Dolphins and US (That's Not to Say Dolphins ARE us)
Peter Lawler is Dana Professor of Government and former chair of the department of Government and International Studies at Berry College. He serves as executive editor of the journal Perspectives on Political Science, and has been chair of the politics and literature section of the American Political Science Association. He also served on the editorial board of the new bilingual critical edition of Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has written or edited fifteen books and over 200 articles and chapters in a wide variety of venues. He was the 2007 winner of the Weaver Prize in Scholarly Letters.\r\n\r\nLawler served on President Bush's Council on Bioethics from 2004 – 09. His most recent book, Modern and American Dignity, is available from ISI Books.\r\n\r\nFollow him on Twitter @peteralawler.
So there's a lot of excitement about dolphins on BIG THINK these days. If we can figure out how to communicate with them, we can figure out how to communicate with the aliens (ETs) that are bound to be somewhere out there.
But here's one difference between dolphins and any ETs we'll ever find out about. Those cute, social mammals have no interest in and no capacity for leaving the place in which they live.
There's no dolphin technology worth talking about.
And, as far as we can tell, they're not dissatisfied with their natural existence. One thing we could conceivably learn from them is the secret of their contentment. But it's probably the case that it's just not given to us (by nature) to share their contentment.
Let's face it. We're aliens and they're not. We are profoundly dissatisfied with what nature gives us. That's why we're so technological and biotechnological. There are, for example, no dolphin transdolphinists, but there are human transhumanists.
We aren't completely at home in this world, which is why we imagine other places and other beings on other planets. We can imagine that they can save us (as Carl Sagan did) from ourselves.
So we'll have a lot more in common with any ETs that show up here through some high-tech method than dolphins do. And it's doubtful to me figuring out some way of sharing our experience with the mammals who live in the sea and nowhere else will help us much in communicating with our fellow aliens.
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Journaling can help you materialize your ambitions.
- Organizing your thoughts can help you plan and achieve goals that might otherwise seen unobtainable.
- The Bullet Journal method, in particular, can reduce clutter in your life by helping you visualize your future.
- One way to view your journal might be less of a narrative and more of a timeline of decisions.
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