…and no drugs, please
But...so long, and thanks for all the fish....
If you put a kid under the age of about 14 into an environment in which a language is spoken, he'll be pretty unhappy for about 6 weeks. And then suddenly he'll be fluent in it. No accent. After that time, it's too late to do anything but learn it in class. And usually poorly. The difference is that the young human brain is able to "imprint" language, which is qualitatively different from "learning," as it is classically meant.
The experiment to do is to have a 7 or 8 year old kid spend 8 hours a day with a dolphin. No human contact during that time, just the dolphin. He has to understand that that's what he's doing--seeing if he learns how to communicate with the dolphin. It would obviously be best if there were two or more dolphins--they'll communicate with one another even if they aren't talking to junior. Junior can eavesdrop. And try speaking at them as time goes on.
To the best of may meager knowledge, nothing like this has been tried. Yet.
I'd like to applaud how elegantly you handled the subject of their... dalliances. It's like watching Pareto's Principle being properly applied to SEO. Also, it's always fascinated me how frequently brilliance and eccentricity go together. Unfortunately, I'm not the only person to have noticed and so, nowadays we've got an awful lot of folks broadcasting eccentricity, hoping to be called genius. Goodhart's Law is a sonofabitch.
Thank you for another brilliant piece. I can't wait for the day when gender pseudoscience goes the way of "teaching" English to non-humans and communicating with extraterrestrials, if for no other reason than the dolphins and the little green men could never hope to grasp mind-bending notion of preferred third-person pronouns.
Keep up the amazing work.
“cold fusion was a mistake”
I had to search on that database, lost in old grey cells.
Coming from the engineering/software world, coldfusion is alive and well…
Adobe ColdFusion is a commercial rapid web-application development computing platform created by J. J. Allaire in 1995. It is also known as CFML and was originally designed to make it easier to connect simple HTML pages to a database.
I never know where you’re going to take my brain. I wonder what Freud would say.
Thanks for another wonderful article. I love your sense of humor! I knew it was a bad idea to google dolphin furry after reading your article, but I couldn't help myself. Of course there IS a wiki article on the matter. Take heart, my friends, dolphin furries are mercifully rare "Dolphins of any species are among the more uncommon animals chosen for characters in the furry community"
Lilly's attempt to "de-dolphinize" Peter and turn him into a human made me queasy and sad. Lilly tortured Peter in order to prove spurious assumptions that he had concocted in his prolific imagination. It's a hopeful sign that he ultimately realized he should be protecting marine mammals rather than imprisoning and abusing them in the name of science.
Regarding Irene Pepperberg, she's a remarkable person whose affinity for birds was ignited during a desperately lonely childhood. Alex became a life partner, in a way, and his sudden death was a devastating blow. To achieve the reputation she ultimately attained, Pepperberg had to persist against her colleagues who told her she was nuts. Ultimately,she did demonstrate that parrots can understand basic concepts like quantities, colors, and shapes and then reflect them back in verbal form.
Pepperberg's advisory involvement with METI is a sideline, not her main focus. It would be unfair to characterize her as having fallen down the Woo Well. It's more likely that curiosity and openness, rather than having lost her marbles, enabled her to say "yes" to her advisory role at METI. She still works with parrots and does research at Harvard, and is one of the world's leading authorities on animal communication. She also works in conservation.
Great article and great reminders about the human process of science. Our ape brains are exceedingly creative and curious! We sure like to make shit up. When I am extremely tired or otherwise outside my mental norm, I sometimes hear music in white noise. A river, air conditioner, whatever. It's an auditory hallucination, but it really sounds to my ears like there is music playing for extended periods of time. It's rarely like the folky music I write myself, most often free jazz or classical, but recently after trying some Kava to help me sleep (ineffective) I heard a German-sounding waltz. It's very specific, and I can listen to it for some time without it going away, it's not a momentary thing. I have no way to reproduce it beyond studying a melody (if there is one), because it's always quite complex. Horn sections, fiddles, percussion, the whole works. I wonder if that kind of experience has been studied? My assumption is that my brain finds the frequencies in the white noise, picks out patterns and hears them as music. But how weird!