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Wow!

24 Aug 2014, 00:00 UTC
Wow!
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How can intelligent beings from very different civilizations communicate with each other? If they've never had previous contact, they would have no agreement about gestures, sounds, symbols, and their meanings. They would have to construct understanding by interpreting the context everything is said and done in. Continue reading →

¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending September 30, 2014
How can intelligent beings from very different civilizations communicate with each other? If they’ve never had previous contact, they would have no agreement about gestures, sounds, symbols, and their meanings. They would have to construct understanding by interpreting the context everything is said and done in.
It’s possible they wouldn’t even recognize each other’s mode of communication. The first Europeans to see American Indian smoke signals saw just smoke on the horizon. Some people familiar with old Central American ways keep financial ledgers that look like knotted threads to everyone else.
Humans have always found enough in common with each other to get their point across and start learning each other’s words. Sometimes a warm smile conveys meaning. Unfortunately, so does cold blooded killing. Civilizations have come to know each other through both.
During the late 1800s, people started thinking ...

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