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ppauper
Posts: 69115
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Cuchulainn
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### Re: Happy Darwin Day

tw
Posts: 889
Joined: May 10th, 2002, 3:30 pm

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Octopuses
octopodes!
If you have many simultaneous calculations to do, do you use many abacodes?

Cuchulainn
Posts: 57077
Joined: July 16th, 2004, 7:38 am
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### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Octopuses
octopodes!
If you have many simultaneous calculations to do, do you use many abacodes?
Can you not uncouple the octopuss into 4 2X2 odes? Integration..

ppauper
Posts: 69115
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Octopuses
octopodes!
If you have many simultaneous calculations to do, do you use many abacodes?
by that logic, the plural of human should be humen since the plural of woman is women

as you know from the merriam-webster video, octopus came from the Greek ὀκτώπους (oktṓpous)

Cuchulainn
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### Re: Happy Darwin Day

And Kalamarakia Tiganita, yummy

tw
Posts: 889
Joined: May 10th, 2002, 3:30 pm

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

abacus also from Greek root, no? (abak=slab)

octopodes!
If you have many simultaneous calculations to do, do you use many abacodes?
by that logic, the plural of human should be humen since the plural of woman is women

as you know from the merriam-webster video, octopus came from the Greek ὀκτώπους  (oktṓpous)

ppauper
Posts: 69115
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Take it up with the Romans
if you look in the wiktionary, you will see that the plural of octopus in Latin is octopodes
octopus in Latin
which was presumably because octopus was a loanword from Greek ὀκτώπους (oktṓpous)

the plural of abacus in Latin on the other hand is abaci
abacus in Latin
Both abacuses and abaci are used as the plural of abacus in English
ἄβᾰξ (ábax) means board or slab

I guess that's the difference between having a Greek root and being a Greek loanword.

katastrofa
Posts: 6424
Joined: August 16th, 2007, 5:36 am
Location: Alpha Centauri

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Far fetched, but I wonder if anyone has tried to show an octopus how we do math and see if they get a reaction.

Probably it would be like two -year old crayon scribblings to them, but maybe they could teach us something.

It's distantly possible that an octopus could learn how to use a pen too.

Lots about language and communicating with more intelligent octopodean beings in the film Arrival.
From what I've read, it's very hard to "teach" an octopus. They are moody, indifferent (if the task is not sufficiently "interesting" - or "tasty"), unpredictable and individualist (interests and methods differ from individual to individual) and mean. Teaching them to do algebra sounds like a formidable task, and the performance may not be a valid indicator of intelligence. I've read several researchers sharing the same impression about experiments on octopuses: they are not animals closed in tanks - they are hostages.
BTW, I read two popular books about cephalopods' intelligence some time ago: Sy Montgomery's "Soul of an octopus" and Peter Godfrey-Smith's "Other minds: Octopus and evolution of intelligent life". Nice light read.

trackstar
Posts: 26400
Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Thanks for book Recs - will check them out.

But just a word for clarification:

I was not thinking that we would teach octopodes algebra.

More that if we were trying to communicate with a potentially more intelligent being than ourselves, we would show them how we do math and that, if it is a universal language, might be recognizable, however primitive we might seem.

You could establish a basic foundation and take it far beyond algebra depending on how things went.

If not octopii or dolphins or whales then maybe something else, eg aliens, but I think math and maybe engineering would be the languages of choice.

rmax
Posts: 5976
Joined: December 8th, 2005, 9:31 am

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

I think our inability to communicate with any other animal shows the exact kind of issues that we will have if we discover alien lifeforms. Octopuses (ok ok ok I surrender) octopodes) are much more difficult to communicate with as they are non-mammalian and do  not have any acoustic sounds (as far as I'm aware...).

Dolphins and chimps are a much better candidate IMHO, as some limited communication has already been established (Brazil).

I agree that the usual approach is to look at mathematical concepts and try and communicate in those, however do dolphins need maths? It would be interesting to try any form of animal and give them a series in some form 2,3,5,7 and see if they come up with the next item. However if the dolphin you selected was Shakespeare and not Einstein you might think that the whole species was unintelligent.

katastrofa
Posts: 6424
Joined: August 16th, 2007, 5:36 am
Location: Alpha Centauri

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

If the lack of verbal communication was an issue, mutes wouldn't be able to function normally in our world. Some animals developed vocal communication, other visual (not necessarily using their eyes).

I don't know if animals know the concept of prime numbers, but analysing complex mathematical problem seems essential for their survival. I think of mathematics as an instinct rather then science. When I play with my cats with a toy hanged on a stick, I'm marvelled at their ability to predict the path and speed of the toy's movement and catch it - as if they were solving differential equations in real-time. Such "mathematical" skills are the condition of every hunter's survival.

I'm not sure what's your definition of communication, but there are lots of examples of effective exchange of information between humans and other animals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human%E2% ... munication
If cooperation (the fishing with dolphins example) is communication, then probably Palaeolithic dog was first. Honeyguides in Africa are also worth mentioning.
Last edited by katastrofa on February 14th, 2018, 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

rmax
Posts: 5976
Joined: December 8th, 2005, 9:31 am

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Visual communication, body language is very simplistic in terms of what it can communicate - hence the reference to verbal communication.

I have often heard that complex mathematical tasks are computed when we cross a road etc. I think that is similar to saying that a neural network can do maths - I'm not sure that it just isn't a trained instinct.

Gamal
Posts: 2121
Joined: February 26th, 2004, 8:41 am

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

Octopodes don't post in discussion forums, that's why they may be more intelligent than humans. On the other hand - are we sure they don't?

tw
Posts: 889
Joined: May 10th, 2002, 3:30 pm

### Re: Happy Darwin Day

I thought the deimatic colour change behaviour was reputedly the chosen method of communication for our  cephalopod friends.
(Makes sense underwater?). Nice rippling hues of orange, greens and purples could easily be adapted to describe Algebra and
calculus, ne c'est pas?

[quote="rmax"]I think our inability to communicate with any other animal shows the exact kind of issues that we will have if we discover alien lifeforms. Octopuses (ok ok ok I surrender) octopodes) are much more difficult to communicate with as they are non-mammalian and do  not have any acoustic sounds (as far as I'm aware...).

quote]