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Re: SETI public: An Alien language and Dolphins.

Richard Burke-Ward wrote:

> >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...
> Effectively this would have to be a form of digital evolution - multiple
> iterations, survival of the fittest iteration, etc. The biggest problem I
> foresee is that the iterations would still all be based on the same basic
> rules of communication, set by the programmers -

Hi Richard,
That's the  biggest problem to solve isn't it.  It's *man* talking to
*man*rather than *alien* to man.  So how to begin to get around this??

> ideally one would want a
> wya to evolve the rules as well, so that pictures becames unacceptable,
> say, and multi-layered hologrammatic communication became acceptable. All
> this would have to happen out ofd sight of the candidate decoders...

Let me fly another kite.......Imagine two men(or women!) living in
quite different environments.   For arguements sake, say an
Eskimo,(representing an alien 'A'), and  someone living in New York,
(who represents humans 'H')  'H'  has never seen the language of 'A'
and the 'A' knows nothing of English nor life in the West.

The New Yorker has lead a very sheltered life(!) and knows nothing
of the World outside(!) living so far away from the cold North in his
centrally heated appartment(!). Nor does he have access to a any
language library nor friends etc.
He is in a closed room, with only a radio.

Let us also suppose that 'A' is a specialist in something, not understood
by 'H'.  (Say he is a communication engineeer of some sort.)
Now 'A' wishes to inform 'H' about his specialised subject by using just a
radio transmitter.  'H' has a radio tuned to the frequency that 'A' is using.

('H' has already detected the alien signal !!)    'A' does not have a
microphone, so 'H' cannot hear the actual voice of 'A'   It would be
foolish of 'A' to start any transmission with technical details about his
subject, so what does he do?

Is this scenario slightly beginning to approach the problem we will have
with alien language do you think?    How does 'H' start to understand
anything of 'A's  specialised subject??   If experiments along these lines
were caried out, do you think that may help us to understand ETI, if and
when his signal is heard?
Perhaps SETI should have some linguistic specialists in its ranks??......