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View Diary: Video: Distressed dolphin seeks out diver for help (177 comments)

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  •  You might enjoy this... (26+ / 0-)

    For those of you who don't know of him... let me introduce you to Dr. John Lilly, who besides inventing half of the instrumentation in use in hospitals today... and headed the US Navy's Dolphin Communication project

    Dr. Lilly disbanded the project when he came to the conclusion that "we are dealing with a species as intelligent as we are." He refused to do any more dissections or deal with dolphins that were held in captivity. He would only continue if an undersea lab was set up and the dolphins who chose to participate could do so freely.

    He noted in one of his many books that if you take a picture of a dolphin's brain and show it to a neurosurgeon, with no object of scale in the picture, the surgeon can't distinguish between a human brain and a dolphin brain.

    He also noted the direct correlation between "silent areas" of the brain and a species' intelligence. Using inter-cranial stimulation and  brain mapping techniques he found that the dolphin brain is not only ten time larger than a human brain... but its silent areas are also ten times larger than man's.

    His books are a fascinating read by one of the true great minds of science of our age.

    •  Thanks for the link.... (5+ / 0-)

      He must have been a fascinating person, too!  The information he found out sure is!


      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:01:28 PM PST

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    •  I'm hoping David Brin will show up here (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NonnyO, Flint, Loonesta, kyril

      He has (really good) sf books about communicating with Dolphins and enabling them to communicate at our level. And he's a Kossack.

      Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end.

      by rcbowman on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:30:41 PM PST

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      •  Our level? (6+ / 0-)

        I've read the Uplift series and enjoyed Brin's work. It would be nice if he did check in.

        In reading Lilly's books you begin to get the feeling that he had the suspicion that the dolphins with their brains ten times larger than ours and the whales with brains one hundred times larger than ours... including the silent areas that correlate with intelligence... that they just might be the superior species.

        It struck him that the dolphins had advanced sonar that could see us from miles off and yet would allow themselves to be captured... that the whales would allow us to hunt them literally to the point of extinction.

        He asked why in his books... why would a species, that his research seemed to be pointing to possess a greater intelligence than our own, would allow these things to happen to themselves? What do they know that we don't? What part of the picture have we as human beings missed or failed to understand about existence?

        Man... the paragon of animals... according to whom?

        •  I hadn't read this before... (7+ / 0-)

          I found this on Wikipedia on Lilly:

          Exploration of human consciousness

          In the early 1960s he was introduced to psychedelic drugs such as LSD and (later) ketamine and began a series of experiments in which he ingested a psychedelic drug either in an isolation tank or in the company of dolphins. These events are described in his books Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer: Theory and Experiments and The Center of the Cyclone, both published in 1972.

          Following advice from Ram Dass, Lilly studied Patanjali's system of yoga (finding I. K. Taimni's Science of Yoga, a modernized interpretation of the Sanskrit text, most suited to his goals). He also paid special attention to Self-enquiry meditation advocated by Sri Ramana Maharshi, and was reformulating the principles of this exercise with reference to his human biocomputer paradigm (described in Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer: Theory and Experiments and The Center of the Cyclone). He later traveled to Chile and trained with the spiritual leader Oscar Ichazo (whose attitude to metaphysical consciousness exploration Lilly characterized as "empirical" in his book The Center of the Cyclone). Lilly claimed to have achieved the maximum degree of Satori-Samadhi consciousness during his training.
          Later career

          He published 19 books in all, including The Center of the Cyclone, which describes his own LSD experiences, and Man and Dolphin and The Mind of the Dolphin which describe his work with dolphins.

          In the 1980s he directed a project which attempted to teach dolphins a computer-synthesised language. Lilly designed a future "communications laboratory" that would be a floating living room where humans and dolphins could chat as equals and where they would develop a common language.

          He envisioned a time when all killing of whales and dolphins would cease, "not from a law being passed, but from each human understanding innately that these are ancient, sentient earth residents, with tremendous intelligence and enormous life force. Not someone to kill, but someone to learn from."[10] In the 1990s Lilly moved to the island of Maui in Hawaii, where he lived most of the remainder of his life.

          His literary rights and scientific discoveries were owned by Human Software, Inc., while his philanthropic endeavors were owned by the Human Dolphin Foundation. The John C. Lilly Research Institute, Inc. continues to research topics of interest to Lilly.

    •  I've often thought (3+ / 0-)

      about the potential of some emerging technologies for cross-species communication. One of the problems we have is that dolphins can't make the noises or body movements we make, and we can't really make theirs either. So while we've been able to manage some basic communication (it's pretty common for humans and dolphins to exchange basic wants/needs), the more complex stuff eludes us.

      But what happens if you give a dolphin a touchscreen computer?

      They could manipulate a giant tablet with their nose. What sort of tablet apps would a dolphin want to play with? I bet they could figure out how to use a camera. Or maybe they'd like to draw? Maybe they could learn to read and even write with some adaptations of learning games that associate words with pictures/videos.

      Hell, maybe I'm thinking too small. Maybe they'd like real games. Or math. Maybe they can learn to write code. You don't need hands to create things anymore. Imagine dolphin software design.

      If they're as bright as we think they are, we should stop trying to 'train' them to communicate and start trying to share our world with them the way we do with pre-verbal humans. Give them something to play with and explore.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:19:40 AM PST

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      •  Actually, that makes sense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Give them something to play with and explore.
        When did you learn fastest and retain what you'd learned?  When you were having fun while learning..., it seemed like a game.

        The latest sensation on YouTube today is a seven-month old boy sitting in front of a screen and bouncing to Gangnam Style..., and what fascinated me that his hand movements were mimicking Psy.  The video said it was on YouTube and search for '7 month old mimicking gangnam style.'  I was amazed to not only find that little boy, but a whole range of children, others with '7 month old' in the title of the videos, and all were mimicking most of the same dance movements and some with the crossed arms.  Obviously the video has been played often in these households because the kids' eyes were riveted on the video, there were the crossed arms, the leg/foot movements by the older kids who had better balance, and the one arm raised and circling in another.  In all cases, the kids were having a ball... AND learning by imitating adults.

        I observed this ability to mimic when my granddaughter was four months old and I was feeding her.  As I was doing so, I kept saying "I love you!" with the high voice and exaggerated words like mothers (and observant fathers and grandfathers) always use with kids.  Granddaughter never took her eyes off my mouth, and made sounds to the cadence of "I love you" as I was saying it, tried to move her mouth and lips to mimic the same sound (she mastered the "oooo" sound for the end of 'you'), so she was definitely trying to imitate my words.  As she got older, she would reach for my mouth if I was holding her and talking to someone else..., something I've often also seen other babies do ca. +/- six months old.  They want to be able to see what is inside a person's mouth and how people are moving their teeth and tongues to make sound.  Sound fascinates them and they want to be able to make the same sound.

        We learn best when we are having fun because we open our minds and are receptive to new experiences when we are particularly enthralled with a new topic of learning.  I'm one month from being 67 years old, and I still do it.  When I undertake a new topic of study, I do "full immersion" study and read tons of books and now do tons of online research on any interesting topic that I run across.  [The internet is the best thing that ever happened to me!]

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:51:02 PM PST

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