Sunday, 28 February 2016

Inter-Species Communication II

See Inter-Species Communication.

Poul Anderson
The relevant quotes are:

"The nonhuman remains nonhuman. He can only show us those facets of himself which we can understand. Thus he often seems to be a two-dimensional, even comic personality. But remember, we have the corresponding effect on him."
-Poul Anderson, The Van Rijn Method (New York, 2009), pp. 264-265.

"'[Nonhumans] are too unlike us. You probably know better than I how vastly their psychologies, instincts, drives, capabilities differ from ours, and from each other's...I think we interact with them, and they with us, only on a rather superficial level. Partnership is possible between human and alien, yes. Sometimes even what the human feels as friendship. But how does the alien feel it? That may be ultimately unknowable, on either side.'"
-Poul Anderson, For Love And Glory (New York, 2003), Chapter IX, p. 53.

Bob Shaw
Bob told me that he never had conversations between human beings and aliens but there was some conversation with hyper-dimensional beings in the Orbitsville Trilogy and maybe between souls of different species in the scientifically rationalized hereafter of The Palace Of Eternity? In old age, we try to remember works read literally decades ago.

Carl Sagan
Sagan suggests a means of communication. See here.

Niven and Pournelle
When, in Anderson's A Circus Of Hells, an alien on her own planet shakes her head in disbelief, we ask, "Would she do this?" whereas, when one of Niven's and Pournelle's Moties nods her head, we soon realize that this is because she is trying to converse with human beings and is learning fast.

I am definitely signing off till next month. Excelsior.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Your mentioning of A CIRCUS OF HELLS reminded me of how it might turn out to be the case that where humans and non humans do share some things in common, that also might be a cause of strife and conflict. This is what I found in Chapter I of A CIRCUS OF HELLS: "It wasn't the differences between them [Merseians] and men that caused trouble, Flandry knew. It was the similarities--in planets of origin, and thus in planets desired; in the energy of warm-blooded animals, the instincts of ancestors who hunted, the legacies of pride and war--" And, as what I found in Chapter 11 of ENSIGN FLANDRY said: "Which made the two races enemies. They wanted the same kind of real estate." If the Merseians had been like hydrogen breathing Ymirites living on huge high gravity worlds humans would scarcely have more than occasional, non violent contact with them!