i’m convinced there are numerous non-human sapient species on earth but an anthropocentrism practiced at scale denies us the opportunity to discover or explore these frontiers

it’s been shown that you can teach various species intermediary languages (amy the gorilla speaking sign language, for instance) so pure translation matrices aren’t necessary for meaningful communication. moreover peoples around the world have historically developed complex material relationships with animal communities using what can be considered gift economies. for instance it’s actually pretty simple to establish trade relationships with crows 🐦

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for those wondering how to establish trade relations with crows:

- feed crows food A regularly
- when crows decide to bring you gifts, feed them food B
- when crows bring you different categories of gifts, feed them a food-per-category, ex: food C for jewelry, food D for paper money, etc
- crows will recognize these exchange patterns and opt to bring you things in order to acquire desired treats

good luck! 🐦

I wonder if you can do something similar with octopuses... 🐙

@InvaderXan @garbados I have a feeling octopuses would figure out a way to hack their reward function

@garbados @InvaderXan I think an octopus would figure out a way to circumvent your rewarding somehow

I'm not sure myself, I'm not as smart as an octopus

@pagrus @garbados @InvaderXan octopuses are probably the closest we've got to an alien intelligence on Earth beside birds. They're incredibly intelligent.

@polychrome @pagrus @garbados
Also a remarkable example of convergent evolution – their eyes work in the same way as ours despite their evolutionary line separating off long before our eyes evolved.

Cephalopods fascinate me for a lot of reasons.

@InvaderXan @pagrus @garbados I remember reading that they were generally disinterested in video playbacks until they were arranged a high-fps footage and display because they can see at a much higher fps than we do, so our usual stuff looks like a high speed gallery show instead of anything resembling movement.

@InvaderXan @pagrus @garbados a random website, I'm sure Google can find something similar.

@InvaderXan @polychrome @garbados they are so great.one of our octos died a couple weeks ago and I will be sad for a while about that

@InvaderXan @polychrome @garbados thanks, i'm just a volunteer but it's still a pretty significant event

Have any of you read "The Soul of the Octopus?" It's all about cephalopod intelligence.

I can't remember if it was that book or somewhere else where I read a story of someone who used their hands to communicate with cuttlefish. They have 10 tentacles.

Sorry to hear about your octo. ☹️

@InvaderXan @polychrome @garbados

@solarpunkgnome @pagrus @InvaderXan @polychrome @garbados Oh goodness, I would love to know where you found that! I've tried making hand-shapes at the cuttlefish at the New England Aquarium, but only once or twice did they seem to respond...

I suspect my hands need to have chromatophores for it to really work. Special gloves? :-D

@solarpunkgnome @pagrus @InvaderXan @polychrome @garbados Ah, I vaguely remember this!

I did know about the greeting pose, but didn't have much luck with it.

@varx @solarpunkgnome @pagrus @polychrome @garbados
Similar little story...

One time I was at an aquarium and saw a timid little cuttlefish hiding in the back of a tank. So I crouched down so it was at eye level and waggled my fingers against the glass.

That got it’s attention and it came out and touched one arm against the glass, where my fingers were. Sadly, some douche with a camera flash scared it away.

@varx @solarpunkgnome @pagrus @polychrome @garbados
I totally made a little friend though 🙂 I always like to try and make friends with random animals.

@solarpunkgnome @pagrus @InvaderXan @polychrome @garbados

Thanks for the book rec, I always appreciate adding new books to my ever expanding tbr

@InvaderXan @polychrome @pagrus @garbados I am so terrified by octopuses. For real, I've had nightmares. 🐙 😱

@nuhn @polychrome @pagrus @garbados
Aw, you shouldn’t be scared. The ones which aren’t friendly just want to be left alone. 🐙

@InvaderXan but they are scary! It's like an oceanic alien spider that is super clever. Nope. No. I'm just gonna keep my distance.

They just want to be friends though! And just imagine what you look like to them, all bony and hairy. No wonder they hide from humans!

@InvaderXan @garbados octopuses are to be avoided as they are smart enough to turn even the most level headed human to their cause

@reconbot @InvaderXan

octopus: 🐙
me: yes. you’re right. we must unionize!

@garbados if a crows decides to start bringing me porter checks I won't be even mad

@garbados heck i wish there were crows here i would have been the weird crow girl with 50 crows bringing me teeth and me being too terrified to figure out a way to stop it.

@garbados faster method: offer 90% breadcrumbs 10% exodia, hits that gambler bird psyche


I may end up trying this with Australian magpies, partially for gifts but mostly so they tell their friends not to swoop me.

@garbados if my crows (the nesting pair outside my apartment that I've been feeding peanuts for the last couple of years) ever bring me *anything*, I'm going to give them SO MANY TREATS. like "WHAT DO YOU WANT, TELL ME"

@garbados ... of course, it's possible the crows are bringing me things and the squirrels are stealing them. HMMM.

scp-wiki article link / tame cosmic horror / crow behavoir in clackamas county 

re: scp-wiki article link / tame cosmic horror / crow behavoir in clackamas county 

@garbados This allows the crows to indicate which are the most desirable treats, *and/or* what they can find most easily. But how do you figure out the right pairings? E.g. if they are to bring you money, which is scarce to them and valuable to you, you'd need to offer one of their most-desirable (and scarcest) treats.

Set out a buffet and see what they go for first?

It would also be useful to be able to ask for specific items, and have them indicate what they would want in return. 🤔

@garbados Instructions unclear, my crows crashed the international stock market

@garbados crows are lovely birds and id love to give that a try with the group that lives in my yard.

though about gorillas ive seen questions on whether theyve actually been taught a language or have been trained to respond to the researchers with pseudo language, just somethings ive heard in passing from scientists i follow on twitter though nothing specific ive read

@daylight another person brought up the pitfalls of calling it a “language” because in practice it’s been more like a static set of symbols rather than a living comms construct. teaching a stranger an intermediary code to facilitate comms is just one of the tools in our xenodiplomatic kit, but i think the real trick comes when strangers pass the code among themselves and it *becomes* a language, facilitating complex dialogue. that will be an astonishing accomplishment.

@garbados big agree and i hope to be proven wrong on that front

@garbados I started feeding some local dudes last winter but they moved on after the seasons and food sources changed. I’m going to try again, this has been a goal of mine for years.

@garbados It's unironically been a dream of mine for years to establish a trade of shiny items for treats with the neighborhood crows.

Currently they're regularly leaving moldy pizza from the pizza place up the street on my mailbox.

So I know crows like peanuts but what are other foods that crows can eat?

@idleDreams crushed corn kernels, bread, grapes and other fruits, even stuff like noodles. they’re very adaptable :)

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