full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Seth Shostak: ET is (probably) out there -- get ready

Unscramble the Blue Letters

We still haven't heard anything. We still haven't heard anything. In fact, we don't know about any life beyond Earth, but I'm going to suggest to you that that's going to change rather soon, and part of the reason, in fact, the majority of the reason why I think that's going to change is that the equipment's getting better. This is the Allen tpcseleoe Array, about 350 miles from whatever seat you're in right now. This is something that we're using today to search for E.T., and the electronics have gotten very much better too. This is Frank Drake's electronics in 1960. This is the Allen Telescope Array etcielrcnos toady. Some pundit with too much time on his hands has ronecekd that the new experiments are approximately 100 trillion times better than they were in 1960, 100 tirlioln teims better. That's a degree of an improvement that would look good on your report card, okay? But something that's not appreciated by the public is, in fact, that the experiment cueotnnis to get better, and, consequently, tends to get faster. This is a little plot, and every time you show a plot, you lose 10 percent of the audience. I have 12 of these. (Laughter) But what I plotted here is just some mertic that shows how fast we're searching. In other wrods, we're looking for a neldee in a hacaystk. We know how big the haystack is. It's the galaxy. But we're going through the haystack no longer with a teaspoon but with a skip loader, because of this increase in speed. In fact, those of you who are still coinocuss and mathematically competent, will note that this is a semi-log plot. In other words, the rate of increase is exponential. It's exponentially improving. Now, exponential is an overworked word. You hear it on the media all the time. They don't really know what eitxpenanol means, but this is exponential. In fact, it's duboinlg every 18 months, and, of course, every card-carrying member of the digerati knows that that's Moore's Law.

Open Cloze

We still haven't heard anything. We still haven't heard anything. In fact, we don't know about any life beyond Earth, but I'm going to suggest to you that that's going to change rather soon, and part of the reason, in fact, the majority of the reason why I think that's going to change is that the equipment's getting better. This is the Allen _________ Array, about 350 miles from whatever seat you're in right now. This is something that we're using today to search for E.T., and the electronics have gotten very much better too. This is Frank Drake's electronics in 1960. This is the Allen Telescope Array ___________ _____. Some pundit with too much time on his hands has ________ that the new experiments are approximately 100 trillion times better than they were in 1960, 100 ________ _____ better. That's a degree of an improvement that would look good on your report card, okay? But something that's not appreciated by the public is, in fact, that the experiment _________ to get better, and, consequently, tends to get faster. This is a little plot, and every time you show a plot, you lose 10 percent of the audience. I have 12 of these. (Laughter) But what I plotted here is just some ______ that shows how fast we're searching. In other _____, we're looking for a ______ in a ________. We know how big the haystack is. It's the galaxy. But we're going through the haystack no longer with a teaspoon but with a skip loader, because of this increase in speed. In fact, those of you who are still _________ and mathematically competent, will note that this is a semi-log plot. In other words, the rate of increase is exponential. It's exponentially improving. Now, exponential is an overworked word. You hear it on the media all the time. They don't really know what ___________ means, but this is exponential. In fact, it's ________ every 18 months, and, of course, every card-carrying member of the digerati knows that that's Moore's Law.

Solution

  1. haystack
  2. times
  3. doubling
  4. today
  5. trillion
  6. metric
  7. reckoned
  8. electronics
  9. words
  10. conscious
  11. needle
  12. continues
  13. telescope
  14. exponential

Original Text

We still haven't heard anything. We still haven't heard anything. In fact, we don't know about any life beyond Earth, but I'm going to suggest to you that that's going to change rather soon, and part of the reason, in fact, the majority of the reason why I think that's going to change is that the equipment's getting better. This is the Allen Telescope Array, about 350 miles from whatever seat you're in right now. This is something that we're using today to search for E.T., and the electronics have gotten very much better too. This is Frank Drake's electronics in 1960. This is the Allen Telescope Array electronics today. Some pundit with too much time on his hands has reckoned that the new experiments are approximately 100 trillion times better than they were in 1960, 100 trillion times better. That's a degree of an improvement that would look good on your report card, okay? But something that's not appreciated by the public is, in fact, that the experiment continues to get better, and, consequently, tends to get faster. This is a little plot, and every time you show a plot, you lose 10 percent of the audience. I have 12 of these. (Laughter) But what I plotted here is just some metric that shows how fast we're searching. In other words, we're looking for a needle in a haystack. We know how big the haystack is. It's the galaxy. But we're going through the haystack no longer with a teaspoon but with a skip loader, because of this increase in speed. In fact, those of you who are still conscious and mathematically competent, will note that this is a semi-log plot. In other words, the rate of increase is exponential. It's exponentially improving. Now, exponential is an overworked word. You hear it on the media all the time. They don't really know what exponential means, but this is exponential. In fact, it's doubling every 18 months, and, of course, every card-carrying member of the digerati knows that that's Moore's Law.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
million star 3
real estate 3
give talks 3
seti institute 2
extraterrestrial intelligence 2
allen telescope 2
trillion times 2
dozen years 2
people interested 2
higgs boson 2
swiss francs 2
big teeth 2
sixth grade 2
big effect 2

Important Words

  1. allen
  2. appreciated
  3. approximately
  4. array
  5. audience
  6. big
  7. card
  8. change
  9. competent
  10. conscious
  11. continues
  12. degree
  13. digerati
  14. doubling
  15. earth
  16. electronics
  17. experiment
  18. experiments
  19. exponential
  20. exponentially
  21. fact
  22. fast
  23. faster
  24. frank
  25. galaxy
  26. good
  27. hands
  28. haystack
  29. hear
  30. heard
  31. improvement
  32. improving
  33. increase
  34. laughter
  35. law
  36. life
  37. loader
  38. longer
  39. lose
  40. majority
  41. mathematically
  42. means
  43. media
  44. member
  45. metric
  46. miles
  47. months
  48. needle
  49. note
  50. overworked
  51. part
  52. percent
  53. plot
  54. plotted
  55. public
  56. pundit
  57. rate
  58. reason
  59. reckoned
  60. report
  61. search
  62. searching
  63. seat
  64. show
  65. shows
  66. skip
  67. speed
  68. suggest
  69. teaspoon
  70. telescope
  71. time
  72. times
  73. today
  74. trillion
  75. word
  76. words