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# A Challeng to ATS's most brilliant Mathamaticians

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posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 10:28 AM

Originally posted by ChicUFO
My challenge to the members of ATS is to create a set of mathematical symbols that would basically say something like "Welcome, Please land here."
I'm not sure what you mean by mathematical symbols, are you talking about geometric shapes?

If you mean numbers, they aren't likely to mean any more to aliens unfamiliar with our language than letters.

I found it interesting someone built a landing pad for UFOs and the only symbol on the pad is a simple "U" (I suppose for UFO?):

Hoping that it might just put their small town on the map, the people of Houten have built the world’s first specialist UFO landing strip. Honestly, I’m not making this up! The tower at the centre of the western roundabout will change colour when the traffic intensity on the roads is low, signalling to alien craft that now is a good time to land (presumably one or two cars getting squished by a spacecraft is a worthwhile sacrifice). Blue lights will then illuminate the 300m stretch of road to the eastern roundabout, where the landing pad is clearly…
I'm not sure the aliens are supposed to know what the color means. But if they observed our traffic signals they could see that traffic stops on red and goes on green, so a green color could be perceived to mean "ok to proceed" by aliens unfamiliar with our language, just from observing our traffic signals and traffic flow.

[edit on 29-7-2010 by Arbitrageur]

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 10:36 AM
When people say mathematics is a universal language, they mean that equations represent quantifiable amounts that would result in the same answer no matter where in the universe you are.

However the symbols to represent quantities and operations in math are not identical. On one side of the world a period represents a decimal; on the other a comma performs that function.

In order to represent a message you would need to use a measurable artifact (such as a shape or atomic structure) who's measured quantities form a mathematical message once the values are determined by whatever civilization is measuring them. You could not simply write out a formula because the symbols set forth, in all likelihood would mean as much to an alien race as simply writing the message in English.

This is an extremely in-depth and complicated process to take a linguistic message and simplify the concept into mathematical symbols.

In all likelihood it is impossible to present a generic message, instead you'd need to know something about those people you're talking to. You'd need something like an atomic structure that means something to them to let them know the message is directed at them. And perhaps a landing zone that matches the dimensions of their vehicle.

In short, this would be an undertaking that would present a challenge for even the world's greatest minds. Anyone on ATS that can do this is in the wrong line of work.

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 10:37 AM
Presumably you could also use colors, wavelengths, flashing sequences and atomic structures of naturally occuring elements in the universe. You have to keep in mind that you still need to find something that we and the alien raxlce both have knowledge and understanding of.

[edit on 7/29/2010 by dbloch7986]

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 10:37 AM
post removed because the user has no concept of manners

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 02:47 PM

Originally posted by NightVision
I got an idea, how about:

A Challeng to ATS's Most Brillyant Spellurs.

A Best of the worst posts of 2010. This one would def. make the top 5.

I think you mean "I have an idea", "A 'Best of the Worst Posts of 2010'", "definitely" and "top five".

Rather pitiful to come into a thread to ridicule the OP using your own terrible English skills. If you have nothing worthwhile to add, why waste our time?

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 03:09 PM
Might I suggest:

Good Luck. Let us know if "they" respond...

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 04:19 PM

Well, this has certainly been a turbulent thread.

I'm no mathematician, let alone a "brilliant" one, however a simple symbol occurs to me: a scalene triangle, with slash marks or dots on each side to indicate the measure of its length. The units of measurement would be insignificant -- what you'd be demonstrating is the mathematical relationship.

Once that measure was established, one could use the dots or slashs to compose a mathematical equation that could sit alongside the triangle; for example, a person could easily demonstrate the Pythagorean theorum with dot or slash symbols.

Hopefully, it might say to a passing EBE....... "LOOK! There are people down here that have taken a lot of time to show you we can communicate in symbols. Won't you stop for a bit?"

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 06:06 PM
I would personally say use an upright swastika. It had been used for over 3000 years before the Nazi's used it and is also symbolized the carbon molecule. Sure it was used to stand for bad within the last hundred years...but for the last 3000 years before that it stood for something good too.

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 06:10 PM
There is one universal symbol....

Basically a circle with a line going through it.

This is the general idea:

emptyeasel.com...

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 06:19 PM
I would believe that the symbols of mathematics are somewhat arbitrary, and therefore would be an unfit way of relating information to ETs. That is in context to our human mathematical "language". I mean 1+1 = 2, the numbers are symbols, and therefore something arbitrary, and for aliens this is likely to be different.

Geometrically I would think otherwise, in the case that crop circles are real. But I suspect that most crop circles are man made, and easily at that, but some might be real, so I would suggest figuring out one potential real crop circle and devise an answer to that one in a geometrical sense. That's a stretch though.

[edit on 29/7/10 by Droogie]

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 07:00 PM
I think you have watched too many movies. There are too many variables to consider when creating an universal mathematical formula. For one the only reason maths works is because we understand the significance of each numerical value and all the symbols used to explain what to do with those numbers. So to assume that an alien civilization was advanced enough to get here and coincidentally have the same form of math as us and decode it is highly unlikely. As someone else said it's impossible or at the best a waste of time. But go for gold who knows I just don't think there is a point. Seems moot.

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 08:08 PM

I believe that you are correct, the point is moot. Thanks for all the replies but I have to agree with most of your posts that there is no answer to this question.

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 11:39 PM

Originally posted by ChicUFO

I believe that you are correct, the point is moot. Thanks for all the replies but I have to agree with most of your posts that there is no answer to this question.
The reason there's no answer is the way you phrased the question. Actually if you rephrase the question slightly I think there's an answer.

Originally posted by ChicUFO
My challenge to the members of ATS is to create a set of mathematical symbols that would basically say something like "Welcome, Please land here."
just drop the part about mathematical symbols and ask how we can communicate something like "Welcome, Please land here."

The example I would cite is the cover of the Voyager golden record:

There isn't really math involved in these symbols intended to communicate with aliens. They are just pictorial representations of things we'd like the aliens to understand like a star map showing our location, how to play the phonograph record, etc.

Or another example is the safety card for a 737:

That communicates in pictures without language where to look for the life preserver, how to put it on, etc, which is a fairly detailed instruction.

So without using any math, just communicate images. One possibility would to show "welcome" might be a person with outstretched arms which is sort of a universal welcome symbol on Earth but that may not be understood by aliens, so the welcome part is hard. But "land here" is easy. Show two frames in sequence, the first a disk hovering above the landing pad, and the second shows the disk landed on the landing pad. This is just a rough sketch, not trying to show off my artistic skills

But the top image shows the existing UFO landing pad with the "U" on it.

To do what you want without mathematical symbols, I'd paint it with something along the lines of the bottom sketch, but with better artistry (like I'd show if I had more time to spend on it).
It's supposed to say something like, "descend here, land, and be welcomed".

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 11:53 PM

Nice drawing. My only concern is that even with drawings such as this we are making many anthropogenic assumptions.

For example, what if the simple gesture of shaking hands is NOT interpreted the same way in an alien civilization. What if taking another's hand into yours and shaking it is profoundly insulting, considered hostile even? What if it means "come on down here, and let's fight to the death - winner take ALL!"

Extreme perhaps, but I would stay away from purely humanistic value systems that may go very. very badly. Instead, this is why the OP was on the right track with the pure unambiguity of mathematics.

Now, of course a completely different numbering system, character set, nomenclature, syntax/schema, etc. may introduce problems and confusion as well. This is why I believe Sagan et al chose simple graphics and depictions of elementary physical processes to communicate.

A symbol set or communication method must be selected that is universal, easily interpreted (as much as such can be possible), and almost instantaneous in comprehension and response.

So far we don't have it.

Well - some believ this is all a moot point anyway - since the communication will be telepathic or some variant and therefore no math symbols, hand gestures, or written characters will be needed.

Perhaps. My gut says if sentient beings are able to travel across the galaxy and are in the slightest way interested in communicating with us, they will already have their own methods ready. The corollary of this, however is less comforting:

If they wanted to communicate and we did not - then what?

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 01:30 AM

Originally posted by Outrageo
For example, what if the simple gesture of shaking hands is NOT interpreted the same way in an alien civilization. What if taking another's hand into yours and shaking it is profoundly insulting, considered hostile even? What if it means "come on down here, and let's fight to the death - winner take ALL!"
You're absolutely right, that's why I said the "welcome" part of the message is hard, I already admitted that. They might interpret that handshake far differently than we might intend.

But I think the "land here" part is less ambiguous. If you have a better way to communicate that mathematically, let's see it, I only missed a couple of questions on the math part of the SAT so I don't know if that qualifies me as a math genius, but I think it means I'm good enough to evaluate your suggestion with some pretty good math skills.

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 02:44 AM
Well at least I'm getting some serious answers now. lol
I think you are correct in saying that I phrased the question wrong, I based it on what I saw in the video. With the link to the video and the screenshot showing the exact time that it was taken, I assumed that people would go to that part and watch for themselves. I don't know how many actually did but this does give me an idea of how hard it would be to communicate an idea to an alien species.

Looking at the Voyager golden record, I am completely lost. I can't understand what the symbols mean. I'm sure that well educated people or advanced aliens wouldn't have any problem with it but I hope to find something a little easier to understand.

The UFO landing pad you posted is a lot more like what I am looking for. A set of easily understood symbols is the best example that could be used IMHO.

I have been working on the signal that I would want to send to them. In the signal I am not showing any craft or alien species. I am attempting to keep the signal as generic as possible. The signal should show a movement toward Earth with a grid pattern showing the direction of the base. As the "camera" moves closer it will level off near the ground and descend the last few feet to give the impression of landing. At this time several human representatives will exit the building and stand near the "camera/ship". In this sequence, the only movement or gesture made would be the humans walking over and standing near the ship, I don't think that could be misunderstood or taken for a hostile action but who knows for sure?

So if we agree that the symbols needed for this to work needs to be a simple set of drawings, What would best represent the message? I like the two UFO's with the arrow design but since we really don't know what their ship looks like I wouldn't want to make an assumption. Perhaps the design should be a simple circle with stick figures inside similar to a cave painting.

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 03:32 AM

Looking a little closer, I now notice that the arrows in the center are showing clockwise while the arrows on the outer circle are counter clockwise. That could be a little confusing but it as an easy fix.

[edit on 30-7-2010 by ChicUFO]

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 03:39 AM

Originally posted by ChicUFO

Looking a little closer, I now notice that the arrows in the center are showing clockwise while the arrows on the outer circle are counter clockwise. That could be a little confusing but it as an easy fix.

[edit on 30-7-2010 by ChicUFO]

human recycling depot????

male to female / female to male conversion?????

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 03:44 AM
another couple of points :

1 - how will an extra terestrial civilisation tell the didderence between terresreial maths and language - when written down ?

if you think its easy - try the difference between ruman numerals and written latin

then compare it to arabic numerals and written english

then consider that premodern civilizations in south america used base 20 and base 60 maths systems and in the far east , different systems again

2 - pictures and symbols only " mean something " to us because we already relate to them in our own language .

take as an example the currently universally recognised ISO hazchem and warning symbol set - i only know what foregin signa mean because i learnt the symbols in english - i have no idea how ` danger radiation ` is written in japanese - but i know the international symbol - and would not open a box i found in that had danger radiation witten on it in japanese acompanied by the symbol - but if it just had 2 indecipherable japanese words on it - i might be curious

posted on Jul, 30 2010 @ 03:44 AM

I see your point. I didn't think of it that way. I thought that this would be easier but now I'm not sure if it can be done at all. Almost anything we imagine could be misunderstood or taken in a different context. Even colors create a problem, red could be saying "bomb here" black could mean "Burn to a cinder". This problem is much more complicated that I had imagined.

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