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View Full Version : Mental telephony(MT). In SF, all space aliens have the ability. Is MT possible?



potoole
2012-Aug-11, 01:51 AM
Space aliens, Science fiction types, most always have the ability to read minds, no matter where the mind comes from. They seem to have the ability to communicate by mental telephony with any creature, though not verbally or by any other method.

I'm always amazed at how they can reach into any mind, 'see' what that mind is thinking, they can control what that mind perceives, and can control the mind's owner to do whatever the alien mind invader wants.

"You will take control of this ship, (or the local sherrif's department) and cause great havoc."

Or, what am I getting at, here - I really don't know. I'm feeling a strange pressure on my brain. :confused:

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-11, 02:01 AM
Space aliens, Science fiction types, most always have the ability to read minds, no matter where the mind comes from. They seem to have the ability to communicate by mental telephony with any creature, though not verbally or by any other method.

I'm always amazed at how they can reach into any mind, 'see' what that mind is thinking, they can control what that mind perceives, and can control the mind's owner to do whatever the alien mind invader wants.

"You will take control of this ship, (or the local sherrif's department) and cause great havoc."If organisms developed some sort of radio that's wired right into their brain, then maybe. It might be biological evolution, but more likely it's technological evolution using macro-tech, nano-tech, or bio-tech.

There has been research that claims to observe that people react before they sense something and sometimes sense something big (like 9/11) before or as it happens without knowledge of it. It was on one of those Morgan Freeman hosted shows on Science Channel.


Or, what am I getting at, here - I really don't know. I'm feeling a strange pressure on my brain. :confused:BTW, are you kidding or are you trying to self-diagnose voices in your head or something?

JustAFriend
2012-Aug-11, 02:05 AM
In SF, all space aliens have the ability.

Uh, don't know what SF you're reading, but no.
In fact there are novels that specify that few or no members of species have telepathic abilities.

potoole
2012-Aug-11, 02:36 AM
Ara Pacis
Order of Kilopi "
"BTW, are you kidding or are you trying to self-diagnose voices in your head or something? "

Of course I'm just kidding. This is off topic babbling. Ain't it?
I'm mostly remarking on bad science fiction. Especially bad TV/pop/movie science fiction.

PO'T

potoole
2012-Aug-11, 03:44 AM
No humor in this crowd.

DoggerDan
2012-Aug-11, 04:13 AM
I'm surprised we haven't seen more instances of organisms communicating chemically. We see it all the time in insects, sometimes by chemicals released into the air, sometimes by direct contact between chemical release sites and receptors. Still, it's just one channel through which many messages may float.

Why don't we see more channelized means of communication, such as antenna with dozens of send/receive sights which align with those of the communication partner? Or perhaps the tendrils as depicted in Avatar. Is that a physiological impossibility?

Noclevername
2012-Aug-11, 07:00 AM
Space aliens, Science fiction types, most always have the ability to read minds, no matter where the mind comes from. They seem to have the ability to communicate by mental telephony with any creature, though not verbally or by any other method.

I'm always amazed at how they can reach into any mind, 'see' what that mind is thinking, they can control what that mind perceives, and can control the mind's owner to do whatever the alien mind invader wants.

"You will take control of this ship, (or the local sherrif's department) and cause great havoc."

Or, what am I getting at, here - I really don't know. I'm feeling a strange pressure on my brain. :confused:

Radio would work between like creatures, but on a species (humans) with no reciever/transmitter organs or devices? No. As for controlling a human mind, that's pure fantasy with a dash of Cold War movie-monster paranoia.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Aug-11, 04:15 PM
Telepathy in aliens in SF is a storytelling shorthand, especially on TV and in movies. I don't think it's at all likely to exist in reality, but I'd rather they acknowledged the language issue than simply ignore it, as in Planet of the Apes. (Is the Statue of Liberty really so much more of a clue than the fact that the apes speak English?) In Doctor Who, they took a mere 13 years to get around to mentioning language telepathy (they actually called it "a Time Lord gift") to address the fact that the TARDIS crew never* had any trouble communicating with the people they met in the stone age, on the planet Skaro, in China, France, Italy and many, many other places where you'd expect to meet with linguistic difficulties.

As to controlling people's minds, well, it's reminiscent of demonic possession, hence dramatic, and a heck of a lot cheaper to film than the multi-stage xenomorphs in Alien.

*What, never? No, never. What, never? Well, hardly ever. Nobody could understand the Zarbi, for instance, which looked like blokes dressed in giant ant costumes but sounded like grasshoppers or crickets chirruping. The Second Doctor, in his last adventure, had problems with the French language. The Fourth Doctor, finding himself clinging to the side of a mountain, searched his pocket and was pleased to find Mountaineering for Beginners... only to realise it was in Tibetan. He searched his other pocket and found Teach Yourself Tibetan, but then lost his grip. I found this very amusing, but some purist fans didn't because several years earlier the Third Doctor was heard speaking in the Tibetan language. The Fifth Doctor was unable to understand an Australian Aboriginal language that his companion happened to know. The Sixth Doctor's companion was unable to speak Spanish while in Spain, despite being by the same author who introduced the Time Lord gift. If you think I have no life, why are you still reading this?

publiusr
2012-Aug-11, 06:09 PM
The Fifth Doctor was unable to understand an Australian Aboriginal language that his companion happened to know. The Sixth Doctor's companion was unable to speak Spanish while in Spain, despite being by the same author who introduced the Time Lord gift. If you think I have no life, why are you still reading this?

Ways to explain that. The Tardis has nanites that have crossed time and space--much like the Silence--allowing Ghost in the Shell communication. Davros Reality Bomb was influenced by its very ubiquity--not far from the Voice from Dune. Davros was inspired by language--narrative itself as a weapon--belief made manifest.

The Aboriginal language does not lend itself to technological review or insight--darmok style--due to a more mystical frame of reference. Some folks may be immune to nano-translation--or psi-immunes to resist the Tardis own influence.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-11, 06:14 PM
Ways to explain that. The Tardis has nanites that have crossed time and space--much like the Silence--allowing Ghost in the Shell communication. Davros Reality Bomb was influenced by its very ubiquity--not far from the Voice from Dune. Davros was inspired by language--narrative itself as a weapon--belief made manifest.

The Aboriginal language does not lend itself to technological review or insight--darmok style--due to a more mystical frame of reference. Some folks may be immune to nano-translation--or psi-immunes to resist the Tardis own influence.

If you managed to throw in midichlorians, you'd have a complete smorgasbord of popular SF references! ;)

publiusr
2012-Aug-11, 06:29 PM
I was coming to that...no wait--I wasn't

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-11, 06:40 PM
Is MT possible?

Well, there's the SF answer...which is, of course, yes, or the scientific "reality" answer, which is, there is no evidence for such an idea even being possible.


The answer to the OP really depends on "choosing" which "answer" you want.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Aug-11, 06:43 PM
Ways to explain that. The Tardis has nanites that have crossed time and space--much like the Silence--allowing Ghost in the Shell communication. Davros Reality Bomb was influenced by its very ubiquity--not far from the Voice from Dune. Davros was inspired by language--narrative itself as a weapon--belief made manifest.

The Aboriginal language does not lend itself to technological review or insight--darmok style--due to a more mystical frame of reference. Some folks may be immune to nano-translation--or psi-immunes to resist the Tardis own influence.

And the reason Sarah Jane didn't refer to The Five Doctors in School Reunion is because the Valeyard wiped her mind in order to create a parallel time line in which the Monk and Queen Galleia of Atlantis teamed up with the Krotons and Dalek Sec to trick Borusa into thinking the Black Guardian was selling Class B drugs to Omega in Amsterdam...

Nah. It's not the role of the audience to attempt to "repair" inconsistencies, especially when the repairs involve assumptions that are unsupported by the show itself. Although if you find these flights of fantasy entertaining, then fill your boots by all means.

Paul Beardsley
2012-Aug-11, 06:52 PM
Well, there's the SF answer...which is, of course, yes

Being a little bit picky here, but...

"Well, there's an SF answer...which is, of course, yes"

SF is not a monolith. Some authors favour wild flights of fantasy, others have more conservative (evidence-based) notions of what is plausible. (These can be the same authors on different days.)

Ara Pacis
2012-Aug-11, 07:08 PM
I'm surprised we haven't seen more instances of organisms communicating chemically. We see it all the time in insects, sometimes by chemicals released into the air, sometimes by direct contact between chemical release sites and receptors. Still, it's just one channel through which many messages may float.

Why don't we see more channelized means of communication, such as antenna with dozens of send/receive sights which align with those of the communication partner? Or perhaps the tendrils as depicted in Avatar. Is that a physiological impossibility?

You mean like pheromones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pheremone)? Even humans are suspected to use them to some degree.

Why don't bigger and less-prolific life-forms use chemicals more? It might had something to do with the speed of transmission being limited to wind, water or dirt or while sound travels much faster and can travel through even solid objects and light travels even faster.

And the messages are limited to the number of chemicals a life form can produce and/or detect. That's a very limited vocabulary, and there's no syntax unless it's like painting on a wall with a life-form has some method of discriminating some sort of pattern.

Even nerve systems connecting electro-chemically can't pass data from one brain to another like an AV cable without dedicated and distinguishable circuits and transmission protocols or like ethernet without layers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model), which nervous systems do not appear to possess.

Noclevername
2012-Aug-11, 07:23 PM
Why don't we see more channelized means of communication, such as antenna with dozens of send/receive sights which align with those of the communication partner?

In Donald Moffitt's Genesis Quest, the Nar have starfish-like arms lined with millions of cillia-- they "hold hands" to communicate by feeling the cillia move in patterns. As you can imagine they must have enormously complex nervous systems to allow this kind of interpretation.


Or perhaps the tendrils as depicted in Avatar. Is that a physiological impossibility? The way it's shown in the movie, with every lifeform connected and able to transfer the entire contents of a human brain in minutes? Yes, that's basically impossible.

R.A.F.
2012-Aug-11, 08:47 PM
Being a little bit picky here, but...

"Well, there's an SF answer...which is, of course, yes"

SF is not a monolith. Some authors favour wild flights of fantasy, others have more conservative (evidence-based) notions of what is plausible. (These can be the same authors on different days.)


I agree....you are being nitpicky...


:D...just kidding...you are, of course, correct. :)

Paul Beardsley
2012-Aug-11, 09:35 PM
I agree....you are being nitpicky...


:D...just kidding...you are, of course, correct. :)

Fifteen all.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-12, 01:36 AM
Google is working on it....

Noclevername
2012-Aug-12, 01:49 AM
I've written a couple of stories involving telepathy (partly written... Ok, I've started notes), and each time I've had to fudge the physics and say "It works, but we don't know exactly how", undiscovered force quantum tunneling entanglement handwaving etc. I'm also careful to make it very difficult to learn to communicate between unlike brain structures--aliens more so than most terrestrial animals.

potoole
2012-Aug-12, 02:34 AM
I've written a couple of stories involving telepathy (partly written... Ok, I've started notes), and each time I've had to fudge the physics and say "It works, but we don't know exactly how", undiscovered force quantum tunneling entanglement handwaving etc. I'm also careful to make it very difficult to learn to communicate between unlike brain structures--aliens more so than most terrestrial animals.

Very interesting.
PO'T

novaderrik
2012-Aug-12, 09:02 AM
i guess i misread the thread title- i thought this thread was about aliens in San Francisco being able to use their psychic powers.. and i didn't think that seemed too far fetched, for some reason..

HenrikOlsen
2012-Aug-13, 08:15 AM
As to controlling people's minds, well, it's reminiscent of demonic possession, hence dramatic, and a heck of a lot cheaper to film than the multi-stage xenomorphs in Alien.
Can also work well on stage. One of the classical problems of Hamlet is how to make the King's ghost appear on stage without being completely ridiculous, at least one production solved it by having the ghost possess Hamlet so the dead King's lines are spoken by Hamlet.

publiusr
2012-Aug-13, 10:23 PM
Cheaper than Tupac's appearance.

Trebuchet
2012-Aug-14, 12:30 AM
The Olympics closing managed to channel Freddy Mercury AND John Lennon!

potoole
2012-Aug-14, 12:59 AM
The Olympics closing managed to channel Freddy Mercury AND John Lennon!

I thought that really was Freddie.
But, where were the Stones?