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Thread: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

  1. #1
    Chukchi Salmon
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    Question Close Encounters of the Third Kind

    Suppose you faced an alien (extraterrestrial, not gaijin) for the first time in human history.
    What would be your first attempt at trying to establish communication with this alien being ?
    What would you try to do/say ?
    How would you go about it ?
    What would be the first things to go thru your mind ?

    Some of you may recall the 1977 Steven Spielberg film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
    Another review.
    Yet another review. (Beware of ugly pop-ups, but the excellent review is worth the trouble.)
    Some of you may even know that the MS standard greeting tune on boot up is a fast version of the human-to-alien communication tones played backwards.
    But that was fictional. How about in reality ?

    On a more serious note; if the alien were to speak an audible language, what would you find common with human languages ?
    Naom Chomsky had suggested genetically built-in, innate linguistic predisposition for all human beings which allow infants (and youths) to pick up languages with relative ease. Human languages share certain features due to the common evolutionaly path and the common physical make up that makes us distinctly human. Of these characteristics, which ones do you think the aliens might share with us humans ?

    note: I you who are reading this post is an alien, your response is also quite welcome, actually most welcome ! This is an open forum, and we do not discriminate against non-earth based, non-galaxy based beings so long as you comply with our forum rules and guidelines to bahave like civilized, considerate, non-violent, friendly beings !
    Last edited by lexico; 07-03-05 at 18:48.
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

    --Zhuangzi

  2. #2
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    I can remember seeing something I couldn't expalin when I was about 10. Just slightly off topic, in the book Space by Stephen Baxter he uses the term Gaijin to refer to the first aliens that they discover. You might even try to read his other book Exultant. Both books might interset you on the subject of life in exotic locations, as in black holes.

  3. #3
    Chukchi Salmon
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    What are the Universal Signs of Intelligence ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius
    I can remember seeing something I couldn't expalin when I was about 10.
    "Just slightly off topic, in the book Manifold Space by Stephen Baxter he uses the term Gaijin to refer to the first aliens that they discover. You might even try to read his other book Exultant. Both books might interset you on the subject of life in exotic locations, as in black holes."

    Thanks for the information. I've never had any close encounters that I could call out of this world personally. I consider the emergence of life and higher intelligence more of a necessary result of nature's combinatorics. Even one relatively small, bound universe would have a difficult time not having these "things" popping up in nice, warm, temperate niches all over the place. It's just a matter of time before we make symbolic contact, even physical contact, and begin a diplomatic, cultural and commercial relationship with extraterrestrial intelligent beings.

    Observing the primates other than human, the chimpanzees show interesting behavior. The most safe and unambiguous mode of communication should consist of at least these four areas of content for communication.

    1. mimicry: Without knowing excatly what one party means to say, a very primitive but universally understood response would be "copying" whatever was done/said. Of course it does run the danger of repeating a signal of aggression or threat, so it may be necessary to excercise certain common sense when "copying" a signal.

    2. numbers: Without knowing the exact numbering system of the other beings, we understand that all such systems are equivalent by transforming on the numerical base. By demonstrating with blocks or tokens, the numerical systems can be exchanged between the two parties.

    3. elements: If the aliens beong to the same part of the universe governed by the same physical laws and same particle materials (i.e. not based on anti-matter and such) they should have the same naturally occuring elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, sillicon, alkalis, metals, etc. Once the numbers are shown to be equivalent, the chemical table can be the next step of establishing fail-safe communication.

    4. tones, colors, family: These should also provide further material for establishing common grounds for communication.
    Last edited by lexico; 15-03-05 at 20:18.

  4. #4
    The Angel of Justice Zauriel's Avatar
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    If the alien beings have the same nose, mouth and throat and same atmosphere they came from, they should have the same phonetic alphabet as we do. But suppose if they have no nose but rather gills? Or what if they produce sounds that we can't recognize? If they were from a different atmospere and environment, then their sounds would be too unfamiliar to us.

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