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SETI public: Re: An Alien language and Dolphins.
I read the Minsky article Larry pointed us to (thanks, Larry).
Another good article on this subject is at
Now, to Albert's most recent points:
>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
It's possible, but I'd like to bet that there would be some overlap and
some rudimentary comprehension. In part, this is because I believe
ultimately ETI's will find ways to communicate more comprehensively.
Perhaps over millennia, a protocol for two-way radio communication will
evolve. Perhaps one ETI will send a probe with sufficient autonomous
intelligence to kick start conversation face to face, and hten report
those protocols back to the parent race. Perhaps there are ETI out there
who know how to encode their own consciousness, and a transmission could
be a conscious individual capable of 'running' on a specially made
computer when it arrives, and able to conduct a dialogue when it got here
(I'm writing a novel about that one - so the idea's *mine*!!!). The point
is that first discovery is the beginning of a potentially indefinite
relationship. It may just take time - LOTS of time.
In addition, there may be tricks to interspecies communication which we
are able to learn by going through this same sl;ow process with *many*
other ETI's. And there may exist ETI's who have already learned a great
deal through contavct with multiple other civilisations, who can do most
of the work for us. This last point is probably SETI's best hope - that
the other race does most of the hard work, because they are certain to be
ahead of us technolgoically and in terms of interstellar experience. The
SETI folks I spoke to said that even *given* that, a message might take
decades or centuries for us to decode.
>> Truly rich communication may only be possible face to face -
>We can shake hands on that!
Ah - but would we *really* understnad each ther, or might we just think
we do?! We might find that these emails have given us a false illusion of
comprehension that would disappear if we interacted directly....