Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication 2: Relevant Photography and Images Here we see some photographs and images relevant to our translation of Richard Saint-Gelais' brilliant article,Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication 2 research... and some not so relevant! First off, we have here a chart illustrating thee extreme geometric simplicity or more to the point, the Geometric Economy of Mycenaean Greek, which may indeed make it susceptible or even suitable to extraterrestrial communication with other intelligent beings, if we accept the “fact” that we ourselves are “intelligent”... a point which is open to serious debate! The Geometric Economy of Mycenaean Linear B: Moreover, Linear B's closest cousin, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, which followed closely on the heels of Linear B, once it fell out of use with the fall of Mycenae ca. 1200 BCE, and which lasted continually from ca. 1100-400 BCE (!), is just as remarkable for its Geometric Economy as Linear B, and could equally serve the same capacity as a vehicle for extraterrestrial communication. The Geometric Economy of Arcado-Cypriot Linear C: On the other hand, nothing could be more ridiculous than the Voyager 1 satellite, launched on Sept. 5 1977, and now hurtling God knows where just outside the confines of our Solar System. Apart from the fact that a mechanical contraption such as this would (and will!) take hundreds of thousands of years to get anywhere at all, what is the point? Moreover, the premises upon which its means of communication with so-called extraterrestrials are based are so absurdly unsound as to beg credence. For instance, what extraterrestrial beings in their right minds (assuming they have minds like us) could conceivably recognize those ridiculous images of a naked man and woman?... unless they were even remotely similar to us physiologically... a likelihood that is about as realistic as winning a lottery of a trillion dollars. And that is just scratching the surface, as we shall discover to our great amusement when I eventually publish my article on Prof. Saint-Gelais' own research. There follow here a few images relative to the Voyager 1 probe which are liable to make you LOL.
The beginning of my translation of, Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication 2, by Richard Saint-Gelais, Université Laval, Québec, Québec Before I get to the beginning of my translation of Richard Saint-Gelais' astonishing article on the practical and theoretical application of Mycenaean Linear B (I kid you not!) to interstellar communication between ourselves and other intelligent extraterrestrial beings, allow me to point out that the notion is not so far-fetched as it might seem at first sight. Certainly, it is not in the same “category” as Ufology or Ufologists chasing kooky dreams in “Area 51”. In fact, NASA itself sponsored this brilliant and insightful investigation which Prof. Sain-Gelais recently undertook under the auspices of NASA. So this is serious business.. . which is why I am translating it in the first place. But I intend to take the project even further than that. Not only am I translating Prof. Saint-Gelais' in depth study, but I intend to follow my translation and his subsequent original text in French with a lengthy commentary on the feasibility of such interstellar communication, however remote. And remote it is. It is likely that I will need at least another month even to effect the translation, let alone to write the article, which I shall eventually be posting on my academia.edu account. Hopefully, I can then submit it to a scientific journal such as Science
or Astronomy Only time will tell. But I am quite sure some scientific publication will certainly be interested in this highly original research I have to offer. My translation: introduction: Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication 2 Chapter 5: Semiotic Outlook on SETI As everyone knows, communication is a sensitive human venture. So there are reasons to doubt that this would be an easy thing to carry off across the universe. In this essay, I shall endeavour to explain a set of theoretical problems which might beset communication between us and extraterrestrial intelligent beings. I shall also attempt to map out the primary difficulties which we may encounter when we come face to face with the phenomenon (or to be more precise the hypothesis) underlying communication, by all appearances, with beings so profoundly unlike ourselves. Such difficulties are often articulated in epistemological terms or of sensorial incompatibility between interstellar beings belonging to such dissimilar species and cultural milieus communicating with one another that that grounds for mutual understanding proper to such communication will very likely be extremely weak. We are not even aware whether or not extraterrestrial beings are likely to perceive and conceive of their own reality in any way similar to the way we do, or if they are subject to the same sorts of cognitive categories as ours, or even if they are able to communicate by sight or sound. Right off the top, I have to say that my position runs along the lines of epistemological skepticism as I have just outlined it. Still, my point of view differs somewhat, without however being incompatible with the epistemological approach. I intend to apply semiotic theories and methodologies to the problem of interstellar communication, all the while placing an emphasis on signs, language, meaning and interpretation. An easy but simplistic approach to the conception of such communication as this can be defined in terms of synchronization of a message received with its prior transmission, with message decoding at target pursuant to its coding at source, in the sense of meaning conveyed through the medium of the message itself considered as vehicle for its own context (Marshall McLuhan, The medium is the message). Still, understanding a message does not necessarily mean extracting something actually present in its own signs. On the contrary, it is implied that such signs can effectively integrated in an interpretational framework allowing the being targeted to confer meaning on them, in the sense that he or she can profit from elaborating on them, rather than extracting them from the source. For instance, let's take the example of a very basic repetitive sign consisting of two equilateral triangles with their bases flush, all the while pointing in opposite directions, one to the left and the other to the right. Occasionally, these two triangles are separated by a vertical line. A experiments re-writing “this” sign on a blackboard conducted with first year students have repeatedly shown me, they are met with looks of astonishment until I can provide them with a hint along the lines of, “Suppose that this is something you have spotted in an elevator”, by furnishing them with a context for interpretation allowing them to recognize the triangles as a conventional symbol opening up portals. By Richard Saint-Gelais, Université Laval, Québec, Québec Archéologie, Anthropologie et Communication Interstellaire 2 Introduction: Chapitre 5: Perspectives sémiotiques sur SETI La Communication, comme nous le savons tous, est une entreprise délicate entre les êtres humains. Donc, il y a des raisons de douter que ce serait une chose facile à travers l'univers. Dans cet essai, je vais essayer de décrire un ensemble de problèmes théoriques qui pourraient affecter la communication avec des intelligences extraterrestres. Je vais aussi essayer de cartographier les principales difficultés qui se posent lorsque l'on regarde le phénomène (ou plus exactement l'hypothèse) de communication entre ce qui sera, selon toute vraisemblance, des espèces profondément différentes. Ces difficultés sont souvent exprimées en termes d'épistémique et d'incompatibilité sensorielle entre des interlocuteurs interstellaires qui appartiennent à des espèces et des cultures si différentes que le terrain d'entente nécessaire à la communication pourrait être vraiment très faible. Nous ne savons pas si les extraterrestres vont percevoir et concevoir leur réalité de façon similaire à la nôtre, en utilisant les mêmes catégories cognitives, ou même si ils vont communiquer par les voies visuelles et acoustiques. Je dois dire d'emblée que ma position est similaire au scepticisme épistémique que je viens de mentionner. Mais mon point de vue sera légèrement différent de ça, mais pas incompatible avec la perspective épistémique. Je vais appliquer les théories et les méthodes d'analyses sémiotiques au problème de la communication interstellaire, en mettant l'accent sur ??les signes, le langage, le sens et l'interprétation. Une facile mais simpliste conception de la communication se définit comme la production d'une émission suivie d'une phase de réception, un codage puis un décodage d'un sens donné à travers un message qui est considéré comme un véhicule pour ce contenu. Mais la compréhension d'un message n'est pas d'extraire quelque chose de physiquement présent dans les signes. Elle implique, au contraire, l'intégration de ces signes dans un cadre d'interprétation qui permet au destinataire de leur donner des significations, un sens que le bénéficiaire doit élaborer, pas extraire. Prenez, par exemple, un signe très simple et fréquent qui consiste en deux triangles équilatéraux placés la base à la base et pointant dans des directions opposées, l'une à gauche, l'autre à droite; Ces deux triangles sont parfois séparés par une ligne verticale. Comme des expériences répétées avec les étudiants de premier cycle me l'ont montré, une reproduction de ce signe sur le tableau noir ne rencontre que perplexité jusqu'à ce que je leur offre l'indice "suppose que c'est quelque chose que vous voyez dans un ascenseur", fournissant une interprétation du contexte, qui leur permet de reconnaître les triangles comme le symbole conventionnel pour ouvrir les portes. Par Richard Saint-Gelais, Université Laval, Québec, Québec
Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae 2014: The Year in Review and then some, our new blog, Transcendence and The Singularity, in 2015 Although our blog is only 20 months old, it has assumed a prominent rôle as one of the Internet’s primary resources on current research into Mycenaean Linear B and much more besides. We are also the fist and foremost source for the ongoing study of Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, for which until now very few adequate resources have existed on the Internet. We have carefully classified our blog into several main Categories, which appear right at the top of the Home Page of our blog, as you see here: Click to ENLARGE The Categories of PRIMARY concern to ourselves and, we hope, to all of us worldwide who are deeply committed to the furtherance of research into Mycenaean Greek & Linear B, as well as into Arcado-Cypriot and Linear C, are highlighted in UPPER CASE. This does not imply that the other Categories are not important. They are. It is just that we devote less of our time and resources to them than to the PRIMARY Categories. In our first full year of operation, 2014, we set out to reach certain goals, and we are pleased to announce that we have attained or exceeded them all. These are prioritized as follows: 1. The theory and practical implementation of the new theory of SUPERSYLLABOGRAMS in Mycenaean Linear B. While Prof. John Chadwick, Michael Ventris, Prof. Thomas G. Palaima and Chris Tselentis were all aware of the existence of supersyllabograms in one form or another, and while the latter three had each isolated certain instances of their appearance in Linear B, none of them actually “defined” them as such, since none of them was aware of all of the practical applications of supersyllabograms in Linear B, of which there are three, as we shall soon enough see in 2015. It is my intention to publish, in concert with my research colleague, Rita Roberts, a full-length research article in PDF format, The Theory and Applications of Sypersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, sometime in 2015, probably no earlier than the summer, as we fully intend to have it peer-reviewed by at least 2 of the world’s leading experts or institutions intimately involved with Linear B prior to publication, among whom we can hopefully count on Prof. Thomas G. Palaima, Chris Tselentis and the Heraklion Museum: Click to ENLARGE 2. The translation of as many extant Linear B tablets as we could reasonably hope to handle, without over-stretching our human resources. There are two translators of Linear B on our Blog, my now advanced student of Linear B, Rita Roberts, and myself. Between us, we have managed to translate into English scores of Linear B tablets from Knossos, four from Pylos, and one each from Mycenae and Thebes. You can review all of our translations for yourself by clicking on the Categories SCRIPTA MINOA for tablets from Knossos and Tablets for Linear A, B & C tablets and fragments from anywhere else. 3. Throughout the spring of 2014, I also began reconstructing the grammar of Mycenaean Greek from the ground up, successfully building complete verb conjugations for the active voice in all of the these tenses of both thematic and athematic verbs: present, future, imperfect, aorist & perfect, leaving other tenses aside for reasons which will be made clear later in 2015: Click to ENLARGE I intend to continue with the reconstitution of derived forms for the declensions of nouns and adjectives, and for the use of cases with prepositions, including the early instrumental case which fell into disuse by the time alphabetic Greek came to the fore in the eighth century BCE. 4. We also believe that a successful decipherment of Minoan Linear A may be around the corner (i.e. within the next five years or so), for reasons which will become apparent with the creation of our new blog, TRANSCENDENCE, as of early 2015: The title of our new blog is, of course, based on the movie of the same name, Transcendence & The Singularity, 2014, starring Johnny Depp and Rebecca Hall. Our new Blog is to serve as an international online forum for the sharing of novel ideas, new theories and advances in the following areas of scientific research now dominating the world scene: the implications of the Curiosity Project on Mars and of the search for exoplanets for the potential and probable discovery if life elsewhere in the universe; the active involvement of NASA, other major international Space agencies and organizations in extraterrestrial communication; the emergence of cosmic consciousness beyond our earthly sphere of knowledge for the first time in human history and, of course, the search for the practical application of artificial intelligence and its implications for human affairs in all spheres of life, with reference to the likelihood that the well-touted Singularity will occur sometime in our century, possibly as early as 2025-2030, more likely around 2040-2050. These will be our primary concerns on that blog. It is not so much a question of I myself sharing my own knowledge, pitifully limited as it is, of these critical advancements in the sphere of our scientific knowledge-base as of seeking as much input and as variegated feedback from the scientific and technological community worldwide, as well as from amateurs such as ourselves, on these amazing developments now sweeping over the planet. 5. Concurrent with the creation of our Blog, Transcendence and the Singularity, we shall be pursuing the possibilities for the practical application of Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C on this blog to extraterrestrial communication, a project which is already well underway here under the rubric, NASA at the top of our home page. Click on the NASA banner to read more about this truly fascinating research project: 6. We shall also be taking our first steps towards the compilation of the most comprehensive vocabulary of Mycenaean Linear B ever yet developed, A Topical English-Mycenaean Greek Lexicon. We intend to double the Mycenaean Greek lexicon of some 2,500 attested (A) words currently known to 5,000 attested (A) and derived (D) at the very minimum, with a large number of derived (D) words regressively extrapolated from these sources in descending order of priority: (a) the extant vocabulary of Arcado-Cypriot, in both Linear C and in the alphabetical Arcado-Cypriot dialect, since this dialect is more closely related to Mycenaean Greek than even Attic Greek is to Ionic; (b) The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of Homer’s Iliad, in which we find the most archaic Greek after the Arcado-Cypriot dialect, a Greek which still contains a number of grammatical elements left over from Mycenaean Greek. I shall have translated the entire Catalogue of Ships into English before the end of winter 2015 as the framework or template, if you like, for the regressive extrapolation of derived (D) Mycenaean Greek; (c) from the rest of the Iliad and (d) from the early Aeolic, Ionic and Attic dialects, prior to the fifth century BCE. I must lay particular stress on the fact that Mycenaean Greek vocabulary can only be derived (D) from these dialects alone, since all are East Greek dialects, right on down from Mycenaean to Attic Greek. Mycenaean Greek words emphatically cannot be derived (D) from West Greek dialects such as the Doric, as these are not directly related to it. Richard
The Implications of the Geometric Economy of Linear C versus that of Linear B I have compiled here a geometric analysis of the Geometric Economy of the Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Syllabary: Click to ENLARGE If you are already familiar with Mycenaean Linear B, you will quickly realize that the Linear C syllabary is even more streamlined for its geometric economy than is Linear B. The Linear C syllabary consists of only 5 geometric shapes: the dot, the straight line, the circle, the tear & the oval, even fewer than we find in Linear B. The implications of this further streamlining are clear enough, even superficially. Since the Linear C syllabary simply abandoned all logograms, homophones and ideograms once and for all, it is in fact a much more elegant syllabary than its forebear, with only 56 syllabograms versus the 61 we find in Linear B (leaving aside the 100+ homophones, logograms & ideograms cluttering up the latter). Mycenaean Linear B in turn has considerably fewer syllabograms, logograms and ideograms than Minoan Linear A. With only 56 characters, the Linear C syllabary is the simplest syllabary, ancient or modern. Compare this count with the number of letters in the Cyrillic alphabet, as in Russian = 32, and we can readily see that Linear C has taken the practical application of a syllabary about as far as it can be. We shall be returning to a more in-depth cross-correlation of the Linear B & Linear C Syllabaries early in 2015, when we shall be discussing their potential application to extraterrestrial communication, reflecting our own developing perspectives on an article on this very topic recently written for NASA by Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais. To read that post, please click on this BANNER: Richard
MEDIA Post: New MENU Category, MEDIA for images, videos & films on our blog... We have just added a new MENU Category, MEDIA, where you will find all archived posts which are primarily in media format: images, videos & films. Images and videos dealing specifically with Knossos & Mycenae are usually not in this MENU, but in their own, also illustrated here: Thank you Richard
NASA, New MENU added to Reflect our Research into the Application of Linear B & Syllabic Scripts to Interstellar Communication: Click on this BANNER to see all these posts now. We have added our innovative, cutting edge NASA MENU (Category), which appears on the third line at the top of the first page of our blog. If you are at all interested in our research into the possible (or even probable) implications of any seriously competent scientific research into the Theoretical and Practical Applications of Linear B & Syllabic Scripts to Interstellar Communication, research such as we see conducted by NASA, ESA, the KEPLER missions, SETI or by any other official international space agencies or university-level research projects and the like, then this is the place you’ll definitely want to be. Ours is the one and only Linear B blog on the entire Internet, dedicated to Mycenaean Linear B, as well as to Minoan Linear A & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, where such matters are taken seriously, but only at the academic, research level. We do not and shall never associate ourselves with crack-pot blogs and sites all in a kerfuffle about so-called UFOS, alien intelligences (usually deemed hostile) and other such riff-raff on the Net: Click to ENLARGE, at your own risk! These deserve no valid place whatsoever into the search for communication(s) with extraterrestrial intelligences, if any such exist at all, or if we go on the assumption, fragile as it is, that they might or may exist, that they would even bother to communicate with the likes of us at all. These and several other specific considerations, which can in some real way be scientifically investigated or adduced, will be addressed under the Category MENU NASA, as the need arises. We shall of course keep you apprized. Stay posted. Richard
NASA: Linear B and Extraterrestrial Communication: article in French by Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais of Laval University, Quebec Linear B and Extraterrestrial Communication: E-mail in English I sent to Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais (Laval University) informing him that I will eventually translate his article into English: Archéologie, anthropologie et communication interstellaire 2 : Au-delà de Linéaire B - Le défi de la communication métasémiotique avec une intelligence Extraterrestre Richard Saint-Gelais, I congratulate you on your extraordinary perspective in French on the possibility of the application, however provisional, of the Mycenaean Linear B syllabary to extraterrestrial communication. Click on this banner to read the full research article in French by Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais: When I came upon the English translation of your translation of your article, somewhat abridged, in PDF format, I read it with great interest (See below).
As far as I can tell, your perspective is clearly unique and, in my opinion, quite the mind-boggling revelation on the prospects for the practical application of human scripts by nature essentially geometric to extraterrestrial communication. In fact, your research study, which takes an approach heretofore unheard of to this topic, fascinates me to no end, especially in light of my own in-depth research into any and all aspects of these syllabaries: Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C. If you care to visit my blog, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae, one of the key sites Linear B on the Internet, you can see for yourself that, taken in their own proper context, our theories, hypotheses and the practical applications of them play a key role in our numerous scrupulous translations of Linear B tablets, each and every one of which in turn significantly contributes to the timely dissemination of the most up-to-date academic research of the highest order into Linear B above all else, but also into the other two scripts referenced above. In addition, I just now sent you an e-mail of paramount importance, whereby I have let you in on my own primary concerns dealing with this very subject, revolutionary as it is likely to prove. It is my sincere hope that you will quite soon be open to further, more in-depth, discussion with me, with our mutual research interests in mind. Meanwhile, I must truly congratulate you. Yours, Richard Vallance Janke, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Or if you are allophone English, you can read the shorter, less detailed and less informative version of the original French article from NASA in PDF format here: ORIGINAL E-MAIL in French / premier courriel en français : Je vous félicite, Richard Saint-Gelais, pour votre excellente perspective sur les possibilités d’application provisoire du syllabaire Linéaire B du Grec mycénéain à la communication exraterrestre, dont j’ai lu le texte intégral raccourci en anglais en format PDF ici: Cette perspective est évidemment unique et, à mon avis, tout à fait époustouflante quant à la mise en pratique potentielle des écritures humaines de nature géometrique à la communication extraterrestre. En effet, votre étude de recherche sur une telle approche jusqu’ici inouïe me fascine énormément, surtout à la lumière de mes propres recherches approfondies sur tous les aspects des syllabaires, le Linéaire A minoen, le Linéaire B mycénéain et le Linéaire C arcade-chypriote. Si vous consultez mon blog, Linear B, Knossos and Mycenae, l’un des sites les plus importants en ligne sur le Linéaire B, vous verrez que le contexte de nos théories, de nos hypothèses, de la mise en oeuvre pratique de celles-là, ainsi que nos traductions considérables servent toutes et chacune à la dissémination la plus actualisée de la recherche dans le domaine des études académiques de première ordre sur le Linéaire B avant tout, mais également sur les deux autres écritures mentionnées ci-dessus. De plus, je viens de vous envoyer un courriel important qui vous communique mes propre préoccupations les plus significatives portant sur ce sujet révolutionnaire, tout en espérant que vous et moi, nous serons prêts à communiquer réciproquement à base plus profonde dans le prochain avenir. Entretemps, je vous salue sincèrement. Bien à vous. Richard Vallance Janke, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. NOTES: 1. Since this original article in French is significantly more comprehensive than the English article authored by Richard Saint-Gelais at NASA (see above), I shall eventually be translating the full text of this seminal article on the feasibility of syllabaries such as Linear B for extraterrestrial communication. This translation is bound to prove difficult, even for someone such as myself who, as a Canadian, is fluently bilingual English-French. So do not expect my translation online anytime soon. It is most likely to appear sometime in the winter of 2015. 2. For our francophone and bilingual English-French readers. You can read the full text of Richard Saint-Gelais’ original research article in French, which preceded his PDF study at NASA (link above) here: Archéologie, Anthropologie et Communication Interstellaire 2 :
Voici quelques illustrations tirées de son article (A Few Illustrations from his article): Cliquer pour élargir : Click to ENLARGE Excerpts in French from his article: Au-delà de Linéaire B - Le défi de la communication métasémiotique avec une intelligence Extraterrestre Par Richard Saint-Gelais - Chapitre 5 Perspectives sémiotiques sur SETI
La Communication, comme nous le savons tous, est une entreprise délicate entre les êtres humains. Donc, il y a des raisons de douter que ce serait une chose facile à travers l'univers. Dans cet essai, je vais essayer de décrire un ensemble de problèmes théoriques qui pourraient affecter la communication avec des intelligences extraterrestres... passim ... Je dois dire d'emblée que ma position est similaire au scepticisme épistémique que je viens de mentionner. Mais mon point de vue sera légèrement différent de ça, mais pas incompatible avec la perspective épistémique. Je vais appliquer les théories et les méthodes d'analyses sémiotiques au problème de la communication interstellaire, en mettant l'accent sur les signes, le langage, le sens et l'interprétation... passim... Les conséquences que ces considérations ont pour la communication interstellaire sont tout à fait évidentes. Cette communication, si elle est couronnée de succès, doit surmonter les difficultés inhérentes à un échange où l'expéditeur et le destinataire ne partagent pas un langage commun; ce dernier ne peut se prévaloir d'une compétence linguistique déjà établies avec laquelle travailler sur le sens du message, mais doit plutôt commencer avec le message lui-même et essayer d'en déduire, par conjecture, les règles lexicales et syntaxiques qui lui confèrent une signification. Du point de vue de l'expéditeur, le défi est de concevoir un message qui comprendra, en quelque sorte, le contexte d'interprétation nécessaires pour lui donner un sens. En d'autres termes, l'expéditeur doit, apparemment, produire ce paradoxe sémiotique: un message d'auto-interprétation... passim ... Décrypter d'Ancient Scripts La question, bien sûr, est : dans quelle mesure est-ce possible ? Une comparaison avec l'inverse, une situation de non coopération - le déchiffrement de messages codés ou d'inscriptions écrites en langues éteintes - peuvent apporter un regard neuf sur les problèmes invoqués. .. passim ... Sur le plan sémiotique, la similitude entre les trois types de situations est évidente. Décrypter des inscriptions dans des langues inconnues ou des messages en codes secrets implique à faire face à des chaînes de signes, sans avoir aucune connaissance préalable des règles de codage, de sorte que la reconnaissance de ces règles devient l'une des finalités (à la place des moyens, comme c'est généralement le cas) du processus de l'interprétation. Le déchiffreur des langues inconnues tente d'établir la valeur phonétique et / ou sémantique des symboles. Le décrypteur de messages secrets cherche à identifier le principe régissant le remplacement et / ou la permutation de lettres. Donc, les deux activités peuvent être comparées à la réception d'un message interstellaire et pour tenter d'interpréter sans avoir une idée préalable des règles de codage, le cas échéant, concernant la production des signaux... passim ... Prenons, par exemple, les types de systèmes d'écriture que les cultures humaines ont développé. Il est possible de déterminer, à partir du nombre de caractères différents que possède une langue, le type de système d'écriture qu'il soutient. S'il n'y a que entre 20 et 40 caractères, c'est un système alphabétique; si il y a environ 100 caractères, nous avons un système syllabique dans lequel chaque symbole traduit une syllabe (par exemple, ta, te, ti, à). l'appareil phonologique des êtres extraterrestres peut être tout à fait différent du nôtre; leurs langues peuvent avoir des unités plus ou moins phonétiques par rapport aux nôtres ou peuvent reposer sur une base physiologique sans rapport avec son articulation... passim ... Le plus célèbre d'entre eux est le cas du linéaire B, un système d'écriture trouvé sur des tablettes d'argile sur l'île de Crète, déchiffré par Michael Ventris dans les années 1950, sur la base d'un important travail visionnaire que Alice Kober avait fait avant lui. Ventris a utilisé une méthode purement formelle, regroupant ensemble les mots ayant le même début et puis d'en déduire, ou plutôt enlever, à quelles variations grammaticales les différentes terminaisons correspondaient (par exemple, le sexe, le chiffre, etc.). Finalement, il a produit une grille sur laquelle la valeur phonétique de chaque signe a été enregistré. Cette grille a conduit à la découverte inattendue de Ventris, que les symboles linéaire B traduisaient une forme très ancienne de Grec. Cette conclusion de l'histoire sape un promettant abord sur une comparaison entre les écritures anciennes et une communication extraterrestre. Ventris ne savait pas à l'avance quelle langue était «derrière» le linéaire B, mais bien sûr, il ne pouvait le reconnaître, car il était différent du grec classique, quand il le "perçu", il l'a dit lorsque suffisamment de preuves ont été accumulées pour révéler le lien. Nous ne pouvons pas, bien sûr, s'attendre à une telle reconnaissance à travers des distances inter-stellaires... passim ... Cette discussion sur les symboles, les icônes et les indices ne conduit pas inévitablement à la conclusion que les messages interstellaires doivent inclure uniquement des types de signes plus faciles à interpréter. Nous devons nous rappeler que le message ne se compose pas d'un signe isolé, mais de (parfois complexes) combinaisons de signes, qui peuvent contribuer à leur élucidation réciproque... passim... Ce qui peut aider de façon décisive ce destinataire final est l'interprétation mutuelle que des parties du message proviennent d'un autre (mais une interprétation qui doit encore être sous-entendue, c'est-à-dire interprétée comme telle) et le jeu systématique de la répétition et de la variation entre les images, qui donnera aux destinataires la possibilité de faire des conjectures et enlèvements, que les images suivantes peuvent confirmer ou infirmer, dans ce dernier cas en appuyant pour que les bénéficiaires lecteurs révisent leurs hypothèses précédentes... passim ... Linéaire B et autres Dans son livre sur les langues éteintes, Johannes Friedrich souligne que la direction dans laquelle un script doit être lu peut parfois être déduite de l'espace vide à la fin de la dernière ligne d'une inscription. Ici nous avons un indice, un signe causé par son objet : la direction de la rédaction est concrètement responsable de quel côté la dernière ligne est vide. Mais ce n'est pas un signe très remarquable qu'il ne nécessite pas un raisonnement abductif (d'enlèvement). Aussi étrange que cela puisse paraître, je vois dans ce petit exemple des raisons d'espérer en ce qui concerne la communication interstellaire. Nous avons tendance à conceptualiser la communication avec des intelligences extraterrestres en termes de transmission réussie dans le sens voulu. Mais la production et la réception de signes ne peuvent pas être limités à un plan intentionnel. Une caractéristique importante de la plupart des indices est leur nature involontaire. Cela s'applique non seulement en des signes naturels, tels que la fumée, mais aussi dans les productions conscientes des signes, qui comprennent toujours un aspect indiciel provenant d'ailleurs de ce que l'expéditeur a voulu dire. Le touriste est confronté à une anomalie, comme nous l'avons vu, qui peut le mener à conclure à tort que c'est une erreur; mais cette hypothèse devient de moins en moins plausible lorsqu'il ou elle rencontre plus d'anomalies. Pour moi, la répétition devient un indice de la nature régulière de ce signe, même si cette indication n'a jamais traversé l'esprit des auteurs des textes. Cet exemple montre une fois de plus le rôle central de l'interprétation. L'insistance de Peirce sur le rôle de l'interprétant implique qu'un signe, dès qu'il est reconnu comme tel (ce qui est déjà le résultat d'une interprétation), est soumis à un processus d'interprétations sans fin et souvent inattendues. Ce sera certainement le cas si, par hasard, nos signaux sont reçus par des êtres intelligents, quelles que soient leur physiologie ou leur culture. Nous pouvons compter, jusqu'à un certain point, sur l'ingéniosité des bénéficiaires. Bien qu'ils ne peuvent pas comprendre les choses particulières que nous voulons communiquer, ils peuvent au moins reconnaître et interpréter, peut-être même de manière fructueuse, certains indices laissés tout à fait involontairement. Le scribe sumérien qui a laissé une partie de la ligne vide ne pouvait pas imaginer qu'il quittait un signe qui serait lu et utilisé plusieurs siècles plus tard par un archéologue. La situation de SETI n'est pas vraiment très différente. De l'expérience des décrypteurs de langues éteintes, il semble que l'envoi du plus grand nombre et de différents messages que possible est la meilleure stratégie, celle qui offre le plus de chance au destinataire. Le contenu de nos messages peut être beaucoup moins important que le nombre et la variété des messages que nous envoyons, mais seulement parce qu'ils donneront aux bénéficiaires plus de possibilités de comparer et tester leurs enlèvements sur les messages passés contre de nouveaux exemples. En l'absence de commentaires, c'est peut-être le meilleur plan d'action pour une élaboration de nos "messages dans une bouteille interstellaire." par Richard Saint-Gelais,Université Laval, Québec, Québec
Astounding Discovery! NASA: Interstellar Communication & Linear B Part 2: The Geometric Economy of Linear B. This is a Mind-Blower! For the original article by Richard Saint-Gelais, click here: Before I even begin to address the possibilities of interstellar communication based on the fundamental properties of the Linear B script, I would like to refer you to a sequential series of very early posts on our Blog, in which I formulated the basic thesis that, in fact, the Linear B script for Mycenaean Greek is based on the fundamental principle of Geometric Economy, a highly unusual, if not outright exceptional characteristic of the Linear B central construct of a syllabary+logography+ideography: And moving onto Numerics: Extended Set: Linear & Circular: Application of the Extended Set to Linear B Syllabograms and Supersyllabograms: Click to ENLARGE Note that, even though Michael Ventris and Prof. John Chadwick, his intimate colleague & mentor, successfully deciphered some 90% of the Mycenaean Linear B syllabary, neither was aware of the existence of Supersyllabograms, of which there at least 30, all of them a subset of the basic set of Linear B syllabograms. Moreover, even though I myself hit upon the hypothesis and the principle that Supersyllabograms do indeed exist, some of them still defy decipherment, even at a human level, let alone extraterrestrial, which only adds further fuel to the raging fire that awaits us when we take even our first baby steps into the putatively impossible task of interstellar communications reliant on syllabaries similar to Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C. For my initial post announcing the existence of Supersyllabograms in Linear B and their profound ramifications in the further simplification of the syllabary, click here: At the time I first posted these Paradigmatic Tables of the Geometric Economy of Linear B, I already suspected I was onto something really big, and even that the very hypothesis of the Geometric Economy of Linear B might and indeed could have potentially colossal ramifications for any operative semiotic base for devising altogether new scripts, scripts that have never been used either historically or in the present, but which could be successfully applied to dynamically artificial intelligence communications systems. However inchoate my musings were at that time that Linear B, being as geometrically economic as it obviously was, at least to my mind, might and could also apply to extra-human communication systems, i.e. communication with extraterrestrials, the thought did pass through my mind, in spite of its apparent absurdity. That is how my mind works. I have repeatedly asserted in this blog that I am forever “the doubting Thomas”, extremely prone not to believe anything that passes before the videographic panorama of my highly associative intellect. Put another way, I recall a fellow researcher of mine, Peter Fletcher, informing me that I had a “lateral mindset”. I had never considered it from that angle before, but even with this truly insightful observation, Peter had not quite hit the mark. Not only does my reasoning process tend to be highly associative and lateral, but also circular, with all of the tautological implications that carries with it. I devised this paradigm chart of (approximately) rectangular syllabograms and supersyllabograms in Linear B to illustrate how such symbols could conceivably be transmitted to interstellar civilizations in the implausible hope that we might, just might, be able to transmit something vaguely intellgible, however miniscule, to such imagined aliens. But as you might easily imagine, even from a chart of only a small subset of the 61 syllabograms alone in Linear B (another herculean task not yet completed), the dilemma is fraught with almost insurmountable difficulties, even at the theoretical, conjectural level. In fact, I am a firm believer in the precept that all human rational thought-process are in fact just that, tautological, which is the fundamental reason why it is so utterly perplexing for us as mere humans to even begin to imagine anything at all otherwise, i.e. to think outside the box. But we can if we must. Otherwise, any attempt to communicate on a semiotic basis with extraterrestrial intelligence(s) is simply doomed to failure. The reason is obvious: the semiotic ground and its spinoff framework of signifiers and signified of every single extraterrestrial intelligence (if indeed any such beast exists... see doubting Thomas above) is almost certainly and (inevitably) bound to be completely unlike, or to put it even more accurately, completely alien to any other. And this is precisely where we are on extremely slippery grounds. We may be skating on the surface of the ice, but the ice is thin and is bound almost certainly to crack, before any given extraterrestrial intelligence can even begin to decipher the semiotic framework of our own unique structure of signals, as Richard Saint-Gelais nicely points out in Chapter 5 of his study of the principles underlying the possible communication, however remote, with any single given extraterrestrial intelligence. I cannot stress this enough. The snares and traps we can so easily slip into far outweigh any practical framework even remotely potentially applicable to the (far-fetched) possibility of extraterrestrial communication. But this does not necessarily imply that such communication is impossible. Extremely improbable, yes, but impossible, no. See Infinite Improbability Drive in the Spaceship, Heart of Gold, Wikipedia: If you have not yet read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, I urge you to do so, at least if you have a sense of humour as nutty as mine. I swear to God it will leave you laughing out loud. But I have not yet done with the possibility, however, remote, of extraterrestrial communication. There is another ancient syllabary, the younger cousin of Mycenaean Linear B, namely, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, of which the Geometric Economy is even more streamlined and considerably less complex than that of Linear B. I have neither the energy nor the time to even begin approaching that huge undertaking, but you can be sure that I shall eventually take a firm aim at the possibilities for extraterrestrial communication inherent in Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, probably sometime in the winter of 2015. Meanwhile, I would like you all to seriously entertain this notion, which has fascinated me to no end for years and years, namely, that the Greeks, brilliant as they were, were far beyond their contemporaries, including the Romans, by inventing the Linear B & Linear C syllabaries, and consequently the ancient Greek alphabet, all of which sported at the very least the five basic vowels. The whole point is that no other Occidental or Centum ancient writing system prior to ancient Greek, had even dreamt of the concept of vowels – although of course, Oriental Sanskrit, the Satem Indo-European cousin of Greek, had done precisely the same thing! No huge surprise there either, given that the Sanskrit scribes and philosophers were as intellectually refined as the Greeks. For my previous discussion of The Present and Imperfect Tenses of Reduplicating – MI – Verbs in Linear B & the Centum (Greek) – Satem (Sanskrit) branches of ancient Indo-European languages, click on this banner: Now let’s take my assumption one step further. What I am saying, to put it as plainly as the nose on my face, is that the invention of the ancient Greek & Sanskrit writing systems was as enormous a leap in the intellectual progress of humankind as were the equally astounding invention of printing by the Germans & Italians in the early Renaissance, and of computers & the spectacular explosion of the space race in the latter part of the twentieth century, to say nothing of the swift global propagation of the World Wide Web from ca. 1990 to the present. Each of these intellectual leaps have been absolutely pivotal in the advancement of human thinking from concrete to abstract to, we might as well say it out loud, to cosmic, which we are already the cusp of. Three greatest historical revolutions in the expansion of human consciousness, without which we would never have even been capable to rising to the cosmic consciousness which is dawning on humanity at this very moment in our historical timeline. But, here lies the real crux: without the first great leap the Greeks took in their astonishing invention of Linear B, Linear C & the Greek alphabet, neither of the next two revolutions in human thought could possibly have manifested themselves. But of course, all three did, because all three were inevitable, given the not-so-manifest, but intrinsic destiny humankind has always had access to to, however little we may have been conscious of it “at the time”. But what is time in the whirlpool of infinity? Apparently, not nothing. Far from it. Time is a construct of infinity itself. Einstein is the password. Given this scenario, cosmic consciousness is bound to toss us unceremoniously even out of the box. What a mind-boggling prospect! But someday, possibly even in the not too distance future, we will probably be up to it. We can only hope and pray that we will. It is after all the only way out of the ridiculously paradoxical conundrums which presently face us in the herculean task of communicating at all with alien intelligences. Richard Vallance Janke, November 2014
Astounding Discovery! Look What I Found from NASA on Linear B! You’ll be amazed! PART 1 Click this banner to read the entire Chapter: Once you open the NASA PDF file, just scroll down the Table of Contents to Chapter 5: Beyond Linear B. You will then need to continue scrolling until you reach page 79. You can then scroll page by page through the whole of Chapter 5. I am willing to bet this is going to be as mind-blowing a read for you as it was for me. Here are just a few tantalizing excerpts from Chapter 5: Excerpts from Chapter 5, by Richard Saint-Gelais pg. 81: ... the deciphering of coded messages or inscriptions written in extinct languages — may provide a fresh look at the problems involved. pg. 82: At first glance, the difficulties involved in the decipherment of coded messages or ancient scripts suggest a rather pessimistic view of the interstellar communication challenge, for if it took specialists many years to solve the enigma of writing systems devised by human beings... passim ... it seems unrealistic to imagine that our messages could be easily understood by beings whose culture, history, and even biology will differ vastly from ours. How can we be sure that some well-meaning interpreter will not misread our intended message? On a semiotic level, the similarity between the three kinds of situations is readily apparent. Deciphering inscriptions in unknown languages or messages in secret codes implies coping with strings of signs without having any prior knowledge of the encoding rules, so recognizing these rules become one of the ends (instead of the means, as is usually the case) of the interpretive process. The decipherer of unknown languages tries to establish the phonetic and/or semantic value of symbols... passim ... I use the word signal instead of sign because at the early stage of interpretation, decipherers must still identify the relevant semiotic units. They are confronted with signals — i.e., material manifestations of some kind (strokes on clay tablets, microwaves of a certain frequency) — that may be signs. A sign is more abstract in nature: it is a semiotic configuration that is relatively independent of the concrete signals that embody it because it is defined by a limited number of relevant features,... pg. 89: The second way is to think up self-contextualizing messages — or, in other words, self-interpreting signs. A self-interpreting sign is easier conceptualized than created. Let’s consider, for instance, the pictograms imagined by H. W. Nieman and C. Wells Nieman, which would be sent as sequences of pulses that correspond to the dots into which an image has been decomposed. In order to reconstruct the correct image, the recipients would need first to convert the linear signal into a bi-dimensional structure and then to interpret that structure to determine what it might signify or represent... passim ... Frank Drake imagined an easy and ingenious way to point to this, by making the total number of dots equal the product of two prime numbers, say 17 and 23, so that the transmitted message can be construed only as a 17-by-23-cell grid. Such a signal is as close as we may come to a message embodying an interpretive instruction. It assumes only a basic knowledge of prime numbers, which is not asking too much. So this instruction looks promising, but only insofar as the recipient deduces that the signal corresponds to a rectangular grid (See next post for more). pg. 91: We must remember that a message is composed not of one isolated sign but of (sometimes complex) combinations of signs, which may contribute to their mutual elucidation. This is precisely the idea behind Vakoch’s proposal of a sequence of frames, each of which would contain six distinct areas: one for the picture; four for different parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs); and one for the interrelationship between two successive frames (a meta-sign, then). Here we have a combination of icons (the shape of a human body, or of parts of it) and symbols: nouns for what is shown in the picture, adjectives for properties of that object (e.g., high, low, etc.), verbs for actions performed by the character between two successive frames, and adverbs for characteristics of that action (fast, slow). At first it may seem dubious that a recipient could establish a correlation between a given symbol and what it is intended to designate, or even that this recipient could identify it as a symbol and not as part of the picture. What may decisively help this eventual recipient is the mutual interpretation that parts of the message provide for one another ... passim... and the systematic interplay of repetition and variation between frames, which will give recipients the opportunity to make conjectures — abductions — that the subsequent frames may either confirm or inform... passim... What we know of interpretation shows that this inability to control reception is always the case anyway, and that it is not necessarily a bad thing. A widespread conception of communication rests on the premise that successful reception of a message is one that recovers the meaning its sender meant to convey through it. But the history of the decipherment of unknown languages shows that things are never so simple, and that oblique ways of reading sometimes lead to unexpected breakthroughs. In his book on extinct languages, Johannes Friedrich points out that the direction in which a script should be read can sometimes be deduced from the pp. 92-93 (ff.) empty space at the end of an inscription’s last line. Here we have an index, a sign caused by its object: the direction of writing is concretely responsible for which side of the last line is left blank. But this is not so conspicuous a sign that it does not require a piece of abductive reasoning. Strange as it may seem, I see in this small example some grounds for hope regarding interstellar communication. We tend to conceptualize communication with extraterrestrial intelligences in terms of the successful transmission of intended meanings. But the production and reception of signs cannot be restricted to an intentional plane. An important feature of most indices is their unintentional nature. Richard Saint-Gelais