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Still Waters

Why aliens might understand the universe

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We assume that the way humans see the world has some correspondence to objective truth. That’s not necessarily correct. Let's do a thought experiment where we have a quick chat with an alien species to see how mistaken we are about the universe.

So we’ve made contact with aliens, and some people are celebrating and others are melting down with fear, but the overall consensus is that we should ask them over for tea or something. It’s likely that tea time conversation will be a bit stilted. What do people talk about other than what they have in common? Although we may assume that we have the whole universe in common, the aliens, if we just tweak their senses a bit, may be living in a different universe from ours.

http://io9.com/why-a...erent-756672023

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How do you explain "blue" to someone whose visual spectrum is not in our visual spectrum at all. How do you explain the smell of "vanilla" to someone with no olfactory sense, or if they have one the chemical in question never evolved?

"Understanding," something essential for communication, is not the same as knowing.

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Posted (edited)

We assume that the way humans see the world has some correspondence to objective truth. That’s not necessarily correct. Let's do a thought experiment where we have a quick chat with an alien species to see how mistaken we are about the universe.

So we’ve made contact with aliens, and some people are celebrating and others are melting down with fear, but the overall consensus is that we should ask them over for tea or something. It’s likely that tea time conversation will be a bit stilted. What do people talk about other than what they have in common? Although we may assume that we have the whole universe in common, the aliens, if we just tweak their senses a bit, may be living in a different universe from ours.

Wait...

Are they joking/being hypothetical, or am I missing some news about alien contact here?

On topic: Obviously their view on the universe will be different than ours. In fact, who's to say that our perception of reality fits everyone on earth? There would be a lot of differences between us, and them (other than sharing the universe =P).

Edited by MySummerJob
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Wait...

Are they joking/being hypothetical, or am I missing some news about alien contact here?

On topic: Obviously their view on the universe will be different than ours. In fact, who's to say that our perception of reality fits everyone on earth? There would be a lot of differences between us, and them (other than sharing the universe =P).

I just looked out my window and everything appears to be as it was yesterday. No change. ;)

And I agree with your on topic comment :)

Kind Regards

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This business of how we sense the universe around us is something that I have often seen people just simply not able to get at all. They seem to take our particular interface system for granted and are unable to even imagine another. Seems here we have a couple more cases of this.

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This business of how we sense the universe around us is something that I have often seen people just simply not able to get at all. They seem to take our particular interface system for granted and are unable to even imagine another. Seems here we have a couple more cases of this.

Yeah, I've often thought about things like this, but mainly with color...

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