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# Communication with Aliens

Communicate with aliens via knots
 (+2) [vote for, against]

The problem of alien communication has long been a 'knotty' one. Most frames of reference between humans and aliens would be useless. Except knots. Most alien species would surely have invented string, wire or at least some sort of long straggly thing which get tangled up. So they should be familiar with knots. So to communicate with them, we could use different types of knots. The old familiar granny knot to start. Then the reef knot etc.

I'm not sure how you'd actually place a meaning on each type of knot, but anything which is familiar between cultures is surely a good starting place to communicate.

 — Bobble, Mar 04 2004

Inca knot writing http://www.ee.ryers...cus/inca-khipu.html
time for kropotkin to upvote [FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004]

I'm usually for anything that has to do with aliens or ufo's, but I'm afraid I'm left empty after reading this. [-]
 — ghillie, Mar 04 2004

I had a math teacher who used to think that mathematics would be the ideal form of communication between ourselves and aliens. But he later changed his mind, arguing that our system would not have developed the same theories, strategies, and the like. I see some merit in this, but I still think the most basic mathematical functions are set in stone. And I think it would be far more ideal than knots, because you can use mathematics to explain knots.
 — yabba do yabba dabba, Mar 04 2004

How would you use knots to communicate? Do knots have different meanings? I'll upvote this if anyone can communicate something with knots.
 — kropotkin, Mar 04 2004

I could communicate, "Look--a knot," using knots.
 — yabba do yabba dabba, Mar 04 2004

topology/geometry, which at some level knots are, is just a kind of math.
 — theircompetitor, Mar 04 2004

I can't see how you can communicate directly using knots, but as much communication is based on shared experience or culture, having the same knot is as good a starting point as any.
 — st3f, Mar 04 2004

Being In the Navy... Any idea the promotes the Navy' lowest form of life the boatswainsmate to be our leading conversationalists to other life forms Id have to say NAY.
 — krod, Mar 04 2004

 Any aliens coming across the knots might think they have discovered some primitive and thus bullyable species. And then they'll come.

Eh, perhaps we can look to George "cowboy" Bush to protect us ;)
 — Aerythes, Mar 04 2004

If this is an attempt at a pun, you should be shot. But I’m willing to be lenient tonight, and I’ve put away my gun. So, let’s see, knots? Humans use a lot of knots, for sure, yet how many instances of knot communication can be found in history? Hummmm. Okay, there were the Spaniards and the American natives. Were they talking with knots? No, no, I don’t think so. What they did, the Spaniards just cut pieces off the natives, and that way the natives got the message. So maybe amputation would be the best universal language. Cut off a finger and all of a sudden the aliens are paying attention. Cut off another and they understand (or say they do). Cut off the entire hand and there’s an epiphany...
 — ldischler, Mar 04 2004

They're knot getting it.....
 — normzone, Mar 05 2004

kropotkin, apart from FarmerJohn's link knots could be used to send a message in morse code or anyother binary system /digital, i.e. 1 and 0, as in knot and no knot, can't see it being a language of it's own.
 — engineer1, Mar 05 2004

 — booster2, Mar 05 2004

In Mayan culture, knots on rope were used for storing business information [similar to the way cuneiform was developed]. If it's good enough for them, it's good enough for little green men. I do see a slight advantage of this over mathematics. Though math is conceptual models, a mathematical model explained in physical form (knots) may work well. It all depends on how different the aliens are. If they speak english, I'd just as well avoid using boy scout techniques.
 — imagine002, Mar 05 2004

Perhaps I should expand on this slightly, from the specific knot version to a more generalised 3-D topological version. (cf. relativity).
 — Bobble, Mar 05 2004

I'm a frayed knot.
 — python, Mar 06 2004

What if we invent a knot that means "hi, we're friendly" to us, but to the aliens it means "we want to exterminate your species"?
 — waugsqueke, Mar 07 2004

<Embarrassed>That's happened on more than one occasion...in theory.<Embarrassed>
 — sartep, Mar 07 2004

And a slipknot means, "I want my turtle back Thursday week at the latest."
 — Detly, Mar 08 2004

The species that controls knots controls the universe.
 — clockwork, Mar 08 2004

They communicate with crop circles, we reply with knots. Ouch!
 — Native Dancer, Mar 08 2004

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