Midnight In The Desert — communication

Psychologists Say SETI Has Faulty Alien Contact Methods

Posted by K R on

Psychologists Say SETI Has Faulty Alien Contact Methods

A group of psychologists say scientists will never make contact with aliens because aliens are likely to use communications based on unknown physical principles. They also say scientists are prone to so-called inattentional blindness. A group of psychologists from the University of Cadiz in Spain has published an article criticizing alien-seeking scientists involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project, saying they will never make contact with extraterrestrial civilizations. According to the article, published in Acta Astronautica, the scientists involved in SETI are concentrating solely on searching for radio signals when aliens are likely to use other forms of...

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Hello, aliens. Can we talk?

Posted by K R on

Hello, aliens. Can we talk?

Hi. It’s one of the simplest greetings we have—one syllable, two letters, maybe joined by a friendly wave. But how would you say “Hi” to someone on the other side of the city? On the other side of the world? How about to someone who’s thousands of light-years away, whose language you don’t know, whose anatomy you don’t know (do they have eyes?), and whose technology is a mystery? How would you say “Hi” then? How would you even indicate that we’re here, on Earth, calling out into space to see if anyone will call back? That’s what Douglas Vakoch...

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Talking to E.T.? Why Math May Be the Best Language

Posted by K R on

Talking to E.T.? Why Math May Be the Best Language

Communication between Earthlings and intelligent aliens should be based on mathematics — exo-arithmetic greetings that form a shared lingo, some researchers say. The idea is that mathematics is as much a part of our humanity as music and art. And it is mathematics that might be understandable — even familiar — to extraterrestrial civilizations, allowing us to strike up star-speak repartee. Carl DeVito, an emeritus faculty in the mathematics department at the University of Arizona in Tucson, has proposed a language based on plausibly universal scientific concepts. He recently detailed his work at the Astrobiology Science Conference 2017, held from...

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Why Do Cats Purr? It’s Not Just Because They’re Happy

Posted by K R on

Why Do Cats Purr? It’s Not Just Because They’re Happy

CURLING UP WITH your favorite ball of fur as she purrs away is pretty close to heaven, at least for cat folk. Yet, hidden between those vibrations, that most appealing of domestic sounds remains wrapped in mystery, and even a little magic. No one is certain exactly why cats purr, though there are a number of good guesses. The obvious observation is cats seem to purr when they’re pleased and feeling good. But that’s not always the case: Some cats also purr when they’re hungry, injured, or frightened. And most surprisingly, purring frequencies have been shown to stimulate bone regeneration—yes,...

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Talk to the Animals

Posted by K R on

Talk to the Animals

Most pet owners talk to their animals at one time or another, and some do every day. But how much do our pets actually understand? Is their perception anything like ours? These are the questions that fascinate Irene Pepperberg and she's looking for answers from the animals themselves, specifically -- African Grey Parrots. The Harvard University psychology professor is a bit like the character Dr. Doolittle because she's been talking to parrots for decades. With help from the National Science Foundation, she's researching how much the birds understand about shapes, numbers and colors. Her next phase of research involves how...

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