Thursday, December 25, 2008

Pointless Question #45

Why is it that allegedly super-smart, super-logical aliens have dizzyingly complex languages? Isn't "Hi!" more efficient than a paragraph-long greeting that has to be said at just the right tempo?

3 comments:

Lifewish said...

Well, super-smart aliens would be pretty good at designing smart IT systems, and would therefore have got rid of all the boring admin jobs that keep so many of us gainlessly employed.

I guess, once you've trained an AI to fill out requisition forms for you, you have to find something to do with your time...

Akusai said...

They're all philosophy majors?

Tom Foss said...

Super-smart aliens realize the problem with leaving ambiguity in their statements. Those ridiculously long greetings are an attempt to be as clear as possible. Unfortunately, they're constrained by an ambiguous language they developed when they were less super-smart, and they don't see the point in overhauling the language when they just have to wait until they finish developing telepathic communication, which sidesteps those problems entirely.

And then they get to deal with a host of new problems. Eventually, the most common phrase in their thought-lexicon will be "no, Qwrzxl, I wasn't picturing you naked!"