Here's an interesting (and light-hearted) 'GoogleTalk' given by SETI luminary Seth Shostak at Google HQ a couple of years ago: "When Will We Discover the Extraterrestrials?"
From the blurb:
The scientific hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence is now into its fifth decade, and we still haven't uncovered a confirmed peep from any cosmic company. Could this mean that finding aliens, even if they exist, is a project for the ages -- one that might take centuries or longer?
New technologies for use in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) suggest that, despite the continued dearth of signals from other societies, there is good reason to expect that success might not be far off -- that we might find evidence of sophisticated civilizations within a few decades.
Why this is so, what contact would tell us, and what such a discovery would mean, are the subject of this talk on the continuing efforts to establish our place in the universe of thinking beings.
For more on Shostak and SETI, check out his book Confessions of an Alien Hunter, and/or follow the previously posted links below.
Previously on TDG: