Joshua Taylor's Reviews > Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Confessions of an Alien Hunter by Seth Shostak
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's review
Jan 09, 2010

really liked it
Read in January, 2010

Considering that the SETI program has had no successes and only occasional 'near misses,' it might seem that there's not much material for a book. Shostak demonstrates in Confessions that this is markedly not the case, providing not brief but interesting snippets of history about the SETI program itself but also a wealth of information on the how and the why of the SETI program, with plenty of speculation on the nature and motives of alien life thrown in for a dash of spice.

I ended up disagreeing with Shostak on only one thing -- his premise that humanity will be subverted by Artificial Intelligence in roughly a century or so, and that this is virtually certain to happen in any technologically advanced society. I find it hard to believe the universe is in fact filled with Transformers rather than flesh and blood aliens.

Regardless of this quibbling point, the book was a quick and enjoyable read that covered a lot of ground. I'm hoping Shostak is right that by 2030 there will be a successful 'hit' on an intelligent civilization!

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Reading Progress

12/27/2009 page 59

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