaustion) they're still valuable to the greater understanding of what is to come.

This is why it's imperative there be some sort of tool to help eliminate easily identified objects. One of the reasons I participated in analyzing Michael's "Diamond shaped UFO" was to see how much could be deduced from degraded footage and to go through the steps to get a feel for how the process could be automated to come to a conclusion.


- How to stay objective in data interpretation, how to avoid ignoring or over-analyzing evidence? Confirmation bias is very common. Sooner or later, in desperation, most investigators develop a strong attachment to one hypothesis, making them blind to evidence pointing away from it.


Sadly this is a human failing. I think the only solution for human failing is replace the human with something that doesn't care about the outcome.

However there are steps that can be taken to limit personal investment.

For example it's beneficial to go through a list of all possibilities ruling them out one by one for every incident. When you explicitly enumerate the list it makes it harder for a logical person to ignore that they're artificially ruling out other legitimate possibilities.

To quote Dr. McDonald's notes from the '68 UFO Symposium case study,


Hynek has a very happy phrase for this very typical pattern of witness-response: he terms it "escalation of explanation" , to denote the often rapid succession of increasingly more involved attempts to account for and to assimilate what is passing before the witness' eyes, almost invariably starting with an everyday interpretation, _not_ with a spaceship hypothesis.


This process is required for every case. No if, and's, or buts about it! If this process is followed in the strictest manner possible it eliminates biased conclusions.

[edit on 13-4-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 08:54 PM
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Every report should be noted, recorded and cross-referenced. With a good database we might, just might, see a pattern. Without the records, no analysis can be done. We have to start SOMEWHERE. And having one database with all the reports available in it is a logical place to begin.

BTW, this is a free idea, I lay no claims to it of any kind. Anybody that wants to run with, have fun.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:02 PM
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Originally posted by Gawdzilla
BTW, this is a free idea, I lay no claims to it of any kind. Anybody that wants to run with, have fun.


Ditto. Frankly I would much prefer if a respected research institution conducted this project. If it's done in the private-domain for-profit, or even not-for-profit, there's a good chance certain aspects of the system won't satisfy astronomic / physics (optical / atmospheric) peer-reviewed criteria.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:05 PM
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Originally posted by Xtraeme

Originally posted by Gawdzilla
BTW, this is a free idea, I lay no claims to it of any kind. Anybody that wants to run with, have fun.


Ditto. Frankly I would much prefer if a respected research institution conducted this project. If it's done in the private-domain for-profit, or even not-for-profit, there's a good chance certain aspects of the system won't satisfy astronomic / physics (optical / atmospheric) peer-reviewed criteria.


You need a Seth Shostak to head it up. Maybe Michio Kaku would be interested.



posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 09:13 PM
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It would be amazing if say, a truck-driver was going down some dark, lonely road, in the middle of nowhere and he spots a UFO.

He would be able to report the sighting immediatly, and people could review it seconds later. Perhaps using some sort of gps or map system.

or add some sort of "alert", so people using the software, who live in a certain number of miles from the report. Can be notified and get the information in "real-time".

Maybe giving them a chance to grab a camera or whatever.

Obviously, taking direction and altitude into consideration, before "alerting" anyone in the specified range.

You can call it VUFORS, or Virtual Unidentified Flying Object Radar System™

I don't know, maybe i'm just rambling ..



[edit on 13-4-2009 by phrankie79]




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