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What would we have to convert as a global society in order to be able to efficiently adapt to a galactic system's standards of measurements and calculations?

"Standards of measurements and calculations" meaning the systems (language or symbolics) used to convey and transmit information between consciousnesses and computational devices.

 

I ask this question because it seems that even between remote areas of our single planet, that there are drastically different systems for how to handle objective systems of measurement like mathematics, and drastically different systems for how to handle subjective systems of consciousness like music theory (I'm saying they're subjective because they tend to be emotionally related, or abstractly related with our psyche, don't focus too much on the "subjective" part, I am very aware that there are lots of objective things about them).

 

Let's assume something like the Drake Equation can be used to come about an accurate number for how many other communicating civilizations have arisen from our galaxy. What we're using to estimate the probable number of civs is irrelevant to this thread since we're presuming at least one other civ exists anyways, but regardless, if we use today's estimates we can predict that there are probably around 72,800 communicating civilizations in our galaxy (number obtained here). And if this number is anywhere near accurate, then there is probably a galactic system in place for when a civ is ready to integrate. This thread also assumes the other species of organisms that we would come into contact with have at least one of our five senses, if not all of them (or many more). This is assumed ignorantly because I'm basing the assumption off of what other life on Earth is like, I acknowledge that it is probably a bad assumption, but bear with me.

 

The first few things that would be of concern between galactic civilizations, which I've seen covered many times before, are the obvious things that are immediately noticeable as differences between any two planets or any two star systems-

 

1. The measuring and recording of time for organism activity varies greatly.

What is meant by that is that our "year" is usually a very different length of time from any other planet's "year". If there is a galactic civilization that exists that we don't know about, they probably have a standard "year" to represent the average of the orbits of habitable planets around their stars. If they don't, can we humans come about an average galactic "year" to compare our orbit time to that of others (I guess we can call this the Standard Galactic Year, SGY, for now)? And on top of this, most of our planet uses the Gregorian Calender, which I have a feeling does not follow the same divisions of days as other civs from other planets would. The number of days per orbit on each planet is different, but if we start colonizing other planets in our solar system I'm thinking there would probably still be a shared Month-like division of time, where even though the number of days would vary per month between the celestial bodies, and 12 months wouldn't mean a single orbit around the sun for the other planets, that we could still use months as the middle-man to build a standard between the planets for measuring time. Once we have some sort of system standardized for measuring time, I'm guessing each solar system would retain it's own calender under the Galactic Alliance of Civs (making up titles as I go, Frank Herbert did it better, I know) and then have a conversion system used for the SGY to compare the calender to? How would we go about creating or adopting a system like this?

 

The other things that would be of concern between galactic civilizations, which I haven't seen covered very much at all, are things like differences in what we can even communicate between two different sensory-type organisms-

 

2. The measuring and interpretation of color and auditory spectrums.

Let's assume that they have senses for this, and that even if they didn't have senses for this, that they have tools that can detect and transmit these aspects of the universe to them (much like how we lack senses to detect most of the electromagnetic spectrum but still know it is there because of our tools). It is very likely that if organisms developed on different planets that they have a different set of sensory needs, and that if the planet has a significantly different environment, that their visual perception spectrum is different than ours. Even if their planet's environment is extremely similar to ours, it's still very likely they view a very different range of the electromagnetic spectrum compared to us (snakes live in the same environments as us and they view a very different range on the spectrum). On top of this, even if they see the same range, they might perceive the colors differently than we do, which would make all of our design theory and color pallets not applicable to their tastes (at least not in relation to how we apply them to our tastes). The frequencies they can perceive and possibly create themselves for communication will also probably be of different ranges than us (even if it's only slightly different). Different frequency perception (or even if it's exactly the same really) will mean they have different music theory than us, even if that theory is no music theory (coinciding with the possibility they do not perceive sound at all). Let's say their perceived range of noise is the same range as us humans, their music theory will still probably be drastically different (just look at western music theory compared to eastern music theory). We don't even have music theory standardized on our planet yet, what system would we use to standardize a Galactic Noise Theory? So this whole second category means that our sensory perception is probably bust and that we don't have a practical way of implementing a universal standard for the arts.

 

3. Communication itself.

Human communication relies entirely on sensory perception, which, as the last category talked about, is probably drastically different between us and alien species. We should also discuss the idea that other alien species might have advanced communication that utilizes senses that we don't even posses (like brain wave monitoring senses for telepathic communication). I suppose that we would have to heavily rely on new tools invented to translate these other forms of communications? If the other languages (I think it's safe to call advanced communication "language", don't roast me for this please) are similar to ours in that they use visual or auditory mediums, then it will probably be much easier to translate. I'm not sure there would be a galactic standard for language however, because like I said, some species may not posses the senses needed to perceive the galactic language. Maybe they have accounted for this and have different forms of the Galactic Language that can be perceived in many different mediums by many different senses?

 

4. Mathematic Logics and Computation systems.

As a planet, we are a base ten society, but we don't use it for everything; our digital computing devices use base2 computational systems. There is nothing that says base10 is any better or worse than base2, or base683, or base1337, as a mathematical system, it is simply better for us as humans to use base10 because we intuit increments of ten more easily than most other incrementals. It should also be noted that on top of us not knowing what the Standard Galactic Computational Base is, we don't know what the average standard of intuitive processing between organisms of different civs is. Just like it is intuitive for humans to experience emotions (that is to say when you do an activity that makes you happy, you don't have to think about becoming happy, you simply are happy, it's done for you by your brain), it might be intuitive for other species to experience complex mathematics (they don't have to consciously think about taking integrals, you show them the numbers and they intuitively know the answer), which we know is very possible because of people like this guy.

 

 

Does anyone have any doable solutions for creating universal standards for these things, that maybe we can apply to all the different civilizations on our own planet? Are there any other significant conceptual problems you can think of between us and alien civs that I haven't put here (besides them wanting to kill us)? Thanks in advance for input!

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Hello. Let me suggest some universal standards for your first topic, that deals with time, and it seems logical that all civs would need to have an ability to communicate time for proper understanding of each other. So, what are the standards in the universe necessary concerning time ? I suggest that MOTION and NUMBER are two such standards, that is, the length of year of a civ on a planet is a MEASURE OF MOTION, and can be communicated by use of symbols we call NUMBERS. Before I get into this too much, let me see if you agree or disagree with what I post so far.

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The possibilities of what aliens might do or how they might do something we do and the possibility they might do things we don't are so numerous as to make this question a bit less than meaningful. There are constants we think are constants across the universe we might use to figure a common ground but ultimately we would need to contact aliens before any meaningful considerations can take place...

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Hello. Let me suggest some universal standards for your first topic, that deals with time, and it seems logical that all civs would need to have an ability to communicate time for proper understanding of each other. So, what are the standards in the universe necessary concerning time ? I suggest that MOTION and NUMBER are two such standards, that is, the length of year of a civ on a planet is a MEASURE OF MOTION, and can be communicated by use of symbols we call NUMBERS. Before I get into this too much, let me see if you agree or disagree with what I post so far.

Lul I'm not that dense. And I proposed the same exact thing that you are here. There are three types of motion for celestial bodies, I picked the orbit-type motion as what we'd use to average for the measurement. Are you suggesting we use one of the other two types of motion?

 

 

but ultimately we would need to contact aliens before any meaningful considerations can take place...

Maybe they won't contact us until we have a meaningful game-plan. I mean, would you really want someone to join your club if they have no idea what they're doing? No, you want people who are already doing what you're doing. I think having meaningful considerations on these topics are necessary for us to advance into a galactic-type society.

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Lul I'm not that dense. And I proposed the same exact thing that you are here. There are three types of motion for celestial bodies, I picked the orbit-type motion as what we'd use to average for the measurement. Are you suggesting we use one of the other two types of motion?

 

How would their orbital motion have any bearing on our orbital motion? The two could differ by an order of magnitude easily.

 

 

 

Maybe they won't contact us until we have a meaningful game-plan. I mean, would you really want someone to join your club if they have no idea what they're doing? No, you want people who are already doing what you're doing. I think having meaningful considerations on these topics are necessary for us to advance into a galactic-type society.

 

 

What is a meaningful game plan to aliens? What assumptions is it possible to make past mathematics? Even that could be iffy, something as simple as what base they us in math could be wildly different than we use. Why would you assume aliens would be doing what we are doing, name a few things we would both be doing?

 

I think we could assume digital systems would both be based on 0 and 1 we could share math but the rest you suggest is iffy to say the least...

Edited by Moontanman
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What would we have to convert as a global society in order to be able to efficiently adapt to a galactic system's standards of measurements and calculations?

"Standards of measurements and calculations" meaning the systems (language or symbolics) used to convey and transmit information between consciousnesses and computational devices.

 

I ask this question because it seems that even between remote areas of our single planet, that there are drastically different systems for how to handle objective systems of measurement like mathematics, and drastically different systems for how to handle subjective systems of consciousness like music theory (I'm saying they're subjective because they tend to be emotionally related, or abstractly related with our psyche, don't focus too much on the "subjective" part, I am very aware that there are lots of objective things about them).

 

Let's assume something like the Drake Equation can be used to come about an accurate number for how many other communicating civilizations have arisen from our galaxy. What we're using to estimate the probable number of civs is irrelevant to this thread since we're presuming at least one other civ exists anyways, but regardless, if we use today's estimates we can predict that there are probably around 72,800 communicating civilizations in our galaxy (number obtained here). And if this number is anywhere near accurate, then there is probably a galactic system in place for when a civ is ready to integrate. This thread also assumes the other species of organisms that we would come into contact with have at least one of our five senses, if not all of them (or many more). This is assumed ignorantly because I'm basing the assumption off of what other life on Earth is like, I acknowledge that it is probably a bad assumption, but bear with me.

 

The first few things that would be of concern between galactic civilizations, which I've seen covered many times before, are the obvious things that are immediately noticeable as differences between any two planets or any two star systems-

 

Let's break it down...

 

1. The measuring and recording of time for organism activity varies greatly.

What is meant by that is that our "year" is usually a very different length of time from any other planet's "year". If there is a galactic civilization that exists that we don't know about, they probably have a standard "year" to represent the average of the orbits of habitable planets around their stars. If they don't, can we humans come about an average galactic "year" to compare our orbit time to that of others (I guess we can call this the Standard Galactic Year, SGY, for now)? And on top of this, most of our planet uses the Gregorian Calender, which I have a feeling does not follow the same divisions of days as other civs from other planets would. The number of days per orbit on each planet is different, but if we start colonizing other planets in our solar system I'm thinking there would probably still be a shared Month-like division of time, where even though the number of days would vary per month between the celestial bodies, and 12 months wouldn't mean a single orbit around the sun for the other planets, that we could still use months as the middle-man to build a standard between the planets for measuring time. Once we have some sort of system standardized for measuring time, I'm guessing each solar system would retain it's own calender under the Galactic Alliance of Civs (making up titles as I go, Frank Herbert did it better, I know) and then have a conversion system used for the SGY to compare the calender to? How would we go about creating or adopting a system like this?

 

It's unlikely we would have any common ground in this, but conversion tables should be possible once we have data...

 

The other things that would be of concern between galactic civilizations, which I haven't seen covered very much at all, are things like differences in what we can even communicate between two different sensory-type organisms-

 

Math is the only answer I can think of.

 

2. The measuring and interpretation of color and auditory spectrums.

Let's assume that they have senses for this, and that even if they didn't have senses for this, that they have tools that can detect and transmit these aspects of the universe to them (much like how we lack senses to detect most of the electromagnetic spectrum but still know it is there because of our tools). It is very likely that if organisms developed on different planets that they have a different set of sensory needs, and that if the planet has a significantly different environment, that their visual perception spectrum is different than ours. Even if their planet's environment is extremely similar to ours, it's still very likely they view a very different range of the electromagnetic spectrum compared to us (snakes live in the same environments as us and they view a very different range on the spectrum). On top of this, even if they see the same range, they might perceive the colors differently than we do, which would make all of our design theory and color pallets not applicable to their tastes (at least not in relation to how we apply them to our tastes). The frequencies they can perceive and possibly create themselves for communication will also probably be of different ranges than us (even if it's only slightly different). Different frequency perception (or even if it's exactly the same really) will mean they have different music theory than us, even if that theory is no music theory (coinciding with the possibility they do not perceive sound at all). Let's say their perceived range of noise is the same range as us humans, their music theory will still probably be drastically different (just look at western music theory compared to eastern music theory). We don't even have music theory standardized on our planet yet, what system would we use to standardize a Galactic Noise Theory? So this whole second category means that our sensory perception is probably bust and that we don't have a practical way of implementing a universal standard for the arts.

 

This is entirely subjective, it's unlikely we would share any of this and I see no reason why it would be important...

 

3. Communication itself.

Human communication relies entirely on sensory perception, which, as the last category talked about, is probably drastically different between us and alien species. We should also discuss the idea that other alien species might have advanced communication that utilizes senses that we don't even posses (like brain wave monitoring senses for telepathic communication). I suppose that we would have to heavily rely on new tools invented to translate these other forms of communications? If the other languages (I think it's safe to call advanced communication "language", don't roast me for this please) are similar to ours in that they use visual or auditory mediums, then it will probably be much easier to translate. I'm not sure there would be a galactic standard for language however, because like I said, some species may not posses the senses needed to perceive the galactic language. Maybe they have accounted for this and have different forms of the Galactic Language that can be perceived in many different mediums by many different senses?

 

Again mathematical concepts would be the beginning of comprehension the rest is again completely subjective...

 

4. Mathematic Logics and Computation systems.

As a planet, we are a base ten society, but we don't use it for everything; our digital computing devices use base2 computational systems. There is nothing that says base10 is any better or worse than base2, or base683, or base1337, as a mathematical system, it is simply better for us as humans to use base10 because we intuit increments of ten more easily than most other incrementals. It should also be noted that on top of us not knowing what the Standard Galactic Computational Base is, we don't know what the average standard of intuitive processing between organisms of different civs is. Just like it is intuitive for humans to experience emotions (that is to say when you do an activity that makes you happy, you don't have to think about becoming happy, you simply are happy, it's done for you by your brain), it might be intuitive for other species to experience complex mathematics (they don't have to consciously think about taking integrals, you show them the numbers and they intuitively know the answer), which we know is very possible because of people like this guy.

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say digital computers would be the go between in this.

 

Does anyone have any doable solutions for creating universal standards for these things, that maybe we can apply to all the different civilizations on our own planet? Are there any other significant conceptual problems you can think of between us and alien civs that I haven't put here (besides them wanting to kill us)? Thanks in advance for input!

 

 

Again, I see no reason to assume there are universal standards for any of this stuff...

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There are a lot of unwarranted assumptions being made here. First, even if there are a few thousand intelligent social species in our galaxy. There is zero evidence that any of them have achieved interstellar travel. So suggesting there might be a galactic community of different alien species already in place is really jumping the gun a bit IMO.

 

Next, it takes more than an intelligent social species to even have a chance of becoming a space fairing species. For instance here on our own planet porpoises are very intelligent and social and unless they evolve into land animals with limbs that can handle tools they will never leave the planet without help and we still haven't figured out how to communicate them. But maybe by the time we can travel between the stars we will have that problem handled.

 

Also, why would we want to assume that any other species that may have developed in our galaxy would be way more advanced than we are? You can't even have a chance of a complete world biosystem developing on any world that doesn't have all the needed elements. That doesn't happen until at least 3rd generation stars are being made in the galaxy. Now where in the galaxy are 3rd generation stars that can support life going to be located and how long ago did we have them available for the development of life? I've heard that all spiral galaxies have their goldilocks zone. To close to the galactic core and the radiation would make life unlikely and the closer to the galactic rim the less likely there will be all the elements needed for life.

 

I think it quite likely there weren't enough 3rd generation stars before at least 6 billion years ago and that's probably a very conservative guesstimate. But in any event I think we have to assume that any advanced civilizations would have to take at least 3 to 4 billion years of evolution. We need to know more about the formation of galaxies before that question can be answered with any hope of accuracy, but I do put that out there as something we should consider.

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How would their orbital motion have any bearing on our orbital motion? The two could differ by an order of magnitude easily.

Yea and you can still get an average out of things that are orders of magnitude different. Orbit is usually the middle-man of the other two types of planetary motion (rotation and procession), I'm just playing a game of Goldie-locks and the Three Bears here, Orbit is "just right" in terms of universal time. I guess I could be wrong, but what do you propose we use instead to measure it?

 

 

What is a meaningful game plan to aliens?

Exactly. And now we have this thread.

 

 

something as simple as what base they us in math could be wildly different than we use.

I'm sorry, are you quoting me lol? I'm not too worried about the math part tbh, I mean at this point it'd be pretty easy to convert to other bases.

 

 

Why would you assume aliens would be doing what we are doing, name a few things we would both be doing?

Oh yea, cause it's not safe to assume aliens would be doing anything similar to what we're doing like iunno, EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, LOOKING FOR INTELLECTUAL TRANSCENDENCE, OR SOLVING FUNDAMENTALLY DEEP PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS THAT BRIDGE THE META TO THE REAL. Nothing similar to basic things of life-that-is-aware, I'm sure none of that stuck out or seemed important to any of them.

</sarcasm>

 

Granted, they may not have any of those desires, but if they don't, they probably aren't "communicating civilizations" that we'd be interested in or are even included in the numbers I gave in the original post. The type of aliens that aren't doing anything that we're doing aren't the kind we're talking about in this thread. And if you change your argument and make it look like you meant that they might be so advanced that they've evolved past doing any of the things I've listed, then that still means that they've done them previously, in which case we can still gain a great deal of knowledge and understanding from them. >.>

 

 

I think we could assume digital systems would both be based on 0 and 1 we could share math but the rest you suggest is iffy to say the least...

Well isn't that a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy? By definition "digital" means a system that is on or off, so what you've just said is that we should assume they use a binary system, and that their binary system would be binary... brilliant.

 

And I haven't suggested a whole lot in this thread except what is already established by astronomers and astrophysicists in the first category.

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Yea and you can still get an average out of things that are orders of magnitude different. Orbit is usually the middle-man of the other two types of planetary motion (rotation and procession), I'm just playing a game of Goldie-locks and the Three Bears here, Orbit is "just right" in terms of universal time. I guess I could be wrong, but what do you propose we use instead to measure it?

 

Vibration of atomic nuclei?

 

Exactly. And now we have this thread.

 

Again, you ask meaningless questions...

 

 

I'm sorry, are you quoting me lol? I'm not too worried about the math part tbh, I mean at this point it'd be pretty easy to convert to other bases.

 

That would be my point.

 

 

 

Oh yea, cause it's not safe to assume aliens would be doing anything similar to what we're doing like iunno, EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, LOOKING FOR INTELLECTUAL TRANSCENDENCE, OR SOLVING FUNDAMENTALLY DEEP PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS THAT BRIDGE THE META TO THE REAL. Nothing similar to basic things of life-that-is-aware, I'm sure none of that stuck out or seemed important to any of them.

</sarcasm>

 

And why would they get the same answers as we do? Why would our answers make sense to them or vice versa? You assuming quite a bit with no explanation as to why. Bridging the Meta to the Real, do you understand just how meaningless that statement is?

 

Granted, they may not have any of those desires, but if they don't, they probably aren't "communicating civilizations" that we'd be interested in or are even included in the numbers I gave in the original post. The type of aliens that aren't doing anything that we're doing aren't the kind we're talking about in this thread. And if you change your argument and make it look like you meant that they might be so advanced that they've evolved past doing any of the things I've listed, then that still means that they've done them previously, in which case we can still gain a great deal of knowledge and understanding from them. >.>

 

Again you are assuming much but offering little.

 

Well isn't that a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy? By definition "digital" means a system that is on or off, so what you've just said is that we should assume they use a binary system, and that their binary system would be binary... brilliant.

 

So insults is your game now?

 

And I haven't suggested a whole lot in this thread except what is already established by astronomers and astrophysicists in the first category.

 

Seriously? you have offered no such thing...

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There are a lot of unwarranted assumptions being made here. First, even if there are a few thousand intelligent social species in our galaxy. There is zero evidence that any of them have achieved interstellar travel. So suggesting there might be a galactic community of different alien species already in place is really jumping the gun a bit IMO.

...

But in any event I think we have to assume that any advanced civilizations would have to take at least 3 to 4 billion years of evolution. We need to know more about the formation of galaxies before that question can be answered with any hope of accuracy, but I do put that out there as something we should consider.

You must not have read the original post, let me re-post all the things you could have easily googled or clicked on in the op that takes into account everything you just posted, here and here. Also, I'm going to ask for a higher wage baby-sitting you from now on, because this is child's play.

 

 

It's unlikely we would have any common ground in this, but conversion tables should be possible once we have data...

Yea, and again, I recognize that category has been tackled many times before me, so I agree that conversion tables would bridge our measurements, but there still needs to be a month-like division in place that's shared between all the planets, there needs to be shared holidays etc, in order to bring unity amongst them (which is how humans have done it since forever, we need that unity to go galactic). Maybe not in other systems, but in our solar system, we need shared time metrics.

 

 

This is entirely subjective, it's unlikely we would share any of this and I see no reason why it would be important...

How is stating the fact that it's statistically impossible that they are all exactly the same as us in terms of sensory perception "entirely subjective"? After saying it's entirely subjective you then say it's unlikely they would share any of it with us, WHICH IS WHAT I JUST SAID IN YOUR QUOTE. And, fracking and, you then say you see no reason why the arts would be important, yea no yea, no yea, arts are totally unimportant, I'm sure they have no other ways of expressing their interpretation of the universe, YEA NO, LET'S BE CLOSED MINDED ABOUT THIS, YOU'RE RIGHT, WHAT WAS I THINKING, NO REASON WHY UNDERSTANDING OF EXPRESSION WOULD BE IMPORTANT WHEN COMING INTO CONTACT WITH A NEW SPECIES' CIVILIZATION.

 

 

Again mathematical concepts would be the beginning of comprehension the rest is again completely subjective...

Isn't saying, "mathematical concepts would be the beginning of comprehension" itself, entirely subjective? I mean, unless you have some inside contact with an alien species that you aren't telling us about? Who says that they are as math-oriented as we are? They might intuit math logics (like the guy I linked in the original post) and have a conscious focus on an entirely different aspect of the mind, like the arts, or some other form of expressing the universe, but yea again, let's be closed minded and assume mathematics is all we'll need to communicate with them, or that there would even be a way to transpose their mathematical logic back and forth between ours...

 

 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say digital computers would be the go between in this.

Some form of computing sure, but I don't see why it would have to be digital, because again, you're limiting it to binarial processing at that point, which... well, is very limiting.

 

 

Again, I see no reason to assume there are universal standards for any of this stuff...

If there aren't universal standards for these things, don't you see how that would be SIGNIFICANTLY PROBLEMATIC? If we don't have standards of communication and measurement, or general standard for conduct between civs, then how would they bring order to the universe? I mean if we humans ourselves didn't have these standards of communication or measurement, we wouldn't be able to function effectively either, life would be very problematic without them, problematic to the point that wars would never end because we would lack the means to communicate peace to the opposing factions. You make a baseless assumption supported by nothing (or at least you provide no support) and say there is no reason to think there are universal standards, well good sir, I see no reason to assume there aren't universal standards for any of this stuff...

 

 

Vibration of atomic nuclei?

Lol why would you use the Standard Galactic Second for the Standard Galactic Year? Silly human.

 

 

Again, you ask meaningless questions...

[EDITED FOR READER CONSIDERATION], this thread was based on the very question you asked me. If anything, you ask meaningless questions.

 

 

That would be my point.

No, your point was that we should all baselessly assume they use binary computing systems, which is less on the point part and more on the baseless assumption part. We shouldn't assume they use any base system that parallels ours, there is no evidence to support the claim that they do, so I said that whatever base they use (if their mathematical logics are even that similar to ours) that we could convert bases, but that is all, nothing more nothing less.

 

 

And why would they get the same answers as we do?

If they were getting the same answers we were, of what use are they? None, you tool. It's precisely because they are likely to have different answers that those answers become useful, you closed-minded [OH LOOK I'M BEING CONSIDERATE AGAIN].

 

 

Why would our answers make sense to them or vice versa? You assuming quite a bit with no explanation as to why. Bridging the Meta to the Real, do you understand just how meaningless that statement is?

Why do they have to make sense? Although, if there are standards of communication (what this thread is partly dealing with) then they should be able to effectively communicate said answers, so by transitive property, those answers should "make sense", even though that phrase is somewhat vague for what we're discussing. Also, I'm not assuming much without explanation here, it's very logical that the reason another species would be colonizing our have any out-reaching activities outside of their planet is because they are an exploring species. It's less on the assumption part, and more on the logical conclusion part. Also, bridging the meta to the real is a very meaningful statement, because if they can do that (considered one of the most difficult philosophical problems), then they have probably solved most, if not all, of the major philosophic qualms we currently have. This is a SIGNIFICANTLY IMPORTANT aspect of advancing the human condition and the prosperity of all life. I'm finding it difficult to understand your lack of understanding.

 

 

Again you are assuming much but offering little.

Again a statement is made that mocks at thought of reading the original post, so again I will re-post links that have already been posted that do in fact offer much in regards to the specific topic we are discussing here. There are in fact parameters to how we define "communicating civilizations", and those parameters are taken into consideration when estimating how many of them exist in our galaxy... you would have known that if you read what was posted for you.

 

Also, it's hard for me to offer much to you after offering your mother so much the night before.

 

 

Well isn't that a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy? By definition "digital" means a system that is on or off, so what you've just said is that we should assume they use a binary system, and that their binary system would be binary... brilliant.

So insults is your game now?

I'm always game, but I'd like you to realize that what you've quoted isn't an insult (I have plenty of those elsewhere in my posts), it's pointing out your flaw in logic. And it's a valid point, to which you accusing it of being an insult, does not de-validate it. Unless you can prove me wrong, I will stand by my statements.

 

Also, game recognize game, and right now you lookin' pretty hurt, boy.

 

 

Seriously? you have offered no such thing...

I offered such a thing. Saying I am wrong without proof is as hollow as saying you are right without proof. We are equally at fault here, IF I didn't have proof. It's a good thing googling standards of planetary measurements gets you the results I say were established in the first category, huh?

Edited by Snax
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You must not have read the original post, let me re-post all the things you could have easily googled or clicked on in the op that takes into account everything you just posted, here and here. Also, I'm going to ask for a higher wage baby-sitting you from now on, because this is child's play.

 

I am familiar with the Drake equations. I just don't buy that they are accurate or worth much consideration. Also, in the OP I didn't miss that you qualified the Drake equation with "IF" it's close to being accurate or something close to that. I don't even mind speculation as long as everyone in the dialog is aware that it is.

 

It's never to soon to start thinking of a galactic standard for things like time, distance and whatever.:blink:

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Does anyone have any doable solutions for creating universal standards for these things, that maybe we can apply to all the different civilizations on our own planet?

We already have planet wide standards for the measuring of time, color, sound, communication, mathematical notation, and computer programming.

 

Are there any other significant conceptual problems you can think of between us and alien civs that I haven't put here (besides them wanting to kill us)

Were contact with extra-terrestrial people made, I don’t think we’d have much difficulty communicating such things as fundamental physical quantities (length, mass and time) or numeration systems (positional base 10, 2 etc), assuming the ETs are at least as accomplished in science as we are. Although the standard units they use will almost certainly be different than ours, most present day technical people are practiced at converting between different unit systems (mostly between SI and US customary). Converting between SI and ET’s unit system would be no more technically difficult than converting between SI and US. ETs might use very different notational conventions, perhaps very different numeration systems, than us, which might be more difficult to convert between, but I can’t imagine that, if they had the idea of physical units and mathematics at all, standard conversion methods couldn’t be pretty easily designed and implemented. Assuming the ETs discover us before we discover them, or vice versa, I believe a good first draft of this work would be done before contact was made.

 

Noticed that a qualified the above with “at least as accomplished in science” and “had the idea of ... at all”. If this assumption isn’t true, we might be in for a very alien encounter. Suppose, for example, we are contacted by a star-spanning collective that is able to travel interstellar distances due to an instinctive engineering ability similar to how bees construct hives. Such ETs might not, in the way we understand it know what they are doing, or have systems of symbolic representation and communication. They might not be conscious as we understand it, in which case interaction between us and them would likely be limited and problematical – though still possible. This is one of scenarios beyond my count of what I mean by “very alien”.

 

A scenario in which the ETs are mentally very similar to us, but radically different in core philosophical and political beliefs is another “very alien encounter” one that comes to mind. Joe Haldeman’s 1976 Hugo-nominated novel Mindbridge is one of my favorite examples. In it, physically human-like ETs lack a strong concept of individual identity, so have no taboo about killing individuals when convenient, leading to encounters that are nearly misinterpreted by Earthlings as presaging aggressive genocidal war.

 

... it might be intuitive for other species to experience complex mathematics ...

I agree. I think, via artificially “augmented intelligence” involving brain-computer interfaces, we H. sapiens may do this in the near future. One of my favorite SF stories, Robert Forward’s RocheWorld, features a non-technological, super-intelligent alien species, the Flowen, who are able to enlarge (merely by eating) and configure their brains (which consist essentially of their whole bodies) essentially like we build and configure electronic computers.

 

... which we know is very possible because of people like this guy.

As one of only an estimate 50 prodigious savant, and the even more rare savant with not only normal but IMHO better than normal spoken and written communication skills, Daniel Tammet is an amazing person, but like most savants with amazing arithmetic and memory skills, he’s not able to do what mathematicians consider complex math. For example, he set the current European record for reciting decimal digits of Pi (22,514, compared to the world record of 42,195), but did so by memorizing them in order, not using arithmetic. To the best of my knowledge, Tammet’s formal math knowledge and ability is about that of a typical high school graduate with a “B” average in Math. His intuitive arithmetic skills are limited to simple, low-precision (a few 4s of powers of 10) arithmetic, and the ability to rote memorize several tens of thousands of digits. He’s not a living computer, like the fictional Flowen, or an enhanced intelligence person like those I and others imagine becoming a reality in the near future. While Tammet. with his rare combination of savant skills and neurotypical language and social skills offers great insight into how human brains work, my intuition tells me progress in human calculating ability will continue to be due to progress in human-machine interfaces.

 

Notice that most of the references I’ve made on the subject of ET contact is to SF stories. It’s a very rich fictional subgenre, with some excellent explorations of the subject. I’d be remiss, I think, not to mention David Brin’s Hugo and Nebula winning “Uplift Universe” novels, which involve Earth’s inclusion is a vast, byzantine, intensely legalistic galactic civilization.

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I am familiar with the Drake equations. I just don't buy that they are accurate or worth much consideration. Also, in the OP I didn't miss that you qualified the Drake equation with "IF" it's close to being accurate or something close to that. I don't even mind speculation as long as everyone in the dialog is aware that it is.

 

It's never to soon to start thinking of a galactic standard for things like time, distance and whatever.:blink:

Lol yea, sorry I was being a little militant in my response too, this is where I bring my boredom to die. I should have said (if I didn't) that either the Drake Equations, or something like them, could be used, because every other set of formulas I've seen still come out with an abundant amount of estimated civs in our galaxy (usually more than several hundred). Building on what you said, I should also clarify that these civs don't have to be interstellar, which some of the other members have assumed in their posts. No one said the civs have to be interstellar for us to be communicating with them, most of them probably aren't anyways, but whatevs.

 

 

We already have planet wide standards for the measuring of time, color, sound, communication, mathematical notation, and computer programming.

I agree with you on all of those except sound and communication. We have standards for sound, but they aren't enforced planet-wide as you say, otherwise there wouldn't be western music theory and eastern music theory, it would just be "global music theory", which it isn't. We also like fark do not have globally standardized communication, there's way too many languages competing for that to be true. I guess you could be totally arrogant about this and say that English is the global language, which it isn't, but I would sit on the bench with you because English is the standard western language. If you meant communication as in the standards set out by people like the IEEE, for data transfers between computing systems, then yes, those are pretty globally standardized, but the social language content of that data is not standardized yet.

 

 

Assuming the ETs discover us before we discover them, or vice versa, I believe a good first draft of this work would be done before contact was made.

Wut werk? Do you mean like we'd research what system of measurements and units they use (if we find them first) and then draft a conversion chart before making first contact?

 

 

If this assumption isn’t true, we might be in for a very alien encounter. Suppose, for example, we are contacted by a star-spanning collective that is able to travel interstellar distances due to an instinctive engineering ability similar to how bees construct hives. Such ETs might not, in the way we understand it know what they are doing, or have systems of symbolic representation and communication. They might not be conscious as we understand it, in which case interaction between us and them would likely be limited and problematical – though still possible. This is one of scenarios beyond my count of what I mean by “very alien”.

 

A scenario in which the ETs are mentally very similar to us, but radically different in core philosophical and political beliefs is another “very alien encounter” one that comes to mind. Joe Haldeman’s 1976 Hugo-nominated novel Mindbridge is one of my favorite examples. In it, physically human-like ETs lack a strong concept of individual identity, so have no taboo about killing individuals when convenient, leading to encounters that are nearly misinterpreted by Earthlings as presaging aggressive genocidal war.

Ah yes! Thanks for linking those books btw, I've been down on my sci-fi recently and haven't had much luck with good novels, so these will work nicely! Also, as optimistic as I am about aliens being super advanced compared to us, and compassionate and looking to help expand our technological and intellectual capacities, I realistically know this is probably hogwash. In Ender's Game the alien species is similar to what you described above, they almost entirely lack the concept of individualism since they are all linked together, which is where the conflict comes from in that book (trying not to spoil it all, for those who have yet to read it). And I think an insect-like, or hive-mind species, is the most probable alien species that has gone interstellar (if any have gone interstellar at all) because of their efficiency and bare nature to colonize outwardly (like ants or bees). But this is all conjecture on my part because interconnected consciousness seems like it would be much more effort than necessary in biology's eyes. Meh, what do I know?

 

 

I agree. I think, via artificially “augmented intelligence” involving brain-computer interfaces, we H. sapiens may do this in the near future.

lul, that scares me. I think there's been quite a few books written on the philosophy of the mind (Nozick had the best one imo), but I haven't seen much content dealing directly with computer integration. Nozick's explanation of the closest continuer schema would give way to saying that any subtraction or addition to your mind that isn't organic (or is foreign organic) becomes apart of the original you, but I get weary when too much is added or taken away, because it becomes less and less you. I guess I just get squeamish at the idea of my mind not being entirely mine (is that selfish?).

 

 

Daniel Tammet is an amazing person, but like most savants with amazing arithmetic and memory skills, he’s not able to do what mathematicians consider complex math.

Whoa, highly debatable, if you skip to like 3/4th's of the way into the video of him that I linked, he does some advanced stuff without thinking much about it. Granted it's not lambda calculus, but still. I guess you're right that what he does doesn't fall into "complex" mathematics, but he has amazingly good computational skills that would aid a nueortypical person greatly when they did come across complex mathematics. I also want to point out that I'm not saying lots of people like him exist, I didn't say that at all, I'm saying that in other species of organisms, in an advanced alien civ, they might have cognitive abilities like his, and not even necessarily in mathematics, but in any field of thought. My concern is that they intuit something in fundamentally profound ways that we humans don't strongly intuit, and that they may find this weird and dismiss the idea of us being intelligent because of this, not to say we're any intelligent as it is, I mean we're only slightly more than a whole percent away from chimps genetically and our brains have so much more power than the chimp's. ACTUALLY HOLD UP, PERFECT SEGWAY WOOT, Niel deGresse Tyson has a good bit for us to consider about the biological and brain-power difference between us and an alien species right hurrr. Watch that clip, I totally forgot about it until this came up, but it's almost an identical mirror of where this conversation is going. Lots to think about from that clip, if you haven't already seen it.

 

 

I’d be remiss, I think, not to mention David Brin’s Hugo and Nebula winning “Uplift Universe” novels, which involve Earth’s inclusion is a vast, byzantine, intensely legalistic galactic civilization.

Yea, that'd be awesome if that's how it was but that idea really panders to our modern human ideals, doesn't it? As much as something like that would be awesome, I still feel like anything we hope for in our universe may be highly unrealistic. I dunno. I guess there's always the, "kill them for resources" approach the aliens may take, whatevs.

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Assuming the ETs discover us before we discover them, or vice versa, I believe a good first draft of this work would be done before contact was made.

Wut werk? Do you mean like we'd research what system of measurements and units they use (if we find them first) and then draft a conversion chart before making first contact?

Yes

 

... it might be intuitive for other species to experience complex mathematics ...

I agree. I think, via artificially “augmented intelligence” involving brain-computer interfaces, we H. sapiens may do this in the near future.

lul, that scares me. I think there's been quite a few books written on the philosophy of the mind (Nozick had the best one imo), but I haven't seen much content dealing directly with computer integration.

With all due respect to him, and the disclaimer that I’ve not read any but short works by and about him, I don’t think Robert Nozcik focused much attention on human-machine interaction in his work. People like Douglas Hofstadter, Daniel Dennett, and the various other authors of the 1981 collection The Mind’s I, have.

 

While many fiction writers and futurists in what I might call “the Vingean school" (though The Matrix might be a better, and better recognized reference) have suggested that much improved human-computer interfaces, such as ones using EM induction of implanted connections directly to the brain, might cause people to have profoundly different mentalities than present day people, I’m skeptical both that such interfaces would do this, or that such interfaces will prove widely desirable or be widely developed and implemented. This is because I believe that, for about the past 50 years, especially the last 15, we already are increasingly “augmented intelligences”, due to the widespread use of interactive devices like handheld calculators, screen and keyboard computer terminals, and increasingly, non-keyboard based “ubicomp” terminals (for all their available CPU, other than their portability and availability (I remember having to reserve time to use one of these coveted, paperless machines), modern personal area computers seem functionally little different than the Teleray terminals of my 1970s youth). The assumption that “plugging in” to the brain via some sort of connection other than the usual “optical link” to eye + optic nerve will be a dramatic improvement, is, I think, unfounded. Other than for people who don’t have working eyes, or other disabilities, such paralyzed or missing body parts, I doubt that this approach will be very successful for tasks in the “thinking” category. The human visual system is superbly refined, and often underappreciated by technologists, interface. I’m skeptical that it can be much improved upon as an interface between us and computers for purposes of doing math – though I think the computer side of the UI is ripe for dramatic improvement.

 

Where “plug directly into the brain” interfaces might surpass the eye-brain interface is in the “feeling” category – but I think it’s an open question whether the artificial manipulation of this category of sensations is of much practical use for math. Most of the “mathic” types I’ve known (including myself on the principle that enthusiasm qualifies as much as ability) have flirted with doing math (which I’ll broadly define as including computer programming) with artificially altered feelings (“coding under the influence”, to vernacularize it), all eventually reaching the conclusion that, while sometime intensely pleasant, our technical ability is at best about the same, more often much worse, than when using the usually and polite “in through the eyes, out through the hands” interface.

 

My anecdotally only supported hunch is that PDITP interfaces will be useful in two areas only: overcoming physical handicaps, and psychotropic recreation. The latter, of course, has great potential for abuse and harm – those familiar with Larry Niven’s Ringworld books and similar ones might be reminded of the fictional – though perhaps not in the near future – vice of wireheading.

 

I’ve wandered well off-topic here, so will stop.

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CraigD I am impressed I thought I was the only science fiction nerd here, we should hang sometime dude... Vingian vs the Matrix, what a concept one is the ultimate in personalization potential of technology and the other the ultimate in depersonalization potential of technology...

 

Moderation note: replies to this post were moved to a new thread, A SF fan thread, because they're a discussion of SF, not this thread's main topic.

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i like this thread. some time back i was doing a project based on the plaques aboard the pioneer and voyager craft and the symbolism contained in them. its well documented now that the glyphs on the plaques would probably virtually meaningless to an alien mindset. for example; the arrow that indicates the origin and direction from which the probe has been traveling would probably be meaningless to a civilization that has not come from a hunting background. we know what an arrow means because we know which end the pointy bit goes... but would they?

 

us humans already have plenty of difficulty either deciphering our own communications and symbols from the past, or devising ones that will last into the future. it took us a long time to begin to decipher mayan and egyptian hieroglyphics, and arguably there is still a lot of work to be done. we are still guessing about what structures such as stonehenge mean. while we have an understanding of the decimal reference in the quipu system of notation, we are only just beginning to understand certain phonetic meanings as well. languages become born, lost and changed as the centuries go by. there must be numerous other similar examples.

 

looking to the future with these issues in mind, we are confronted with the need to make a statement that would be legibly in tens of thousands of years time. while investigating the feasibility of the Yucca mountain nuclear waste repository it became apparent that a safety warning would be needed to stop people digging there for the next 10,000 years. obviously a big red sign saying 'danger keep out!' is not going to work. so what do you do? all sorts of answers were proposed from monumental constructions to physical barriers but its hard to guarantee any of those would work. whenever we see a monument a few thousand years old our instinct is to start digging.

 

anyway, at least with aliens they might be on hand to help us out a bit, but it would be to our advantage to be mindful of our own issues with communicating with ourselves once the immediate frames of reference are no longer present.

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looking to the future with these issues in mind, we are confronted with the need to make a statement that would be legibly in tens of thousands of years time. while investigating the feasibility of the Yucca mountain nuclear waste repository it became apparent that a safety warning would be needed to stop people digging there for the next 10,000 years. obviously a big red sign saying 'danger keep out!' is not going to work. so what do you do? all sorts of answers were proposed from monumental constructions to physical barriers but its hard to guarantee any of those would work. whenever we see a monument a few thousand years old our instinct is to start digging.

 

I would think if the human race kept advancing for the next 10,000 years, this would not be a problem. But if we have a near extinction event and get knocked back to the dark ages style of living, we might not retain knowledge of such things and it could then be a very big problem. I can't think of any warning system that would keep people out of trouble.

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