View previous topic | View next topic

Explaining Left and Right to an Alien...

Page 7 of 8
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

Humming Bird
1108884.  Sat Jan 03, 2015 11:03 pm Reply with quote

I just had another idea about how to explain left and right to an alien.
We could send the instructions to build a Rubik’s cube (bear with me here).
Instead of coloured faces each face colour would be represented by symbols (since we may not know the light sensitivity range of the alien’s ocular organs).
Once complete we inform the alien that our side is the symbol for white and theirs is the yellow symbol side.
We then explain that the blue symbol side is to be set radial further from their planets core than the green symbol side and the same is true for us i.e. blue = top Green = bottom.
We now state that this remains true always.
Now we advise that our right is on the red symbol side and our left is on the orange symbol side. Their left and right is then a mirror of ours and ours is a mirror of theirs.
Additionally front is specified as each participant’s home side i.e. white for us yellow for them. Back is then the respective other participants home side.
The cube then becomes a datum from which the description of spatial directions can be based but, not navigational instructions since the observers physical orientation can invert the constant blue – green points of reference. For example they could be upside down compared to us. To overcome this, a suitable celestial object such as a pulsar visible to both parties could be used as an external orientation reference indicator.
So there it is a Pulsar and a Rubik’s cube. (Bob’s your uncle)

 
Alfred E Neuman
1108895.  Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:18 am Reply with quote

How will you instruct them to build the cube?

 
PDR
1108908.  Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:33 am Reply with quote

In broken Chinese english obviously - just like all other assembly instructions.

PDR

 
Humming Bird
1109033.  Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:40 am Reply with quote

In 'IKEA picto-step'might be worth a try; even if its just so we can laugh at their frustration :)

 
Humming Bird
1109735.  Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:30 am Reply with quote

Or how about this?

[--i] [-i-] [i--]

 
gruff5
1109935.  Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:56 am Reply with quote

Humming Bird wrote:
Or how about this?

[--i] [-i-] [i--]

What about "it"? What is it??

 
Humming Bird
1110013.  Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:12 am Reply with quote

All this thinking about the difficulties of communicating with an alien has led me to find the following on line. It’s a bit off topic but had me in tears laughing.
While some considered the nude couple on the Pioneer Plaque nearly pornographic, others—such as artist Joe Davis—decided that the images weren’t nearly explicit enough. He felt that a hairless man and a woman with no external genitalia were too sanitized, and would give aliens an inaccurate picture of our bodies while telling them absolutely nothing about human reproduction. In 1986, he therefore decided to do his part to remedy the “problem” by creating a space message that was undeniably sexual and uniquely human: it would contain the sounds of vaginal contractions.
Somehow Davis convinced a group of ballet dancers to let him record their vaginal contractions with a special devise he had designed, which included a sensitive pressure transducer. Using MIT’s Millstone Hill Radar, Davis was able to send about twenty minutes of his transmission into space before the US Air Force caught wind of the project and put a stop to it. Nevertheless, the transmission was still longer than Carl Sagan’s Arecibo message, and it has already reached two star systems, Epsilon Eridani and Tau Ceti.
Taken from 10 Interesting Attempts to Communicate With Aliens
S. Grant June 8, 2013
http://listverse.com/2013/06/08/10-interesting-attempts-to-communicate-with-aliens/

 
Humming Bird
1110018.  Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:22 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
Humming Bird wrote:
Or how about this?

[--i] [-i-] [i--]

What about "it"? What is it??


Well gruff5 its a self consistant semantic statement. It shows one specific state mirrored by another and separated by a neutral state.
A bit like -ve 0 +ve. Or something kind of like 'left, centre, right'.

 
gruff5
1110217.  Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:36 pm Reply with quote

Ah, OK. I thought the point of this exercise was to communicate the concept of left (or the concept right) to an alien.

 
14-11-2014
1110227.  Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:59 am Reply with quote

But [--i] is an interesting, unusual brainfuck statement.

Code:
[-] (make sure that then value at the pointer is 0)
+   (increase value at pointer by 1)

[   (while value at pointer is not 0)
-     (decrease value at pointer by 1)
-     (decrease value at pointer by 1)
i     (ignored (not a brainfuck character))
]   (end while loop)


Or, test code without reset, superfluous character and comments:

Code:
+[--]


0 + 1 = 1 (the "+")

Loop (the "[--]"), executed more than once:

1 - 2 = -1
-1 - 2 = -3

And so on; its value is not 0... Most likely an endless loop, like explaining left and right to an alien. The interpreter may be a part of this problem.

 
gruff5
1110861.  Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:22 am Reply with quote

There's quite a prosaic way to communicate left (or right) to an alien.

We can safely assume that any alien we are in communication with is in the Milky Way galaxy. All we need to do is ask them to observe the nearest galaxy of a size & type similar to our own, which is the Andromeda galaxy.

Andromeda is seen almost edge on, with an oblique view of the plane of the spiral disc to one side of the edge. Ask the alien to regard the 'up' direction as when you view the disc 'above' its edge. Then, one can say the disc edge is rotating to the left*.

*or right - I'm too lazy to research which way Andromeda is actually rotating.

 
gruff5
1204883.  Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:59 am Reply with quote

how does our consciousness know left and right? Is it to do with the left/right hemispheres of the brain? Do we know?

Ever heard of the condition Situs Inversus? Where all the organs of the body have swapped sides - eg heart is on the right etc.

Occurs in 1 in 10,000 people, who are often unaware they have it - until an appendicitis is missed cause the symptoms are on the "wrong" side!

Enrique Iglesias, Donny Osmond both have the condition.

 
14-11-2014
1204888.  Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:32 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Situs Inversus? Where all the organs of the body have swapped sides

K, assuming a situs inversus totalis: all the organs of the body.

 
PDR
1204893.  Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:16 am Reply with quote

The original problem comprised explaining left and right without using external references - and not just explaining the concept, but actually using it for something like saying "we are the 5th star on the right" without a picture.

PDR

 
gruff5
1204895.  Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:29 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
The original problem comprised explaining left and right without using external references - and not just explaining the concept, but actually using it for something like saying "we are the 5th star on the right" without a picture.

PDR

Ah, okay, that knocks my Andromeda galaxy idea on the head.

I suppose the kaon decay expt and other weak force phenomena also fall into the category of "external reference"?

 

Page 7 of 8
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group