Can super efficient quantum computers be of assistance at overcoming the seemingly insurmountable obstacles facing us in even a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A? Quantum computers, as exemplified by the fantastically powerful D-Wave computer system invented by Canadians and now fully operational in 2017 (Click on their banner to jump to their site): most probably will prove to represent or in fact be a revolutionary development in the power and artificial intelligence of computers even now, as early as twenty-first century (say bu 2025 or so). The D-Wave computer is purported to be 10 million times faster than the most powerful supercomputer on earth! It was recently put to the test to solve an exceedingly complex protein synthesis model, and it did so 3,600 times faster than the the most powerful supercomputer on earth! That is a simply astonishing feat. In fact, quantum computers are purported to be able to solve seemingly impossible problems totally beyond the ken of the fastest supercomputer in the world. If this proves to be so, is it not conceivable that applying the smarts of a quantum computer such as the D-Wave might lead to real advances in the potential decipherment of Minoan Linear A? Take for instance my recent analysis and synopsis on the practically unimaginable formidable obstacles facing us in even beginning to get a handle on the syntax and semiotics of Minoan Linear A: Is it not conceivable that a quantum computer such as the D-Wave might be able to at least make a dent in the potential decipherment, however partial, of Minoan Linear A? Or is it not? The question is not hypothetical. Proponents of the awesome power of quantum computers purport to be able to resolve supremely complex problems completely beyond the reach of even the most powerful of conventional digital supercomputers, as illustrated in this composite: However, there may very well remain possibly insurmountable obstacles even for quantum computers in tackling a seemingly unsolvable problem as fractious as the decipherment of Minoan Linear A, however tentative. Some of the truly form obstacles that can and almost certainly shall practicably stand in the way of quantum computers being able to tackle this redoubtable challenge are: In spite of the astonishing claims that proponents of quantum computing make for its potential in solving intractable problems which even the most powerful supercomputers cannot even hope to address, what is the substance of these claims? This scenario needs to be logically parsed. 1. Just because quantum computers have unquestionably proven to be able to realize exponentially more efficient leaps in some (and I lay the emphasis on just some) activities, this does not necessarily mean that these quantum leaps imply a parallel or even corresponding quantum leap in AI (artificial intelligence) learning. 2. Even if such a corresponding quantum leap in AI (artificial intelligence) learning were to prove practicable, and in effect take place (possibly by 2025), what is meant by AI (artificial intelligence) or to take the proposition even further, what is implied by the admittedly vague term superintelligence? 3. Do advanced AI or superintelligence necessarily have to conform to or mimic human intelligence, or might they possibly constitute a discrete, self-contained phenomenon in and of themselves? 4. And if so (i.e. if 3), then would such a superintelligence (or 1 among many) be able to resolve problems, such as specifically, the potential decipherment, even if merely partial, of Minoan Linear A, (anywhere near) as well as human intelligence can? Or put another way, can quantum computing AI or superintelligent learning strategies mimic and even complement human learning strategies? 5. Or if they cannot (i.e. accomplish 4.), can they perhaps accomplish something along the same lines as human learning strategies just because they may in fact not actually resemble human intelligence? These are just a few of the factors we must absolutely take into consideration if we are to make any assumptions whatsoever over the potential for quantum computers, no matter how clever they may turn out to be and in what sense clever, to accomplish a task as mind-boggling as even the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A. I shall have plenty more to say about the potentialities of quantum computing in the realm of diachronic linguist decipherment in future, but the introduction suffices for now.
KEY POST: 2 vastly different decipherments of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada). Does either measure up?
KEY POST: 2 vastly different decipherments of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada). Does either measure up? In this post we compare two vastly different decipherments of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada). The key question here can be posed in three different ways: 1. Does one of these two decipherments measure up significantly more than the other? 2. Does either measure up? 3. Does neither measure up? Here are the two decipherments, first that of Pavel Serafimov and Anton Perdih: and secondly, my own decipherment: According to option 3 above, it is of course possible that neither of these translations forms a faithful semantic and semiotic map of the original Linear A text (whatever it actually means). On the other hand, it is much more likely that option 1. above is applicable, namely that only one of the two decipherments at least approaches a faithful semantic and semiotic map of the original Linear A text , although we can never really know how faithfully until such time as Minoan Linear B is properly and fully deciphered. And that will not happen anytime soon, due to the extreme paucity of extant Linear B tablets and fragments (< 500), of which the vast majority are fragments, and thus ineffectual in providing any impetus to even a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A. However, all is not lost. Far from it. There quite a few (almost) full intact Minoan Linear A tablets, all of which are very much more susceptible to contributing positively to at least a partial decipherment of Linear A. To date, the Linear A tablets which I have been able to decipher, more or less accurately, are HT 13, HT 14, (HT 17), HT 21, HT 31, HT 38, HT 91, HT 92, HT 94 and HT 132 (all from Haghia Triada) ZA 1 ZA 8 ZA 10 (Zakros) GO Wc 1 (Gournia) and the Troy spindle whorls I have also managed to decipher one or two words on several other tablets from Haghia Triada, Zakros and elsewhere, without however being able to decipher the remainder of the integral text, which utterly escapes me, and is therefore still to be considered undecipherable, at least for the time being. There is no telling whether or not either I myself or someone else will be able to decipher more words from the rest of these tablets or even some of the tablets entire in the near future. Only time will tell, but I believe the prospects are much better now than they were even a few months ago, i.e. prior to May 2016, when I embarked on the exciting journey to decipher as much of Minoan Linear A as I could. It is no small achievement, I believe, for me to have been able to decipher at least the 12 Linear A tablets listed above, if indeed my decipherments approach cohesive accuracy, both internally and by means of cross-correlative regressive extrapolation from almost identical to similar Mycenaean Linear B tablets. With respect to my own decipherment of HT 13 (Haghia Triada) above, I wish to make the following highly pertinent observations. I leave it up to you to decide for yourself (yourselves) whether or not the assumptions I have meticulously made with specific reference to what appear to be derivational standard units of measurement in Minoan Linear A are in fact that. Immediately pursuant to my highly accurate decipherment of HT 31 (Haghia Triada) on vessels and pottery, for which Mycenaean Linear B tablet Pylos Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) is the quasi Rosetta Stone (as I have re-iterated many times since that decipherment), I turned my attention to three words which appeared over and over on several Minoan Linear A tablets, these being reza, adureza & tereza. Philologists such as Andras Zeke of the Minoan Language Blog had previously and consistently “deciphered” these three terms as being toponyms or place names, but I was immediately suspicious of such an interpretation, given that both adureza and tereza have the prefixes adu and te prepended to what strikingly appears to be their own root, reza. Subsequent research revealed two more terms most likely derived from the root, reza = the standard unit of linear measurement in Minoan Linear A (as far as I can tell... more on this to come). These are dureza and kireza. So the total number of terms relative to measurement of large, not minute, quantities in Minoan Linear A appear to be 5. That is quite a tally. + units of measurement in Minoan Linear A: exact values unknown reza = standard unit of measurement (linear) adureza = dry unit of measurement (something like a “bushel”) dureza = unit of measurement (unknown)  kireza = dry measurement for figs (a basket)  tereza = liquid unit of measurement (something like “a gallon” or at the bare minimum “a litre”  NOTES:  While I have been utterly unable to surmise what standard unit of measurement dureza is supposed to represent, even the standard units for reza, adureza & tereza are mere approximations. For more on this see the concluding paragraph of this post.  While I am virtually certain that kireza is the standard unit for the measurement of a basket of figs, this still begs the question, what size is the basket? At any rate, it is pretty obvious that the basket size cannot be larger than can reasonably be carried on one shoulder, since that is the way baskets are carried in practically every culture, ancient or modern. So in this case, the approximation for the standard unit of measurement figs, kireza, is considerably more accurate than all of the others.  Obviously, in light of  above, my guesstimates for the standard units of dry and wet measurement (adureza and tereza respectively) are just that, and nothing more. Now if we compare the variables in the prefixes to the root, reza (adu, du, ki & te) with the similar practice of suffixes appended to word roots in Mycenaean Linear B, which is the direct opposite practice we have just propounded for Minoan Linear A, we nevertheless discover that the same level of consistency and coherence applies equally to both languages, as clearly illustrated by the following table, in which the prefixes listed above for Minoan Linear A appear at the end, preceded by no fewer than three roots (which are invariable) and appear in front of highly variable suffixes in Mycenaean Linear B. The roots are, respectively, raw, which references anything to do with people, tri, which references anything related to the number 3 and wana, which references any connotation of kingship or royalty in Mycenaean Greek. While the practices for affixing are appositive in Minoan Linear A (which prepends affixes to the root) and in Mycenaean Linear B (which appends suffixes to the root or stem), the procedure the two languages follows is one and the same, flipped on its head either way you view it, i.e. from the perspective of Mycenaean Linear B or vice versa, from that of Minoan Linear A. The underlying principle which defines this procedure is the cognitive frame, as propounded by my colleague and friend, Eugenio R. Luján. So let us simply call the procedure (whether from the perspective of Minoan Linear or its opposite in Mycenaean Linear B) just that, the cognitive frame, which is also the template for the procedure, actually proceeding forward in both languages, each in its own way. Either way, the procedure works like a charm. As Eugenio R. Luján so succinctly summarizes it in his article, “Semantic Maps and Word Formation: Agents, Instruments, and Related Semantic Roles”, in Linguistic Discovery (Dartmouth College), Vol 8, Issue 1, 2010. pp. 162-175, and I quote: ... The methodology of semantic maps has been applied mainly to the analysis of grammatical morphemes (affixes and adpositions) pg. 162 and again, Previous work on semantic maps has shown how the polysemy of grammatical morphemes is not random, but structured according to underlying principles.... Although the semantic map methodology has not been applied to the analysis of word formation patterns, there is no reason to suppose that derivational morphemes behave differently from grammatical morphemes. In fact, taking into account the findings of the intensive work done in the field of grammaticalization in the last thirty years or so, we know now that lexical and grammatical morphemes constitute a continuum, and their meanings are organized in the same way—inside a cognitive frame,... pg. 163 and most significantly, In contrast to the lexicon, the number of derivational morphemes and word formation patterns in any given language is limited. pg. 163. I wish to lay particular stress on this last observation by Eugenio R. Luján, because he is right on the money. In terms of the way I have expounded my own explanation of how the procedure of the cognitive frame works, as I see it, what he is actually saying here is this: the derivational morphemes (i.e. the prefixes in Minoan Linear A and the suffixes in Mycenaean Linear B) is limited, and in fact very limited in comparison with the orthographic and grammatical lexicon in either language, or for that matter, in any language, ancient or modern. All of this brings us full circle back to my own original assumption, namely, that adureza, dureza, kireza and tereza are all derivational morphemes of reza in Minoan Linear A and that the suffixes appended to the roots raw, tri and wana in Mycenaean Linear B are also derivational morphemes. The gravest problem with the decipherment of HT 13 (Haghia Triada) advanced by Pavel Serafimov and Anton Perdih is that it does not take the cognitive frame or map of derivational morphemes into account at all. So instead, the authors advance entirely different meanings for each of these terms (reza, adureza, dureza, kireza & tereza), entirely oblivious to the the fact that they all share the same root, reza. This factor alone throws profound doubt on their decipherment. On the other hand, my own decipherment of HT 13 (Haghia Triada) takes the procedure of the cognitive frame or map of derivational morphemes fully into account, with the very same procedure applied to derivational morphemes in Mycenaean Linear B, though in the opposite direction). For the sake of consistency, let us refer to the the cognitive frame or map of derivational morphemes in Minoan Linear A as regressive, given that the variables (the prefixes, adureza, dureza, kireza & tereza) precede the root, reza, and the same frame as progressive in Mycenaean Linear B, in light of the fact that the root or stem is followed by the variable suffixes (derivational morphemes). Be it as it may, prefixes and suffixes are both classed under the umbrella term, affixes, and again, I repeat, the procedure is the same either way. An affix is an affix is an affix, whether or not it comes first (prefix) or last (suffix). For this reason alone I am convinced that my decipherment of HT 13 is on the right track, even if it is not totally accurate... which it cannot be anyway, in light of the fact that the standard units of measurement for large quantities in Minoan Linear A (reza, adureza, dureza, kireza and tereza) will never be known with any measure of accuracy, given that we can have no idea whatsoever that the “standard” units for anything in either Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B can ever be really determined. The farther we as philologists or historical linguists go back diachronistically in the historical timeline, the less determinable are units of measurement or, for that matter, different kinds of textiles or pottery, few of which we can know with any measure of certainty either in Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B.
The beginning of my translation of, Archaeology, Anthropology and Interstellar Communication 2, by Richard Saint-Gelais, Université Laval, Québec, Québec
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
Knossos Tablet KN 1171 E k 232, “A foal and sheep at Phaistos” by Rita Roberts
Knossos Tablet KN 1171 E k 232, “A foal and sheep at Phaistos” by Rita Roberts: Click to ENLARGE The difficulty in any translation of this famous Linear B tablet lies solely with the rôle the foal plays, i.e. with his relationship to the sheep inventoried here at Phaistos. The key to this relationship might lie in the supersyllabogram PA preceding the ideogram for sheep (8) on the second line of the tablet. The problem with the SSY PA is that, even though it is attested (A) on several Linear B tablets dealing with sheep husbandry, there exists no translation for it in any current Mycenaean Greek-English glossary or lexicon, either online or off. Thus, although the SYY PA itself is attested (A), its meaning is lost to us, i.e. unattested. The only way to recover it, if this is even possible, is to attempt to derive it. I went to great lengths to try and decipher the SSY PA last year, but I came up with mixed results. I tried finding a Homeric Greek word which might fill the bill, but I could not. I tried to ferret out a correlative word in Linear C and in alphabetic Arcado-Cypriot, but again I could not. Finally, I had no choice but to have recourse to Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon (1986), in which I found several possible candidates for a complete Mycenaean word beginning with the syllabogram PA, of which the supersyllabogram might the first syllable. You can read the results of my exhaustive research on this elusive supersyllabogram in this post here: In that post, I deduced that there could only be 6 possible meanings for the supersyllabogram PA, and of these, only 3 really looked like what the linear B scribes must have meant it to stand for. The problem is that we do not know which meaning (if any of these 6 at all) the scribes actually assigned to the SSY PA. In fact, none of the potential meanings I assigned to PA in the original post can possibly account for the relationship between the foal and the sheep on this tablet, which in turn can only mean one of two things: either (a) since the meaning of PA with respect to the foal on this particular tablet cannot be determined, this casts doubt on the 3-6 meanings I assigned last year or (b) there is another meaning which can be assigned that suitably correlates “foal” with “sheep”. But even in the latter case, we are still left high and dry, reverting to the first option (a). Thus, I am forced to conclude that the meaning of the supersyllabogram PA must remain unconfirmed until further notice, or until such time as a Linear B tablet is unearthed with confirms with certainty the semantic value of the SSY PA. The other difficulty with the SSY PA which haunts me is the fact that it appears on the second line of this tablet, at some remove from the word PORO or “foal”. This may very well imply that the scribes did not intend that there should be any direct relationship between the little foal and the sheep on this tablet. I am more inclined to this hypothesis than to attempt to force the word PORO to relate to the sheep in this context. If this is the case, then one of the the putative meanings I assigned to the SSY PA in 2014 may eventually still very well stand the test for validity. It is vital to understand that all supersyllabograms can mean one thing and one thing only in any particular context on Linear B tablets. We shall just have to wait and see whether or not future finds of Linear B tablets will yield the actual semantic value of PA. But even if we did know what the SSY PA meant in the context of sheep husbandry, this would still leave us high and dry with respect to the rôle played by the foal, because of its physical distance from the SSY PA on this tablet. So the mystery remains sealed. It is therefore pointless to attempt to try to translate the supersyllabogram PA on this tablet or on any other Linear B tablet on which it is found – and there are several. However, I must emphasize again: the Linear B scribes all knew perfectly well what the SSY PA meant. It is only we who do not. Richard
NASA: Linear B and Extraterrestrial Communication: article in French by Prof. Richard Saint-Gelais of Laval University, Quebec
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!
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
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
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