Richard Dawkins Foundation For Reason and Science
|Description||***IMPORTANT UPDATES: 8 MAR 2013: How to join the original/'real' RDFRS - Join RDFRS (the more members of team, the higher chances to be winning team by participating in a challenge to earn $1,000 (USD), $1000 for other team members, $6000 for charity causes, everyone wins as science progresses regardless of winner - Improving your contributions to science safely/How to use the latest 'ARM' (for new or older CPUs, as near equivalent to GPU to crunch w/your existing hosts, SMARTPHONES and other devices - NEW PROJECTS and SCIENCE sub-projects this month! - NEW members needed and welcomed! Upgrades - A new official site for our SPANISH speaking friends - you still need to join 'Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, but can now read about the latest news at RDFRS off-site at http://es.richarddawkins.net/Richard Dawkins Fundación para la Razón y la Ciencia-NEW-JOIN BOINCWIDE TEAM (area available for team discussion) http://boinc.berkeley.edu/teams/team_display.php?teamid=2458 THANK YOUs! *** |
Hello, and thanks for looking for and finding the original and official Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science team. Like our namesake, we are a team dedicated to the advancement of science and the application of the scientific method to study, analyze, understand, and perhaps affect the world and universe within which we live for the betterment of that world and the life/lives/minds of those who are its inhabitants. According to the official websites and the Facebook page, a brief mission statement is (of non-BOINC-affiliated projects, since the BOINC project and its software is, of course, 100% free and costs nothing but a user-defined set of what would otherwise be unused CPU cycles on your home/office/school computer): "to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering."
Almost certainly, if you have landed on this page, you've probably searched for and know the basics about Richard Dawkins as an individual and probably even BOINC as well, or perhaps 'God' has sent you here on a special personal mission to improve your understanding of science so that you can upgrade your logical thinking skills and your grasp of logic as it pertains to reality, so briefly:
We're certainly not a bunch of sycophantic hero-worshiping Dawkins-quoting automatons; not only do we think that Mr. Dawkins would find that to be quite disturbing, philosophically offensive, and counterintuitive, but we value ourselves as free and independent thinkers assembled from many different walks of life, and welcome reasonable debates and differences of opinion which remain respectful and topical, and despise derogatory, ad-hoc, and any other form of fundamentally flawed arguments with logical fallacies or circular reasoning at their core.
We're very appreciative of all our team members, whether new to the team or long-time members, and without regard to how much your computer host(s) is/are capable of contributing. Collectively, the computing power represented by our team is quite impressive, and that is due to each and every individual, so thank you to *all* of our existing members, and a very big welcome to all of our new members and those who may be considering joining us right now - we appreciate it, and we need you to make our team what it is, so bravo, and cheers!
Aside from a couple of major incidents regarding 'hacking' and other attacks on our team which have been mostly settled (aside from the aforementioned team-name games), we've got hundreds of members and counting, from almost every country on every continent (we're an international group where all members are welcome to join), and are rightly proud of our team's longevity, growth, amount of scientific work completed as evidenced by the broad range and scope of projects in which we participate, our ranking within those proects, and our ranking among the top teams by nearly every measure - not quite where we'd like to be in terms of most competitions, and have only recently cracked the top 90 teams in BOINC project-wide world rankings (even after one unfortunately successful hacking attempt destroyed not only 1-2millon plus credits more than a year ago which not only hurt our team but also individual BOINC projects as well as jeaopardizing the science and resulting, in some cases, in WUs being lost/possibly corrupted, resulting in them needing to be redone, thus impeding progress as well as causing temporary uncertainty with regards to the validity of those WUs). Rest assured that not only has BOINC, the individual projects which had been affected, and our own team corrected those errors, closed most loopholes, and put in redundancies such as multiple team admins per project and email notification of any suspicious attempts to sabotage or undermine our team's scientific work, so you can crunch your WUs in confidence - perhaps even more so on a team which is now more secure than many BOINC teams which may not have the same level of vigilance.
It is worth repeating that RDFRS is a team devoted to implementing the goal(s) of Richard Dawkins' charitable organizations by using the power of distributed computing to enhance the improvement of human life and reducing suffering in the world by focusing on science and the scientific method as being the best way we can advance those goals on many fronts - this happens regardless of the existence of distributed computing as embodied by BOINC or any other DC project or team, but as computing power has grown exponentially and with PCs (personal computers, whether they are 'PCs', Apple computers, Linux/UNIX machines, gaming consoles, cellular phones, and many other computing resources) having become a nearly ubiquitous equalizer as access to affordable and advanced technology, certainly in the 'developed' nations, and also 'less-developed' (sometimes called 'Third World', hopefully an increasingly irrelevant and anachronistic term to describe political entities) nations, and the 'average' person being able to not only access knowledge, educate themselves, and now owning devices with which they/we can now donate so easily to create an ever-growing resource of computing power that rivals the world's greatest supercomputers, that base of knowledge is now becoming a growing, circulating entity which now allows access to that computing power into which more and more researchers in every field of science can tap with the help of volunteers such as ourselves.
We are extremely proud of our team's diversity, geographical ubiquity (the sun never sets on the domain of our team - (pardon the tongue-in-cheek, sardonic humour), our inclusion of members from every permanently-populated continent on the world, our status as a team which stays cohesive despite the potentially volatile designation as 'Social/Political/Religious' - three topics with which we and our namesake are definitely strongly associated, our existence for about a decade during which we experienced 'organic' growth, with the joining of each team member, one-at-a-time over time with very little 'recruitment' (particularly in contrast to some of the top 'super-teams' which seem to spring up and grow exponentially within months and sometimes ascending the ranks quickly over even weeks in seemingly premeditated actions). While respecting every BOINC-members individual right to team up using whatever criteria suits them and their goals, our team is glad to have grown by attracting very science-oriented, cerebral, forthright, bright, and dynamic individuals who we value for more than just their 'credit'-worthiness; we are thrilled to include each and every volunteer 'cruncher' whether they run a single, decades-old host that contributes a couple of hundred 'cobblestones' every few days, or whether they are so-called (and deservedly so) 'super-crunchers' with the latest CUDA GPUs and modern multi-core CPU's as well as the most recently-exciting 'ARM'-enabled machines with previously-untapped and optimized CPU power (more on that later). That being said, we would like to increase our visibility and ability to attract and retain the interest of like-minded crunchers, because we are also proud to be a competitive team, having slowly elevated to our well-earned spot at the top of many 'stats' sites - currently in the top 100 BOINC-wide teams, in many cases ranked among the top 20-30 teams on any given project, and well within the top-50 'International' teams.
Not only does this represent our collective contribution as a team towards scientific progress on just about every single BOINC project in existence, all of them having worth, and all, to an extent, working on either projects/sub-projects which are having an immediate effect on improving life and quality of life, or working towards answering age-old questions and striving towards and even having achieved some breakthroughs that will have immediate relevance within most of our respective life-spans and areas of interest/study/work while also quenching our desire for competitive relevancy among other BOINC teams - not only bringing attention to Richard Dawkins, but our team's name - 'reason' and 'science' are not just some filler words in our nomme de plume (I believe that term is applicable in this context), but actual principles that we are proud to pursue and have collectively achieved and continue to achieve.
Again, while we're not opposed to teams and groups that get together based on their affinity for certain sports teams, processors, operating systems, projects, etc., and we obviously like to have fun and have our own distractions/hobbies as well (note the founder's name on most projects is StandardbredHorse - hmm, wonder what he may be enthusiastic about?!), knowing that we can contribute passively while pursuing our diverse interests, when we do crunch together in the context of BOINC/distributed computing and scientific projects, and engage each other as friends and team mates, we realize the potential to improve the world in a tangible way and try not to forget the gravity and unprecedented nature of this platform and some of its immediate predecessors, which used to be ridiculed for their emphasis on finding other intelligent life forms (a worthy cause for sure, but also used to marginalize BOINC and its contemporaries/predecessors as searching for 'ET' and 'little green men', belittling its groundbreaking potential). Some of the same volunteers are now highly sought after by Universities, independently-funded research projects, serious academicians, scientists in every field, and even some governmental entities (CPDN comes to mind, though most projects are not government-oriented, thankfully). That is why we repeatedly thank our team members and hopefully you will join more projects, take a few moments to ensure you're on our team in not just the first project you joined, but all of them (assuming that you haven't made a conscious choice to be on different teams in different projects), maybe take just a bit of time to mention our project in relevant discussions and do a bit of recruiting on your own, and help us further grow and maintain our relevance and share our team's philosophies and raison d'etre as well as your reasons for participating.
We realize that a long, sometimes pedantic introduction, and serious tone can 'turn off' some users, but for new users, not only can you get a better feel for the team, and know that you can pretty much be assured that should you want to reach out, you are bound to find kinship and perhaps even out-and-out friendship when you join a team that consists of individual members quickly approaching 1,000 (with hundreds of *active* members), so when you come to be playful, there are others who just want to have fun, play for stats and rank, and if you come for intelligent discussion on current events/issues, scientific discussion in nearly every field, an interest or worldview that may include atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, cynicism, etc., a shared interest in or curiosity about Richard Dawkins and some philosophical/social contemporaries (the UK's Stephen Fry and amazing Derren Brown, scientists such as Stephen Hawking, entertainers such as Henry Rollins, and a big 'insert your favorite here' to avoid committing the sin of exclusion), or pundits on politics and just about every other issue under the sun, this is probably a very good team for you, and we'd love to have your presence and see what you have to bring to the table, whether it's a more silent voice who supports solely through crunching, or a more vocal one, it's all welcome here.
We'd also love to maintain our hard-won status, so we hope to continue to 'evolve' and remain a dynamic and relevant team that will continue to advance and remain near the top of leader boards, and not only the visibility that brngs, but the appropriateness of our name, all the while crunching away and chipping bit by bit at the iceberg of knowledge and new discoveries for which we thirst. To join, hear a couple of other descriptions and stories, please read on, begin/continue participating, and start a discussion somewhere and invite some of your new teammates to participate - again, welcome and thank you!
To join the 'real' team, please ensure to either click the one with 'StandardbredHorse' as the name of the founder, whose participant profile will have a link to the official team at the upper right-hand corner of his stats page at your project, as a quick route to find a team at most sites (though at a few sites which deviate a bit because of coding issues, at SETI's site with which we had a bit of trouble, and at others which StandardbredHorse either purposefully transferred to a highly-trusted member or because he was thwarted by aforementioned issues) click 'join this team' at the link in the same spot on your personal page (particularly if you are an existing participant in a project who's looking to find a team with which to participate in a particular project's occasional stats challenge(s) or looking to connect with for whatever reason - a brief note here: some are unaware that although this is a BOINC-wide team, if you join on only one project, you will not automatically be part of the team on all the projects for which you crunch - we think it's totally OK to belong to multiple teams on different projects, but many seem to be unaware of this fact, so when you get a chance, if you'd like to join our team on all BOINC projects, I believe you will have to join at http://boinc.berkeley.edu/teams/team_display.php?teamid=2458 or just join on the page for individual projects when you get a chance; that will help clear up some confusion as well as bump your statistics within the team as well as bumping the team's overall stats, so there's a cool symbiosis there if that is your intent.
If you're brand new to BOINC or if you choose to add a new project for which you have not crunched before, the way that's advised is to join through your BOINC client - of course go to the 'tools' menu, select 'add project or account manager', follow the prompts, find your project's URL (again, not to complicate things, but not only on older clients but even the newest clients, not all projects - DistributedDataMining@home, Asteroids@home, Correlizer@Home, and probably one of the most major, MooWrapper@home, which I believe picked up where the popular DNETC@Home left off, are listed, so at the home pages of each of these sites, they give the URL to plug in instead of being pre-loaded on the menu (which has nothing to do with a project's authenticity or lack of any 'endorsement', it's just that there has been a lot of proliferation as BOINC continues to be run by new projects with DC/super-computing needs, so that's a small step, just make sure you copy/paste the correct URL into the 'add project' dialogue box, click 'next', and keep 'No, new user' selected as you select your username/surpassed at the new project; then, as you're redirected to a browser page that opens, verify/add your username at the project level, select your country and all of that, then search for a team;; the search term 'Dawkins' is usually sufficient to bring up our team (and almost always 1-3 'fake' teams, so select the one with a) the most members, b) the most credits/RAC c) the one that lnks to the correct wbstes, or 4) probably the easiest method, just click the one named exactly Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason ans Science, it'll bring you to the same page where it says 'Join this team', verify it, and you're good to go. Writing those instructions out probably took longer than it usually takes to actually join, so it's easy - we can pause here for you to join now... ... ... ...OK, you're back! :o)
A quick note about MooWrapper@home; I am *very* surprised at many members of our team not having found MooWrapper - I actually do think it's because most simply crunch for the sake of science and don't often visit the stats sites, and if interested in adding a new project tend to trust that it would be listed among the choices in your BOINC client, but after years, some of the projects *still* are not listed on that menu; so it pays to be diligent if your main project runs out of work, or if you get a new host/machine that is compatible with a new project, or you hear something that intrigues you and you get the itch to crunch for another project, but I know quite a few pay attention to stats, new projects, etc., so I don't know why I'm one of only a very (very) few RDFRS' members who crunches for that project, but I'll ask my fellow team members - will you take a look at this project, and consider joining, even if as a backup for you?
DistributedDataMining@home is another which occasionally crunches fascinating new projects that rotate in and out as some of their sub-projects take very little time to complete and be resubmitted for analysis to those who requested the computing time for their study, though they always do have work, are another example of a BOINC project which has been running for quite some time but does not appear in the menu of available projects in the BOINC menu despite having run stably for years now, and they also have long-running projects to have kept running for as long as I've been attached to he project, though they are also an example of a project that doesn't advertise themselves very well, nor do they appear on the BOINC client menu of available projects. Their project's mission is complicated to explain even for a native English speaker (which, although the page is in English, I am not sure the project manager's native tongue is English, although he does speak very well), but they have actually dedicated sub-projects by request for what I think are *fascinating* studies - the DDM project is officially about the study of networks - anything from physical networks to social networks and memes, which sounds rather dull at first glance - but two completed studies which were published and caught my eye were one about how Enron routed electricity ('hydro' for W. Canadians, 'power' for others, but 'Enron' should have meaning to all dialects) during the 'rolling blackouts' era that residents of the U.S. state of California at the time remember all too clearly - especially after the scandal hit the news regarding how the company may have manipulated the networks in order to create an artificial shortage in order to allegedly treat what is traditionally seen as a basic public work that through deregulation became at least partially privatized, and thus power traded like a commodity and moved from places which may have excess to places that have a shortage of supply and high demand, resulting in price fluctuation that led to an environment that invited abuse, newsworthy at the time particularly because a Mr. Kenneth Lay who was then-Pres. Bush's close friend, and a whole swirl of news and allegations lasted for quite a while before 9/11 and the ongoing wars, 'PATRIOT" debates, etc. blew that out of the news quickly; another DDM sub-project used Last.fm, a social network in which I happen to participate, to study relationships between listeners, genres of music, music 'tags', listening trends, charts, etc., for certain time periods. Projects still running are for medical data, and analysis of how the stock market may be manipulated - things with which the SEC, the general public, and anyone with retirement funds at stake - think about 'Black Friday', 9/11, the tech bubble, housing, mortgages, derivatives, bailouts, and more all the way up to the present day - may be interested and upon whom such things could have immediate and possibly devastating impacts on retirement/Social Security benefits in the USA for young people as well as those nearing retirement and I'm really glad to help contribute to a study which could reveal stunning and newsworthy items at any time but unfortunately, the project description about the study of 'networking' just sounds so unexciting and dry; I believe I heard that DDM's computing power has been tapped for upcoming projects regarding Facebook connections and how they are relevant to something - I'm sure once the project completes, we'll find out what the study was about; I tell this story not to plug that particular project, but to illustrate and strengthen the point that BOINC is still about the long-term and the plausible but as-yet impossible, but has evolved to the point where it is becoming relevant to not just solving hypotheses and 'maybes' and 'infinities' and things which may take decades to reveal, but is now accomodating social sciences and issues so relevant that they could be 'ripped from today's headlines', as they say. Apologies in advance to anyone who feels the 'team description' is a bully pulpit of sorts, but I think it's only exemplary of where BOINC is in 2013, and why RDFRS is a good team to join. For reference purposes, DDM's participation URL (unlisted in the BOINC clients but definitely a BOINC project) is: http://www.distributeddatamining.org/DistributedDataMining. and of course their main page where they link to some studies is just www.distributeddatamining.org.
With that blatant but important digression now over, we'll resume discussion of the GPU project MooWrapper again, and why RDFRS members may be interested:
It's got a cute-sy name, so maybe that's part to do with it, but maybe someone could give me either good reasons or warnings why I shouldn't run it. Contact StandardbredHorse if there is any reason the project shouldn't be treated just as any other BOINC project; we could reconsider as a team.
OK, to continue, sum up, and hopefully finish what's now become a book (ripe for editing, I might add):
-Please ensure the team joined is named exactly Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (see stats boards, cross-project info, etc. and note - we are unaffiliated w/Richarddawkins dot org - please find us at team-posted websites, the www.richarddawkins.net and the UK site
(please also note that the official RD UK site includes the word *foundation* in the URL, and the copycat teams use the RD names but hyperlink to the fundamentalist anti-science redirect link misusing Dawkins' name, and basically cyber-squatted the more logical/simpler URL and uses the word 'The' in the names of the fake teams at different BOINC projects, which does make sense if there were no consequences for slight name variations, but the hackers use these exploits to confuse both BOINC members wishing to join the genuine team as well as those searching for Dawkins-related information via search engines by putting up a site which uses his name but has no content aside from an immediate auto-redirect command, akin to what many malware, spyware, adware, and other programs or hacked sites do to use legitimate-sounding names to perpetrate various nefarious scams, vandalism, fraud, libel, and other nasty things that our team and all BOINC members don't want to deal with.
The point is, if you're wanting to join our crew, please ignore teams with 'The', 'Original', or anything except 'Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science' as-is; yes, our official banners sometimes do show a small ''The', but if you join one of those teams, your credits will either be counted towards the philosophical opposite, or even worse, be wasted completely as in the first major hack on our team where we lost tens of millions of irretrievable credits and other projects had to roll back databases and even re-do some WUs, thus actively impeding BOINC progress - so a few seconds of double-checking can save a potential nightmare later...anyway, moving on back to constructive topics more relevant to science)
In summary and to emphasize one last time to both existing, new, and potential members,WE need YOU! More than you need us, we're sure. We'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about BOINC, the team, the site(s), stats, any projects, how to 'crunch' on your mobile phone, or whatever's on your mind - you picked the right place to land!
Using BOINC/distributed computing is an amazing tool which continues to evolve with the addition of many new users, projects, sub-projects, using donated CPU, GPU, and in some cases, even new platforms that can accommodate devices such as game consoles and now nearly every brand of modern cell/mobile devices/'smartphones'.
As of March 2013, a few projects have experienced explosive growth by integrating previously-unused devices to successfully increase their collective computing power. Most require no special knowledge, programming skills, or overall computer literacy, as they are integrated into updated automatically by the projects via the BOINC client. To learn which projects can utilise your mobile phone, or to learn how to quickly install the non-obtrusive software should you wish to participate, you can visit sites of well-known projects such as PrimeGrid@Home, MilkyWay@Home, Yoyo@Home, WUProp@home (which is also a 'NCI' or 'non-CPU-intensive' project, meaning it can run concurrently with other projects without the need to share resources aside from a minute portion of CPU cycles on occasion during the WU's progress- therefore, a dual-core computer can normally run 2 projects, plus a GPU if your machine is capable, as Intel and ATI have had this capability built in for quite a few years now. Therefore, for an NCI project such WUProp or FreeHal@Home, which actually was the pioneer project to successfully utilise NCI WUs, a dual-core CPU can run *three* projects *plus* a GPU project, a quad-core cam run *five* projects plus a GPU project, and so on. This is another project which I am surprised that more RDFRS' team members are not running. I'll include the URL again here so you can make your own choice, but again, I've been running this program for quite a while, it now is the only project which is non-CPU-intensive, but also capable of running on smartphones using the ARM technology, and the same capability applies there - very low-to-no CPU usage, is an official BOINC project, credit can be earned concurrently while running other projects and taking up any of your CPUs or their resources, etc. Please consider joining this project to add another hundred or so credits per day per host. Here is the URL to put in the 'add new project' dialog box's 'join' field (and as in previous projects, this is also the project's front page): http://wuprop.boinc-af.org/
While some projects are still evaluating whether utilising GPU power is pragmatic or relevant to their specific project's goals and/or continuing to 'crunch' traditionally as that technology improves, others have chosen to pursue technology which is decades-old, tried and true, open-source, but only recently integrated with BOINC technology to yield the *new*, yet perhaps more immediately inclusive CPU platform in terms of the number and diversity of new and already-participating volunteers/machines/hosts/devices with idle CPU cycles that were previously not thought of as donate-able to BOINC which is now enabled and beginning to be implemented on a few projects: it is known as 'ARM' and implemented under various names at some projects (i.e., 'ALX' at OProject@home), but now tested independently and enabled at some 'major' projects (in terms of popularity), and tailored specifically for a user's operating system by making the WUs manageable, automatically optimized (translating to more work/science being done in short periods of time, which is of course reflected in credits/'cobblestones', meaning that those for whom GPUs were out of reach can now earn many credits at several projects and 'equalize' their machine(s) by allowing CPUs to complete science WUs at paces nearly akin to machines that are GPU-enabled).
To learn how to use your smartphone or other devices, simply type 'ARM BOINC projects' into your favourite search engine, and the top 1-2 results will usually explain all you need - and *much* more, in most cases, for those who like to read - to get started; you can also read forum threads at your favourite project(s), or...if you choose to join RDFRS, StandardbredHorse has volunteered to handle questions from any new or existing team members. Given the goals of RDFRS and the cooperative nature of BOINC with science at its core, he will likely handle inquiries regardless of your team affiliation, if you agree to do as much research as you can prior to contacting him, and if you agree - especially if you have a large team - to help spread the knowledge among yourselves via email or stickies on your forum if your team has one.
A good starting point for research is http://www.cs.umd.edu/class/fall2001/cmsc411/proj01/arm/home.html
Lastly, from the 'official' discussion board at boinc.berkeley.edu, here's a link to Page 3 of a thread discussing the ARM-phenomenon from a somewhat SETI-centric perspective, but which is informative for general info as well (read the entire thread to ensure you're up-to-date on the latest ARM news):
The reason this information is being shared with everyone is because it can be checked, updated, and edited (via suggestion) by the BOINC-wide community in an open-source sort of way (eventually perhaps to a more appropriate venue at a centralized discussion thread vs. our team's description), and also because it adheres to principles expressed on RDFRS' website and to the cooperative attitude of our members; the entire mission statements would be of ridiculous length to re-post in this space, but to quote pertinent parts:
*to current members: Speaking for almost thousands of group members and several hundred 'active' regulars is pleasantly surprising given the size/diversity of the team in 2013, yet surprisingly difficult.
Like many of the other RDFRS members I have met throughout my years on the team, and via inquiries from new joiners & ensuing conversations re: RD in general and all the hack attempts by zealots here and which team to join, how stats are compiled from those new to BOINC but not new to philosophical discussion, I like to consider myself fairly intelligent, usually a good writer, and though brevity's never been my strong point, I can usually cover a topic without repeating by following some sort of outline, even subconsciously. Though I'm grateful to have a few collaborators remind me to include things and to help proofread, it's hard for this not to sound like an 'orange alert'; I want people to join the team and feel good about crunching for science and to honor RD in a way.
I'm leaving this open to editing suggestions and comments, private and public, here for the time being because I've had troubles setting up a global team, and I keep discovering new steps so there are *zero* followers of the BOINC-wide team, from any project, at least until we get some update.
The original team dedicated to the advancement of science, the science-oriented, articulate, and someone who lectures, teaches, debates, and brings attention to many different studies which can and will help the world via rapid technological and scientific advancement: Richard Dawkins.
Another official site, brand new as of March 2013, for our Spanish-speaking friends - remember, here at BOINC you must still join 'Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science', but on the web, the latest news about the official Foundation is available for those international members who prefer their latest news in the Spanish language: Richard Dawkins Fundación para la Razón y la Ciencia You're in the right place now - have a look around; you're now among friends! :o)
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