Forget SETI, come to folding

Discussion in 'Distributed Computing' started by j763, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    to all you SETI ppl...

    Forget SETI, it's pretty useless (the whole search for E.T. thing -- nice idea, but folding's actually useful)... Come to folding and help us get the MR team into the top 100... we're currently #117 and we need some help to get up there...
  2. macrumors regular

    I thought about doing folding but I have 1 major problem with it.

    We all donate our CPU time to help find a cure for cancer etc. This is a great cause BUT will this actually lower the price of cancer fighting drugs?

    Are we just being duped into doing the drug companies research for them and then charged exactly the same for treatments?

    Drug companies always claim that the R&D is what is so expensive and leads to the high price of drugs. I would be happy to donate my CPU to folding provided that the results from all the crunching would guarantee cheaper disease fighting treatments.

    Although Stanford is running the project as non-profit making and the results are in the public domain I can't see the drug companies cutting the costs of any drugs developed. Again they will just reap the rewards of our crunching charging just the same for treatments.

    This is fine if you can afford the treatments, however the vast majority of the world can't afford even basic healthcare.

    This is a distributed effort that is supposed to help all of humankind but I don't think it will. We may accumulate knowledge but not everyone will benefit, which I thought was idea behind the project.

    Also dismissing the SETI as not useful is just plain wrong. The discovery of other intelligent life in the universe would have a profound impact on humanity.
  3. macrumors 68000


    Do what I do! Run both!!
  4. macrumors 6502

    where do I get folding

    what is folding exactly? I have an iMac 800 so I could probably run folding or whatever and SETI at the same time.
  5. Moderator emeritus


    Re: where do I get folding

    Here's the URL for the folding site:


    Would you pay the same amount of money for a treatment and a cure?
    Who cares if the cost doesn't go down, if there is medecine that makes your illness go away completely? Besides consider taking treatment drugs for the rest of your life, or curing drugs for only months or a couple of years.:)
  6. macrumors 68000


    SETI is Sci Fi. Face the facts.

    Folding is on this Earth, and potentially helping people— now.

    We could use a few good members, even 1 WU helps us.
  7. macrumors regular

    Rower_CPU said
    The people who care are the people who have cancer, AIDS or whatever and can't afford treatment.

    Even if folding finds a cure for these diseases it doesn't mean people who need the cure/treatment can afford it.

    What good is it then? We have the cure, but sorry you don't have enough money.

    mc68k said
    I'm glad you are omnipotent, perhaps you will make your findings known to the scientific community.

    There is no proof any 'God' exists yet plenty of people have faith, perhaps you could clear this up for them as well.

    I have no problem with people doing folding, but dismissing SETI as a waste of time is just plain ignorant. Any endeavour to increase human knowledge in any form has merit in itself.
  8. macrumors 68000


    True, SETI's not a fruitless endeavour but has yet to produce any results. But it's not a waste of time. Sitting in front of the TV, etc. is wasting time. I guess it provided more entertainment with Contact than anything else.

    Well, scientifically, we have not had ANY concrete proof of life off this planet. That is the root of my skepticism. There is definitely more proof that God exists then E.T, but your right, they're both faith based.
  9. Moderator emeritus


    Let me get this straight. You're arguing that it's wrong to find a cure that costs the same as current treatments? That's pretty sad.

    If people can't afford treatments now, that's the fault of the drug companies and not the scientists that have developed the treatments and are developing cures.

    Besides, once a cure is found, don't you think that the costs of treatments will go down, since they will be seen as less desirable on the overall scheme of things?
  10. Moderator emeritus


    im just curious why you guys are connecting folding to cancer research.
  11. Moderator emeritus


    I never mentioned cancer.:)

    According to their science page ( ) they are working on Mad Cow disease and Alzheimers primarily...

    But my arguments of cure vs. treatment still stand.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    a few weeks ago, in another folding@home thread, I asked if there were a way to predict how many units a set of machines could do using SETI as a comparison. I churn out about 90 SETI units a week. Is there a way to extrapolate from that how many units I could expect to do for the folding effort?
    I got no response to that question last time, and that's why I didn't bother to pursue it.
  13. macrumors 68020


    I have 4 computers running SETI pretty much full time. I have my main machine (G4 933) rnning Folding as the screen saver which is probably run for 6 hours a day.

    I haven't noticed any drop off in hours per SETI unit since I began running Folding... it's really weird...
  14. macrumors 68040


    I churn out a SETI unit every 5 days or so, my prob is that I can't start it up in the morning and my mom always turns off the imac or puts it to sleep, so most of the time I have to start it manually. I have 4 though!
  15. macrumors 68000


    It's cool that us "nerds" can do something cool with our boxes that's beneficial on a larger scale. Maybe we're trying to do our part for the world in our own nerdy way. :)
  16. macrumors 68000

    Ensign Paris

    I would not leave Seti for Folding for one main reason, mostly because Seti is the original, but kind of because I don't see the point in changeing, the chances of finding ET is remote, very remote, the chances of finding a cure for MCD is probably just as unlikely.


  17. Moderator emeritus


    We're going to find a cure for diseases through folding looooooooooooong before we find ET.

    Don't derail our thread...besides, what are the chances of you guys getting into the top 100 SETI teams? You have 26566 units last I checked, and the 200th team has over 171,000.

    We can make more of a mark with Folding.:D
  18. macrumors 68020


    Anyone would think it is a competition...

    Ensign - I'm sure people used to say that about many other diseases we now have cures for...
  19. macrumors regular

    Rower_CPU said
    1) I'm not saying that a cure that costs the same as a treatment is bad thing. In fact this would be a great thing, but the proviso is - seeing as we would be doing the research the cure should be less expensive than if the drug company developed it on its own. I don't believe the drug companies would provide the cure cheaply or the cost of treatments would go down.

    Unfortunately the drug companies are out to make profit to appease their shareholders so why should they, from a profit making POV, charge less for either when they know there is still a market that has to purchase the cure/treatments?

    There are millions of people infected with HIV in Africa but you don't see the drugs companies reducing their prices and trying to re-coup costs through volume sales.

    2) Yes you are right the prohibitive cost of drugs is due to the drug companies and not the researchers. Finding a cure that the drugs companies charge lots for will not help the majority of people, just those that can afford it.

    Again statistically you are probably correct, but that doesn't make it SETI any less valid than folding.

    Just because you discover the way in which a protein folds does not lead to the conclusion that have a cure. It is by all means a first step to a better understanding of the disease.
  20. macrumors regular

    Congrats to Beej on completing 100 SETI WU's:D
  21. macrumors 6502a

    First of all, I think some of the drug companies' activities are disgusting. I also think that health care in the US is almost as disgusting (pay first, treatment second policy). I mean, HMO's have killed some people by refusing to pay for a transfer of various body parts. BUT is this a reason to not support medical research??? The capitalists will wake up one day...

    You may experience some illogical right-wing urges, desires to set up a totalitarian society and declare it "the world's greatest democracy", hallucinations of an "invisible hand" -- don't worry, they're only side effects. Take two pills and I'll see you in a couple of decades...
  22. Moderator emeritus


    This from the man who put "#1 ranked Aussie on the MacRumors SETI Team" in his sig.:rolleyes: :p

    We're at 109 right now people, keep up the good work!
  23. macrumors 6502a

    103 now... If everyone at MR just did 1 Folding WU, we'd be up a lot higher....
  24. macrumors 68000


    But that's how the system works. I mean, companies exist to make money--if they're not making money and growing, they're losing money and shrinking. From a larger perspective, drug companies HAVE to charge as high as they can in order to continue because THAT is the point of their existance.

    That may sound like a very bad thing, but it's not completely horrible; sure, drug companies charge exorbitant prices on their products, but they also use a large chunk of those profits to fund much needed R&D to develop new drugs for our use. Would it be much different if the government created extra taxes to fund government labs to do the same thing?

    The American healthcare system may not be perfect, but those higher prices do make for a system where overall medical treatment quality is better than in countries where healthcare is subsidized by the government. I mean, look at Canada. They have a subsidized healthcare system, but so it's plagued by overworked and understaffed doctors and other professionals that they've gone on strike a few times! Also, even though drug costs are high when they're introduced, the prices do fall eventually due to the introduction of generics.
  25. macrumors 6502a

    i personally think the chance of life out there is very very high... for reasons which im not very interested in going into right now.. however, you have to realize that if there were extra terrestrial beings out there sending out radio signals, how could it reach earth -- and plus we dont even send out radio signals that could be detected from someplace as close as even the sun! how, then, could we detect life out of our solar system? and why would some et's be sending out random radio signals far enough for us to hear?

    anyways... i do support the idea of et's but i dont support seti.. long live fah :p !

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