Monday, March 7, 2011

Communication and other myths

Wired reports that more efforts are under way to communicate with dolphins, but as a tool to better understand inter-species communications challenges, with a special focus on extra terrestrials.

Before we hope to understand extraterrestrials, then, perhaps we should practice with smart animals right here on Earth. Astronomer Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute was struck by this thought at a recent conference.

“From the way the presenter was speaking, I thought he was going to announce that he had found a signal of extraterrestrial intelligence,” Doyle said. “We’ve been waiting for this for years, but I thought, ‘We’re not ready!’  We can’t even speak to the intelligent animals on Earth.”

But then again, necessity IS the mother of invention. When the time comes, who knows what we’ll hear. Or if they will want to tell us.
Remember the Subanthropic Principle?

On a related note, on Wired again, scientists are taking a second look at SETI and the assorted messages we as a species have tried to send over the years. It seems that we have been sending crap out there. Crap that no earth person would make sense of, besides the team that devised it:

The next four messages — the Cosmic Calls of 1999 and 2003, theTeen Age Message of 2001 and “A Message From Earth” in 2008 — were sent from a radio telescope in Evpatoria, Ukraine.

Those broadcasts went to more-local stars, between 20 and 69 light-years from Earth, where we could hope to hear back from anyone listening in. But they included recordings of classical music and photographs and drawings submitted by the public — information of sentimental value to Earthlings, but gibberish to aliens who might not even have eyes or ears.

Well, if they have no eyes and no ears… I don’t know where to start here. They mean if they are vegetables or communicate through neutrino bursts in Hyperspace? Well, then I simply don’t see the point, but, more importantly, no one will. An ultra intelligent multi-dimensional turtle from Alpha Centauri will probably be served as an exotic delicacy in Lunar restaurants before the Millennium is over.

I mean we know Dolphins are intelligent. Does anyone care?

I think it is more that the messages that we have to rethink here, but we are not paying attention.

Subanthropic indeed..

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