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#51 2004-02-27 07:08:55

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid9]Is the alternate universe into which all left socks and ball-point pens eventually disappear the same universe from which all the wire coat hangers originate?
                                        ???

[I believe this is probably the most fundamental question facing the average human being today.][/color:post_uid9]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#52 2004-02-27 07:17:01

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid2]

Is the alternate universe into which all left socks and ball-point pens eventually disappear the same universe from which all the wire coat hangers originate?
                                        ???

[I believe this is probably the most fundamental question facing the average human being today.][/quote:post_uid2]
*That was good, Shaun.  :laugh:

I'd like to know why, when it's just 1 person ahead of me in the Express Checkout Lane, their final item doesn't scan properly (putting us in "price-check mode," i.e. 10 minute delay) or they don't know how to use the debit/credit pad or suddenly the cashier is out of pennies, etc., etc.?  :angry:

--Cindy   :;):[/color:post_uid2]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#53 2004-02-27 07:40:17

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid3]Yes indeed, Cindy ... the "Express Checkout Lane Conundrum", as first described in detail by Socrates and still unresolved to this day!
    An equally worthy question for the aliens - right up there with the left socks and coat hangers in my opinion.[/color:post_uid3]


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#54 2004-02-27 10:59:25

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Daniel, that is a very intelligent and thoughtful question. You get six points bringing you to a new total of two points, however, we will dock you two points for asking a question that misses the point.

We can ask questions of an alien species, and you ask for something we can discover ourselves. The question is wasted if they can't answer, and we learn very little from them regardles of result, either way.

You are in the lead with zero points, but then, so is everyone else.  big_smile

And as for where do all the left socks and ball point pens go, they go to the last place you look for them. If you haven't found them yet, you haven't looked in the last place yet!  tongue  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#55 2004-02-27 11:06:39

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Well ... I've tried philosopical, scientific ... now let's try the inane:

"What's your sign?"

or

"wasssup?"

tongue

(I can't win either way ... so ...)[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#56 2004-02-27 11:11:20

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]If you play to win, you will lose.  :;):

How about, "how many senses do you have?"[/color:post_uid0]

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#57 2004-02-27 11:24:25

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Ah ... put if you don't play, you cannot win  :;):[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#58 2004-02-27 11:30:06

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Russian Roulette anyone?   big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#59 2004-02-27 11:48:05

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]You still win. The definition of winning is just slightly skewed.

big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#60 2004-02-27 11:54:13

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I believe we have an optimist in our midst.  tongue

You win by not playing, that's the point.

Any game where the overriding objective is to [b:post_uid0]not[/b:post_uid0] lose, is one where you cannot win. Winning is secondary, as the main focus is simply not to lose.

But it's all a matter of perspective, just like glasses of water.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#61 2004-02-27 12:02:07

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]But if you're playing to get the bullet, then you win as well.

To play Russian Roulette in the first place shows some skewed perceptions.  roll

[b:post_uid0]clark:[/b:post_uid0] Any game where the overriding objective is to not lose, is one where you cannot win. Winning is secondary, as the main focus is simply not to lose.[/quote:post_uid0]

But if you're playing to lose, and you lose ... you win. (Since that was your objective)

big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#62 2004-02-27 12:06:51

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Ah, you almost got me there! Nice slight of hand.  big_smile

There are the objectives of the game, and then there are your own personal objectives. If you play a game, and your objectives are counter to the objectives of the game, then you're not playing the actual game, you're playing your own.

In those instances, you always win.  :;):

You don't get a point, but you do get a prize.  :laugh:[/color:post_uid0]

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#63 2004-02-27 12:18:36

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Yes - it's a case of same game, different rules.   :;):

But back to [i:post_uid0]this[/i:post_uid0] game:

Ask him for his name / life story?[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#64 2004-02-27 12:25:06

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]"I was a briliak, living out by the linja, doing my usual fregk, which involved long moombas of bujii and merkalia, while maintaing my gorjeek for the usual Fleent."

Ah, context...  big_smile

A life story without some point of refrence is meaningless.  yikes[/color:post_uid0]

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#65 2004-02-27 12:36:58

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]But the language provides the context.

The assumption for communication would be common ability for either party to (mostly) understand the other.

If the languages do not share common concepts, the concept is broken down further until a common level of understanding is reached - that is you circumscribe the non-common concept.

Thus your "Universal Translator" would go from:

"I was a briliak, living out by the linja, doing my usual fregk, which involved long moombas of bujii and merkalia, while maintaing my gorjeek for the usual Fleent."[/quote:post_uid0]

to:

"I was a briliak [long green slimy thing wih 8 eyes], living out by the linja [common breeding place for briliaks], doing my usual fregk [narcotic substance that induces euphoria], which involved long moombas [a long thin smoking instrument commonplace in briliak culture] of bujii and merkalia [a combination of briliak herbs that combine to form linga], while maintaing my gorjeek [briliak posture to attract Fleent] for the usual Fleent. [a small furry creature in a symbiotic relationship with briliaks]"[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#66 2004-02-27 12:43:08

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]:D Thank you for proving my point.

"I was a briliak [farmer], living out by the linja [mountains], doing my usual fregk [work], which involved long moombas [days] of bujii and merkalia [tilling and cultivating], while maintaing my gorjeek [flower garden] for the usual Fleent. [local festival]"

Without a refrence point, it can mean anything.  smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#67 2004-02-27 13:00:51

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]No - actual you proved my point. The language [i:post_uid0]is[/i:post_uid0] the context. Words have meaning.

Since our alien seems to speak & understand English he would have said (or we would have heard) farmer instead of "briliak". It only becomes difficult if they have a word for a concept or idea that we cannot comprehend based on our understanding of the universe (i.e. no combination of the English lanaguage can be made relay the meaning)[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#68 2004-02-27 13:13:47

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Words have meaning, and words have different meanings to different people based on their perspective and their personal experience. The refrence point.

We would understand the alien to be a farmer, but a farmer of what? We would understand that the alien lives by the mountain, but why he lives there is unknown, and wheter or not the mountains play any significance in what or how he farms. We can understand that the alien works long days tilling and cultivating, but what is it that the alien is cultivating, and why? Is it involved with the farming? We assume based on our own understanding of the ' 'farming' concept. What is considered a long day? We only know that the alien considers it to be a long day. We also know that in addition to farming, the alien spends time ensuring the success (or just maintenance) of the flower garden, for some festival, but why? Are these special flowers? Are they the admission price for the festival? Is it some Rose Parade?

Is the alien growing posioness flowers to kill people at the festival? We have no way of knowing. The question, "tell me about your life", has no refrence point by which we can really understand- too broad, not deep enough.

Take a previous question of mine for example, "do you kill one another." This is a pointed question with an established refrence point to our own experience and understanding. Any way they answer, it will have meaning to us, and we can have some basis of understanding of them.[/color:post_uid0]

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#69 2004-02-27 13:30:52

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]True.

It depends whether you want to know a lot about one thing ("do you kill one another") or a bit from a bigger perspective ("tell me about your life").

Either way you only end up with a bit of the puzzle. But it's nice to have an idea what the bigger picture looks like.

The meaning of a message or a sentence in-evitably depends on the meaning that the specific person places on the component words. This is true for communication between our fellow human beings as well. They way you work around that is to present as much information to the listener to give him an understanding of your message. The less you know about what your listener knows, the more you will have to say to make yourself clear.[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#70 2004-02-27 13:36:46

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I agree Daniel, but your comments focus on the respondant taking steps to make themselves understood fully by the questioner, this 'game' is focusing on the questioner taking steps to understand the respondant no matter the answer.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#71 2004-02-27 13:43:48

DanielCook
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2004-02-19
Posts: 90

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]So you basically should ask the alien for is his life biography fully cross-referenced, with footnotes, a glossary, explanatory appendixes and a index.

(Oh, and don't forget: fully illustrated with diagrams, pictures, arrows)

tongue

Ooh ..and the extra DVD with special features and commentary.  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]


-- memento mori

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#72 2004-02-27 13:45:40

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,253

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]yeah, maybe a probe is the best way.  tongue  big_smile  :laugh:[/color:post_uid0]

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#73 2004-05-12 11:50:29

quasar777
Member
Registered: 2002-05-05
Posts: 135

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]can u get an unmanned probe or crewed ship to the halfway point between our civilizations?[/color:post_uid0]

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#74 2004-05-12 11:51:39

quasar777
Member
Registered: 2002-05-05
Posts: 135

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]that way it won`t take so long for communications.[/color:post_uid0]

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#75 2004-05-17 14:41:46

Trebuchet
Member
From: Florida
Registered: 2004-04-26
Posts: 419

Re: One question, what would it be? - Contact with an ET, what would you ask?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]My question would be:

"Could you aim your telescope at our yellow white star? We are switching to visible frequencies."

Why go with slow data transmission from radio? Build a big laser to transmit more data. We can pay for it by telling the Pentagon that they can use it to set things on fire when there's a war.[/color:post_uid0]

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