First-contact language

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Leo
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First-contact language

Post by Leo » 20 Oct 2018 22:31

META: Still hibernating, language wise, but somehow managed to come up with this weird thing.

When the Global Subquantum Interferometry Network finally got fine tuned for synchronization last month, something big got in the way: Meant for analysing fluctuations in the fundamental unification field, it got overwhelmed by a flurry of what looks like messages crossing our patch of the cosmos in all directions. Most of it is just too complex to make out a single word but a few messages are recognizable, conveyed in the simplest possible encoding: Binary. One was made public before all governments involved decided to make the laboratories military facilities. A second one was leaked yesterday. Low energy pulses are noted "-", high energy pulses "+", and pauses the space character.

First message:

Code: Select all

----++++ --+ ++++ --- + --+ + --+- + --++ + --+-- + --+-+ + --++- + --+++ + --+--- + --+--+ + --+-+- + --+-++ + --++-- + --++-+ + --+++- + --++++ ++++----
Second message:

Code: Select all

----++++ --+- +++ +++-+++ ++++ +++-+++ --- --- +++ +++-+++ --+ --+ +++ +++-+++ --+- --+- +++ +++-+++ --++-+- --++-+- ++++ --++ +++ -+-++-+++ ++++ +++-+++ --+- -+-++-+++ --+ --+ +++ +++-+++ --++ -+-++-+++ --+- --+ +++ +++-+++ --+-- -+-++-+++ --++ --+ +++ +++-+++ --+-+ -+-++-+++ --++ --+- ++++ --+-- +++ +---+---+ ++++ +++-+++ --+ -+-++-+++ --++ +---+---+ --+- +++ +++-+++ --- -+-++-+++ --++ +---+---+ --++ +++ +++-+++ +---+---+ --+ -+-++-+++ --++ +---+---+ --+-- +++ +++-+++ +---+---+ --+- -+-++-+++ --++ +---+---+ --+-+ ++++----
EDIT: Typo.
Last edited by Leo on 20 Oct 2018 23:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Lambuzhao
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Lambuzhao » 20 Oct 2018 23:49

Not 100% certain, but I think the second message translates roughly to "Won't you step into my parlour, dear Flies…".

I'm spitballing some, but I think I got the first message also: "How Best to Serve Mankind…"


The cycle of going from dust to dessert. The metamorphosis from being the ruler of an entire planet to the main ingredient in someone else's soup.

Uff! Talk about yer fortunæ rota volvitur
[:x]

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Leo
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Leo » 20 Oct 2018 23:58

Lambuzhao wrote:
20 Oct 2018 23:49
I'm spitballing some, but I think I got the first message also: "How Best to Serve Mankind…"
Was my first impression too and is probably the reason for all the troops around the labs... [:D]

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Lambuzhao
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Lambuzhao » 21 Oct 2018 00:25

Don't want to seem like an alarmist (¿Really, moribund Stephen Hawking [:(] ?‽), but IMHO more and more, this sort of Interstellar Marco Polo may be best unanswered.

[:|]
what may follow those kinds of messages:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4PYI6TzqYk

Yes, but no.
[:S]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtM3UTktVWI
Hell no, but prolly yes.
[:'(]

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Lambuzhao
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Lambuzhao » 21 Oct 2018 00:29

Lambuzhao wrote:
20 Oct 2018 23:49
Not 100% certain, but I think the second message translates roughly to "Won't you step into my parlour, dear Flies…".

I'm spitballing some, but I think I got the first message also: "How Best to Serve Mankind…"


The cycle of going from dust to dessert. The metamorphosis from being the ruler of an entire planet to the main ingredient in someone else's soup.

Uff! Talk about yer fortunæ rota volvitur
[:x]
Then again, they could both be versions of this sort of message:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL4wA8mGxJU

Oh, would that we mightn't get a collective bonk on the bean by Pangalactic Elmer Fudds ~

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Re: First-contact language

Post by Salmoneus » 21 Oct 2018 00:35

The 'messages' aren't in binary, but in ternary, as they use three values: plus, minus, and pause. Absence of a signal is also a signal - unless we want to say that computers work in unary..

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Leo
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Leo » 21 Oct 2018 01:06

@Lambuzhao: Don't worry, our primitive subquantum technology can only eavesdrop on the galactic internet at this point, there is no way we can reply.

@Salmoneus: You're absolutely right. I should stop repeating what the tabloids say about these events, and start actually looking into it.

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Lambuzhao
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Lambuzhao » 21 Oct 2018 18:09

Salmoneus wrote:
21 Oct 2018 00:35
The 'messages' aren't in binary, but in ternary, as they use three values: plus, minus, and pause. Absence of a signal is also a signal - unless we want to say that computers work in unary..
AT the risk of opening a whole other can of worms, why do Earthlings' computer programming preponder on binary coding? Why don't we use ternary? Do we use it at all? Would our current technology not be able to handle it?
:wat:

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Leo
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Leo » 21 Oct 2018 23:27

Lambuzhao wrote:
21 Oct 2018 18:09
AT the risk of opening a whole other can of worms, why do Earthlings' computer programming preponder on binary coding? Why don't we use ternary? Do we use it at all? Would our current technology not be able to handle it?
:wat:
Yes, a can of worms. Ternary systems were built in the far past. From the technical and computational points of view, both systems have pros and cons, and it is not clear why binary prevailed. For the subquantum messages, my reflection was that the "pause-separated binary groups" encoding offers better recognizability than a constant stream of bits or trits; I'd be happy to be proved wrong though.

Let me know if you guys would like to play along and crack the messages as I post them, or you prefer that I just explain what in them is novel as compared to prior art.

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Re: First-contact language

Post by Salmoneus » 22 Oct 2018 01:25

Lambuzhao wrote:
21 Oct 2018 18:09
Salmoneus wrote:
21 Oct 2018 00:35
The 'messages' aren't in binary, but in ternary, as they use three values: plus, minus, and pause. Absence of a signal is also a signal - unless we want to say that computers work in unary..
AT the risk of opening a whole other can of worms, why do Earthlings' computer programming preponder on binary coding? Why don't we use ternary? Do we use it at all? Would our current technology not be able to handle it?
:wat:
Conceptually, binary is much easier. A binary message only requires two values, and one of those values can be null. That means to receive a binary message, you only need to be able to distinguish whether there's any signal or not. That makes it adaptable to any medium, and requires the simplest possible machinery - as in Leibniz's binary computers, which used the presence or absence of metal balls. The machinery just has to react to receiving a signal. Ternary means you need to have a receiver that can receive two different types of signal and react differently to each type, which is vastly more difficult.

Also, using binary means you get to use all of classical logic and most extensions to classical logic, making operations much more intuitive. Trivalent logics of course exist, but have always been much more exotic and less commonly known and understood.

That said, obviously increasing the base of the logic would potentially increase its speed and efficiency (each character becomes more meaningful, so you need fewer of them). It's just harder to do, and binary works pretty well. I guess since we've always been able to exponentially increase speed through hardware improvements, it's never been necessary to 'upgrade' our logic.

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Lambuzhao
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Lambuzhao » 10 Nov 2018 06:54

Salmoneus wrote:
22 Oct 2018 01:25
Lambuzhao wrote:
21 Oct 2018 18:09
Salmoneus wrote:
21 Oct 2018 00:35
The 'messages' aren't in binary, but in ternary, as they use three values: plus, minus, and pause. Absence of a signal is also a signal - unless we want to say that computers work in unary..
AT the risk of opening a whole other can of worms, why do Earthlings' computer programming preponder on binary coding? Why don't we use ternary? Do we use it at all? Would our current technology not be able to handle it?
:wat:
Conceptually, binary is much easier. A binary message only requires two values, and one of those values can be null. That means to receive a binary message, you only need to be able to distinguish whether there's any signal or not. That makes it adaptable to any medium, and requires the simplest possible machinery - as in Leibniz's binary computers, which used the presence or absence of metal balls. The machinery just has to react to receiving a signal. Ternary means you need to have a receiver that can receive two different types of signal and react differently to each type, which is vastly more difficult.

Also, using binary means you get to use all of classical logic and most extensions to classical logic, making operations much more intuitive. Trivalent logics of course exist, but have always been much more exotic and less commonly known and understood.

That said, obviously increasing the base of the logic would potentially increase its speed and efficiency (each character becomes more meaningful, so you need fewer of them). It's just harder to do, and binary works pretty well. I guess since we've always been able to exponentially increase speed through hardware improvements, it's never been necessary to 'upgrade' our logic.
Hm. Wow. Very interesting.
Thanks for the post!
[:D]

Would a ternary receiver be able to receive a superimposed signal? Like a kind of Schrodinger-cat circuit?
:wat:

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All4Ɇn
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Re: First-contact language

Post by All4Ɇn » 10 Nov 2018 19:08

This is a really interesting little project! Is avant-garde conlanging a thing yet? Because if not you may have just invented it.

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Leo
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Re: First-contact language

Post by Leo » 11 Nov 2018 01:00

Lambuzhao wrote:
10 Nov 2018 06:54
Would a ternary receiver be able to receive a superimposed signal? Like a kind of Schrodinger-cat circuit?
That would be qutrits as discussed there: https://cstheory.stackexchange.com/ques ... -computing a few posts down.
All4Ɇn wrote:
10 Nov 2018 19:08
This is a really interesting little project! Is avant-garde conlanging a thing yet? Because if not you may have just invented it.
Several attempts at establishing a language and conveying complex information through extremely reduced communication and without the possibility of a dialog have been made in the past and my first two messages are little different than those, but the next ones are trying to overcome a limitation of prior art. I cannot disclose what it is without spoiling the game and ruining my experiment ;) I can post hints though, to get things started.

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