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Re: SETI public: An Alien language and Dolphins.

Richard Burke-Ward wrote:

> Albert, the signal would therefore be a question of on-off binary
> transmission, yes?


> What SETI assumes will happen is that the sender would
> use the characteristics of the message as part of the starting point.
> Frequency of transmission, say, might help define units of length..........

 In my Eskimo/New Yorker scenario of course, each has a
heartbeat etc and they both see the Sun/Moon sequences so they may use
these as a common reference to help them, so that's a bit of a cheat :-)

> Getting started is the easy bit, though. The tough bit is, what next? I
> have tried this bottom-up approach to creating a communication, and it is
> profoundly limited. The reason is that any 'language' created this way is
> essentially self-referential: .................

We may have a universe, with *many* ETI's then , whose sole knowledge
of each other is that they are there, and nothing more. What a frustrating

>  Receiver 'B' might recognise labels for the elements or mathematical
> notation or Planck's constant - but it would be impossible to discern a
> pattern which was based on moral values, social hierarchies, even
> biuological imperatives -

I never thought this would be possible anyway, my scenario not
even attempting to deal with moral values etc, which will only come if we
are ever in the position to 'shake hands with ETI'   Without some feedback
from an alien(two way communication),  all is *very* restricted.

>   The challenge is to find a form of representation -
> pictures, whatever - that can convey concrete meanings to give the word
> for 'tree' or 'diode'.
> And the trouble is, you can't.

So, even if the Eskimo/New Yorker *could be replaced* by two
powerfullPCs to speed things up, it would be a wasted effort.  It's so
annoying to find that finally, there is a problem which our PCs
cannot tackle(?).....some might say it's refreshing.  :-)

> Truly rich communication may only be possible face to face -

We can shake hands on that!

I shall use the Xmas recess to look at the web site of Marvin Minski
which Larry mentioned.  It seems that there is nothing new under
this winter Sun, and I am in danger of boringly going over things
already well covered by yourself and many others.

> Sorry about the extended lecture!

I am much the wiser for it :-)

> Season's best to you all.

and to you, and everyone.......