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Old May 5 2013, 08:11 PM   #23
Re: George and Gracie

As long as there is somebody who knows the code/language!
If any code exists to begin with, knowledge of it would depend basically on one thing only: whether the transmissions between the Probe and the whales were audible to the Federation listeners. If they were, they would have been recorded and UT-analyzed for further use. And the UT would be giving an exceptionally sorry performance if it couldn't decipher the conversation, in comparison with its other known feats.

Since Spock had no difficulty listening to the original transmissions of the Probe, it would seem inevitable that the conversation was successfully recorded.

I always was under the impression, that the whales and Spock had an elaborated talk about the situation in the whale tank - through mind melting.
Probably less a talk and more an uncontrolled mind-dump, if Spock's previous melds with nonhumanoids are anything to go by - but if the two minds were compatible enough, the whales might have grasped their current situation and the designs on their future well enough.

OTOH, if Spock was able to tell the whales what they in turn should tell the Probe, then Spock would essentially possess the communications ability as well, and could forgo the step of using the whales. Mind meld ought to be a great way of learning languages! If in turn only vague general impressions were transmitted, and it was up to whales to figure out what should be said, we can't really tell whether they properly relayed to the Probe their current predicament.

It didn't change the language it spoke. And it was either incapable of seeing that it hurted every other lifeform on earth (and elsewhere) with its action, or it didn't care. Therefore I dont' think the probe is as diplomatic as you make it out - at least to Beings who don't speak its language.
I don't see the role of this putative message as "diplomacy". It would be a simple imperative to get things sorted out to the Probe's liking, or else.

The Probe might be totally unconcerned about the humanoid life on and around Earth, even though it probably understood its existence and presence and even its actions. But if the whales successfully relayed information about the current status of whalekind on Earth (through conversation, or through merely existing and making noises), it should become obvious to the Probe that the humanoids were responsible and would have to be affected in any future affairs concerning the whalekind. The Probe should then have done one of three things:

1) If humans needed to be removed, it would have taken care of that there and then. It didn't.
2) If humans needed to be prompted to act in a specific way, it would have told them to, in words or in actions. It didn't.
3) If nothing was expected of humans, it would simply depart. It did.

The choosing of the latter option sort of suggests that the Probe didn't really care about what would happen to the whales, since their continuing survival would indeed be dependent on humans doing certain things.

Remember: Spock said, that they could emulate the noises, but not the language.
This is at odds with how the UT normally behaves, and we could blame it on them having way too little material to work with until the Probe got a conversation partner.

Then again, it's a bit odd that the UT would not have been applied on all sorts of "lower lifeforms" already, making it possible for e.g. Data to perfectly understand what Spot wanted without having to rely solely on subjective interpretations of body language (as the UT would be good at adding data from the verbal language of the feline, even if body language forms a major part of feline communications). Earth did appear to have records of humpback whale speech. Why weren't those properly analyzed?

Communication with the Probe isn't possible without the assistance of the whales.
And even then, you need a Vulcan to meld with the whales to get into the communications loop. Why not meld directly with the Probe instead? The whales appear to be more a hindrance than a help here, especially after it has been proven that the Probe doesn't particularly care for them.

Oh, right, point granted. Although we have to ask the politically incorrect question here: do all whales look the same to them?

Timo Saloniemi
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