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Author Topic: Languages in SC2 (new thread)  (Read 16841 times)
Miltazar
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #45 on: August 29, 2004, 09:14:52 am »

Alrighty, heres my attempt at a msg. NOTE: it is pretty complicated but its underlying meaning is related to meep-eeps...except more advanced version.

(...000...)
312022222222222222222222222222222222222
222222222222222222222211222222211222222
222211222222222222222221222222222222211
222211222222211222222222222222221221221
222211222222222222222222222222211222222
222222221222222222211222222211211222222
211222222222222222222222222222222222211
211211211222222222222222222222222222222
211211222211211211211222211211222222222
222222222222222222222222211211222222222
222222222222222222222222222211222222222
222222211222222222222222222222222222211
222222211222211222222211222222222222222
222222222222222211222222211222222222222
22222222222222222223
(...000...)
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2004, 08:42:19 pm »

This one is still pretty easilly decipherable, but I think that when you're going to transmit "3D" images it may be useful to add borders to the image, so you can see more easilly whether it's supposed to be 11x17x3, 17x11x3, 11x3x17, 17x3x11, 3x11x17, or 3x17x11.

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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2004, 10:20:27 am »

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(It's the same kind of Star Trek logic that says there's something universally useful about the human shape, so that all intelligent aliens have to be humanoid. Unimaginative nonsense.)

Actually, this is NOT Star Trek's explanation for the prevlance of the humanoid form in extraterrestrial lifeforms (and furthermore, in Star Trek, NOT all intelligent aliens are humanoid).  As was explained in Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6 Episode 20, "The Chase," the first humanoid race (which was an extremely advanced civilization) was lonely, so they seeded planets all throughout the Milky Way Galaxy with variants of their DNA.  It was thier hope that their "children" would come together to solve a puzzle to learn of their origins.  So, actually, according to Star Trek, so many aliens are bipedal, carbon-based lifeforms NOT necessarily because of something that's "universally useful" about this bodily form.  (Although if you want to be cynical about it, from a real-life standpoint, it's just beacuse the special effects involved in creating outrageously-shaped lifeforms would be too expensive.)

More about "The Chase" at http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TNG/episode/68598.html

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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2004, 10:25:29 am »

Damnit, Gargamel, read the WHOLE THREAD before you post!!  Embarrassed
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2004, 10:27:50 am »

Quote

Actually, this is NOT Star Trek's explanation for the prevlance of the humanoid form in extraterrestrial lifeforms (and furthermore, in Star Trek, NOT all intelligent aliens are humanoid).  As was explained in Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 6 Episode 20, "The Chase," the first humanoid race (which was an extremely advanced civilization) was lonely, so they seeded planets all throughout the Milky Way Galaxy with variants of their DNA.  It was thier hope that their "children" would come together to solve a puzzle to learn of their origins.  So, actually, according to Star Trek, so many aliens are bipedal, carbon-based lifeforms NOT necessarily because of something that's "universally useful" about this bodily form.  (Although if you want to be cynical about it, from a real-life standpoint, it's just beacuse the special effects involved in creating outrageously-shaped lifeforms would be too expensive.)

More about "The Chase" at http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TNG/episode/68598.html

Gargamel


I said it was the same *kind* of logic, not the same logic. It is, in fact, the logic behind why the Universal Translator device in Star Trek works on every race they meet -- it reads the races' brainwaves and correlates them with English words, which apparently always works because races' brains always follow the same patterns as English-speaking humans.

But I was aware of this very TNG episode, and ranted a bit a while back about how stupid it is. You can't "seed" DNA in a precise manner so that the random forces of evolution will end up making something that looks like you. Saying you can is to show a total disregard for what evolution is and how it works (which the Star Treks, throughout their entire history, have *always* done).
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #50 on: September 07, 2004, 04:46:02 pm »

Add that to the list of other kinds of science that StarTrek has since butchered. =p

I really think that in the interests of lucidity, we should all just assume that there is a Sub...SUB brainwave that all live forms possess, that in the case of sentient, those sub brainwaves can easily be translated into binary, which I assume all atomic age races would have (given electricity is represent as 1, or 0.
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #51 on: September 08, 2004, 02:24:10 am »

Um... okay. Given that that makes only slightly less sense than what we're given in the Star Trek Technical Manual, we can go with it.
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Sander Scamper
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #52 on: September 08, 2004, 08:42:31 am »

Stupid, but simple.
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #53 on: September 08, 2004, 10:48:27 pm »

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I didn't intend the lines to be visual flaws of lenses; I meant to show something radiating from the solid object.
It's a good point that not all beings may be able to naturally detect radiation. But they at least know the concept (they communicated through lights), and they must have noticed certain spatial bodies producing radiation.


fair enough. I was just trying to be pessimistic so as not to jump to conclusions

Quote
As for your last message, you seem to have left out the '31' which I used to signify the start of an image. Was that intentional? And the last image misses one pixel.


umm, the syntax was unintentional. And the missing pixel, if you mean there are 1 too few pixels, not just a change of value, umm... oops.
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2004, 04:37:16 am »

So far as I know, this hasn't come up yet - I haven't sat down to try to translate all your new-language messages, I'm just going on the commentary on those translations posted here.  But since you've already progressed from unary number systems to 2d (3d even?) images, someone, eventually, is bound to try to come up with a way to encode color.  Unless they've studied the physics of light and human color perception, they are almost certainly going to do it in a way that would be completely nonsensical for any alien species, even one that detected visible light much the way we do (which is a stretch in itself).

I won't go into the mucky details of it unless somebody's really curious, but suffice it to say, the red-green-blue additive primary color scheme we use on CRTs, projectors, etc, and the cyan-magenta-yellow subtractive primary color scheme we use for everything on paper ONLY works because of the exact frequency responses of the three color receptors in the human eye.  Even if we encountered an alien species that also detected visible light using similar receptors, which is unlikely, the chance that they would have three such receptors and that they would have the same frequency responses as our own color receptors is about zero.

As an example: when our monitor mixes red and green light to make a yellow pixel, it may look (to us) exactly like the yellow we see on a banana.  But, that does NOT mean the light coming from our yellow computer pixel and the light reflecting from the banana are both yellow; the electromagnetic frequency of light coming from the computer screen is still just red plus green, and the light coming from the banana is still just yellow.  The fact that we can't tell the difference between those two situations is a product of the physics of our eyeballs.

So what I'm saying is, if you try to encode color, DON'T do it in RGB.  Or even CMY.  In fact, offhand, I'm having a really hard time thinking of a good way to encode color to make sure an alien would be able to reproduce it correctly.  But maybe one of you is more clever.  Smiley
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2004, 07:16:20 am »

As the originator of this thread I should say that I've been interested in the whole language-decoding exercise, though I also haven't felt inclined to take the effort to work on it myself.

I should say, though, that what I meant by using nonverbal information to decode words pretty much is this exercise of first sending numerical, mathematical information and then sending pictures. It's a step to go from there to coding abstract concepts in a natural language; the most natural step would seem to me to be matching pictures with encoded words, and the ability to identify pictures in order to match them to words and extrapolate from the meaning of a picture to abstract meanings (like, having learned words for "human" and "knife", understand that a simple word going with a picture of a human sticking a knife into another human is "kill" or "murder") is a rather complex one. It'd be a pretty big leap in AI for a computer to be able to do it unaided.

Of course, you've demonstrated you probably know more about this than me, but it's still my belief that while this sort of exchange is certainly possible and would probably be done with an alien race we'd contacted, it wouldn't be possible to have computers automatically act as translators for some alien race within the early days of contact; doing this sort of thing on a large enough scale to get a big dictionary would be a massive task involving many humans.
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2004, 08:47:16 am »

Firstly, very interesting topic...

Quote
So what I'm saying is, if you try to encode color, DON'T do it in RGB.  Or even CMY.  In fact, offhand, I'm having a really hard time thinking of a good way to encode color to make sure an alien would be able to reproduce it correctly.  But maybe one of you is more clever.  Smiley


Well since light is a waveform why not send them the start of our visible spectrum and the interval value for each step higher.  Then when sending an image send the relative and steped color value in the electromagnetic spectrum for each pixel as well as the intensity (energy level).  Energy would also have to have some kind of steping and baseline sent too.  A lot would have to be passed back and forth before images could be sent.  There would have to be some other information sent out along with the above, this is a bit of a simplification.

But asside from that you can do pretty good imigery with monochrome, same concept as engraving if you discount depth.  One step up from that would be grey scale with a little preamble first.

Hope that made sense, it's getting late for me.
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2004, 06:31:09 pm »

What if your computer sent along colour frequencies afterward that their computer translated into the appropriate colours visible to THEIR eyes?
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Re: Languages in SC2 (new thread)
« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2004, 09:30:24 pm »

It wouldn't help much to give the aliens the frequencies for R, G and B that we were mixing to make our colors, since they wouldn't know how the mixtures would look to us without knowing a LOT about the details of the chemistry of our eyeballs.  R+G=Y is not a universal equation, even if you replace names with frequencies; it's still dependent on the chemical color receptors unique to humans.

But, establishing an absolute frequency scale might work - giving them the range of frequencies visible to us and then telling them how we were going to indicate different frequencies within that range.  It would still require a lot of other things to be established first, however.. for example, we measure frequency in hertz, which roughly means "oscillations per second", but how do we tell them how long a second is?  We define seconds in terms of minutes in terms of hours in terms of days, but even if we told them that a day was how long it took our planet to complete one revolution on its axis, they still wouldn't know how long that was without us telling them a lot about the orbital properties of our planet, etc etc.

Basically, the problem of color is a pretty high-level one, and it couldn't really be addressed until we'd already established a way to convert our measurement units, which is in itself a big task and would probably require the ability to translate arbitrary sentences.
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