20.40, Sunday 6 Feb 2011

When we make the breakthrough that means humans can speak with dolphins, what should our first 20 questions be? Here's a list. It's an interesting thought experiment!

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is the forum for developing principles on the use of space. I wonder if they have a list of first questions in the event that an alien species turn up.

(Related: a huge list of questions to ask the girl you're dating to promote a deeper level of disclosure.)

I'd like to be able to speak to pets and farm animals. Dolphin and squid might be our aquatic doppels, but it's a fascinating and terrifying idea that we might have to develop a sociology of cattle or sheep, and negotiate with them (and ourselves) their lives, comfort, and death. To be fair, we probably already communicate with them enough for that particular conversation.