Blog Article

A Thought Experiment

Posted by judgmentoftherain

Suppose that aliens from another planet decided to visit your house and make contact. Let's also assume that the aliens spoke a different language. How would you break the language barrier and communicate an idea to them?

My response:

Many concepts that we've developed as a species are abstract, as they don't require a physical example. However, we often use physical objects in order to explain what counting is. I suppose my answer to this question would be to start by associating numbers with objects and then going from there. I would only hope that they would get what I'm saying when I group certain objects together, as counting 2 things is not the same as counting 2 of the SAME things. If one could get them to distinguish between the two, that would be an encouraging sign that they're understanding our thinking. 

Number of views: 170

Comments

Posted by judgmentoftherain

The second post has a correction in it. I don't know how to edit this thing, so I just copied and pasted it with the corrections.

Posted by judgmentoftherain

Suppose that aliens from another planet decided to visit your house and make contact. Let's also assume that the aliens spoke a different language. How would you break the language barrier and communicate an idea to them? My response: Many concepts that we've developed as a species are abstract, as they don't require a physical example. However, we often use physical objects in order to explain what counting is. I suppose my answer to this question would be to start by associating numbers with objects and then going from there. I would only hope that they would get what I'm saying when I group certain objects together, as counting 2 distinct things is not the same as counting 2 things that are the same. If one could get them to distinguish between the two, that would be an encouraging sign that they're understanding our thinking.