A reader named Mike passed along the message below.
I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of this project before, but for those of you with access to a working computer (which I *think* is most of you…), you could help a great cause and support a team of atheists at the same time!
You might have heard of Stanford’s Folding@Home distributed computing project. It’s a massive network of computers running software that simulates the folding of proteins. Anyone can download the client to their computer, where it will sit in the background and use the extra cycles that would otherwise be wasted to help cure diseases. It won’t slow down your computer because it always runs with least priority, so it’s basically a donation that costs you nothing.
In addition to helping out humanity, users can join teams and compete against each other. Right now the highest ranking non-theist group, The Godless Ones, is on track to be overtaken by the highest-ranking Christian group, Nerds for Jesus. The deadline for our defeat keeps fluctuating between three and four weeks, but according to the Nerds for Jesus forum, their biggest contributor, Jesta, is about to add another computer lab full of computers to their team (he has access to a few of these labs, apparently). My team members and I have been petitioning forums and chat rooms, but so far have only managed to get about ten new folders, which has only slightly delayed our defeat.
We’d really appreciate it if you could direct some of your readers our way. Petty competition aside, it’s still a great way to help folks out without really doing anything. All anyone has to do is download, install, and run the client, enter team 34395, and use their computer like they always do. If they download the graphical version, it won’t run quite as fast, but they can use the simulation as a screensaver. If anyone owns a PS3, the software comes pre-installed, so all they need to do is enter our team number. If they really want to help, they can download the SMP beta client, but that’s only practical if they have a fairly new computer that’s left on most of the time. If you need any information, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, see the FAQ, or visit any of the forum posts above.
Thanks a lot