So far, SETI (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) has been a total bust: a complete and utter waste of time and money. And that’s great!
As Robin Hanson pointed out in the mid 90’s: If they would ever encounter an extraterrestrial transmission, we would be (statistically and royally) screwed, considering that we could hear a civilization approximately on our own level of development, but there is nobody more advanced visiting us.
Space is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. Pondering this fact, in 1950 Enrico Fermi over lunch posed the now famous question concerning extraterrestrial life: “Where is everybody?” He was right: Considering the size and age of the universe we should be up to our eyeballs in aliens. Where the hell are they?