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SETI public: An Alien language and Dolphins.





Richard Burke-Ward wrote:

> There could be as many reasons for silence as there are species of ETI.
> . .....................snip..........

> If the silence could be entirely explained by a single factor, it would
> imply the intervention of some overarching principle. This could be built
> into the cosmos - say if there is a quantum paradox inherent in
> consciousness ..........................snip.........
>
> If the silence is to be explained by a single factor, could that factor
> be created by ETI themselves? Is there perhaps one species which achieved
> sentience and technological supremacy very early in the galaxy's
> evolution, and which has regulated the affairs of all other ETI's ever
> since? ...............snip......

seasonal greETIngs Richard,
As is usual with your writings, I find an eloquence and insight,
which I cannot match. :-(
I saw your program last evening on TV about the possible use of
Dolphins as a means of assisting in the understanding of an alien language,
together with the other, on how Earth may react to discovery of an ETI
signal. As they will be shown in USA soon, perhaps I could raise a topic,
altho' those in other countries may not see the films for themselves.

Studying Dolphins seemed a labourious and difficult task, as one has to be
in the sea etc with all the associated diving gear.   I noted that after 6
yrs
research, altho much progress has been made, (Dolphins using 15 various
whistles etc), no real understanding of the Dolphins' language has yet been
achieved.   Unlike an ETI who *wishes* to communicate, the Dolphins, as
was said,  may not be too motivated to 'chat' with us!

At one point a USA Seti scientist was shown using a PC to proove that
Dolphins do have a similar patten to their whistles as we humans
have in our speech. ( how the letter 'H' folows a 'T' more frequently
than an 'X' follows an 'A' in the English language etc.).

In making this program, Richard, I wonder if you came across anyone
using the computer to try and solve the alien language problem *without*
the use of any animals. PCs are now are becoming faster by the day with
memory and storage capacity increasing rapidly.  Their ability to make
music, to draw art and write poetry, is becoming very impressive.
So, if not now, then sometime soon, why not attempt to teach a PC
to emulate an alien language?  It would be much easier to do this in
the warmth of an office rather than problems faced with Dolphins at sea.

The problem I guess would be that as man has written the software etc,
then the language generated would be 'tainted'.
But a few generations of attemps by the PC may result in some very
interesting messages coming out for us to try and decode.  Come the day
when PCs think for themselves, we may be truly trying to fathom
what alien territory they are describing.
Has anything along this line of approach been done do you know by
Seti scientists?
Regarding the fictitious second program. I thought that somewhat
optimistic.
(signal detected/decoded picture of an alien machine/20 more signals
detected from other stars within a few years.)
albErT.