Participant Interlock, Coalitions with Individuals of Another Species*

For approximately the last nine years the author has struggled with the problems of devising working models of the interspecies communication problem at a relatively high structured cognitive Ievel. The major portion of the total problem has been found to be the author's own species, rather than the delphinic ones. There is apparently no currently available adequate theory of the human portion of the communication network, Man-Dolphin. The lack of such a theory has made it difficult for most scientists to see the reality of the problems posed in the interspecies program.

As long as the conscious-unconscious basic belief exists of the preeminence of the human brain and mind over all other earthside brains and minds, little credence can be obtained for the proposition that a problem of interspecies communication exists. Despite arguments based on the complexity and size of certain nonhuman mammalian brains, little if any general belief in the project has been instilled in the scientific community at large. Support has been obtained for further examination and demonstration of the large size, detailed excellence of structure, and description of the large dolphin brain; there is no lack of interest in this area. The faulting out comes in obtaining the operating interest of competent working scientists in evaluation of the performance of these large brains. Interest and commitment of time and self are needed for progress.

The current effort on the part of this author is aimed at devising a program of encouragement for creating some models of the human end of the interspecies system which will illustrate elucidate, and elaborate the basic assumptions needed to encourage interest and research effort in this area.

Each mammalian brain functions as a computer with properities, programs, and metaprograms partly to be defined and partly to be determined by observation. The human computer contains at least 13 billions of active elements, and hence is functionally and structurally larger than any artificially built computer of the present era. This human computer has the properties of modern artificial computers of large size plus additional ones not yet achieved in the non-biological machines. The human computer has "stored program" properties. "Stored metaprograms" are also present among the suggested properties are "self-programming" and "self- metaprogramming." Programming and metaprogramming language is different for each human depending upon developmental, experiential, genetic, educational, accidental, and self-chosen variables and elements and values. Basically the verbal forms for programming are those of the native language of the individual modulated by nonverbal language elements acquired in the same epochs of the development of that individual.

Each such computer has scales of self-measuration and selfevaluation. Constant and continuous computations are being done giving aim and goal-distance estimates of external reality performances and internal reality achievements. Comparison scales are set up between human biocomputers for performance measures of each and of several in concert. Each biocomputer models other biocomputers of importance to itself, beginning immediately post-partum, with greater or lesser degrees of error.

The phenomenon of "computer-interlock facilitates mutual model construction and operation, each of the other. One biocomputer interlocks with one or more other biocomputers above and below the level of awareness any time the communicational distance is sufficiently small to bring the interlock functions above threshold levels

In the complete physical absence of other external biocomputers within the critical interlock distance, the self- directed and other-directed programs can be clearly detected, analyzed, recomputed, re-programmed, and new metaprograms initiated by the solitudinous biocomputer itself. In the as-completely-as-possible-attenuated-physical-reality environment in solitude, a maximum intensity, a maximum complexity and a maximum speed of re-programming is achievable by the self.

In the field of scientific research such a computer can function in many different ways, from the pure austere thought processing of theory and mathematics, to the almost random data absorption of the naturalistic approach with newly found systems or to the coordinated interlocks with other human biocomputers of an engineering effort.

At least two extreme major kinds of methods of data collection and analysis exist for individual scientists: the art)ficially created, controlled-element, invented-devised- system methods; and the participant-observer interacting intimately human (or human) biocomputers as interacting parts of the system. The first kind is the currcut basis of individual physical-chemical research, the [Latter kind is one basis for individual explorative first discovery research with large- brained (cf. human size) organisms. Sets of human motivational and procedural postulates for the interlock method of research with and on beings with biocomputers as large and larger than the human biocornputers are sought. !iome of the methods sought are those of establishing long periods (months, years) of human-to-other organisms biocomputer interlock of a quality and value sufficiently high to merit interspecies communicatian efforts on both sides at an intense and dedicated, highly-structured level.


Some human scientists faced with non-human species who have brain-computers equal to or larger than their own, retreat from responsibilities of interlock research into a set of beliefs peculiar to manual, manipulating, bipedal, featherless, recording, dry, air-vocalizing, cooperating-intraspecies., lethal- predator,vdangerous, virtuous-self-image, powerful-immature, own-speciesworshipping primates, with 1400 gram brains..

Specifically, human scientists faced with dolphins (with 1800 gram brains) retreat into several safe cognitive areas, out cf contact with the dolphins themselves. The commonest evasion of contact is the assumption of a human a priori knowledge of what constitutes "scientific research on dolphins," i.e., a limited philosophical, species-specific, closed-concept system.

Common causes of retreat are too great fear of the dolphin's large size, of the sea' of going into water, of the Tropics, of cold water, etc. Another safe retreat is into the let's see what happens if we do tbis or the experimental "mucking around" region. Years can be spent on this area with no interlock achieved; successful evasion is thus continued endlessly.

Increasingly and frequently scientists are trying the let's pretend we are non-existent (to the dolphins) observers and do a peeping-tom- through-underwater-windows on them, commonly called an "ethological approach." This activity also evades interlock research quite successfully.

Other cognitive traffic control devices to evade the responsibilities of close contact are appearing about as rapidly as each additional kind of scientist enters the arena with the dolphins: icthyologists, zoologists, comparative psychologists, anthropologists, ethologists, astronomers each has had at least one representative of his field approach dolphins Each one thinks up good and sufficient reasons for not continuing interlock research and not devoting his personal resources and those of his scientific field to such far-out, non-applied, long- term, basic research. Non-scientist-type persons also approach; most leave with similar sophistries. A few stay. Some who stay have an exploitative gleam in their eye: doll;ar-gleam, military- application-gleam, selfaggrandizement-gleam. Some persons stay because of a sense of wonder, awe, reverence, curiosity, and an intuitive feel of dolphins themselves.

The dolphin respecting (not dolphin-loving) persons (scientists or not) are the potential interlock group sought; dedication to dolphin-human interlock without evasions is a difficult new profession. The persons I know in this class are few, as of 1965. The few need help facilities, assistance of the right sorts, privacy, few demands of other kinds, money' cognitive and intellectual back-up, encouragement, enlightened discussions, and, of course, dolphins. This is currently a necessarily lonely profession.


Several authors have proposed models of human and nonhuman communication based on purely logical, linguistic, and computer grounds. (See, for example, Lincos, a language for cosmic intercourse, by Freudenthal.) Such models suffer from one major defect they lack the necessary experience in the pro poser with interlock research with a non-human species; the storage banks of the theorizer are filled only with human-type interlock data. Of course this does not mean that these model are totally inapplicable, it merely assures a subtle pervasive anthropocentricity which may be inappropriate.

Among many possible theoretical approaches is one which I call the "participant theorist" approach. The theorist establishes an interlock with a non-human computer by whatever modes are possible, programs himself with open-ended hypotheses of a type thought to encourage him and to encourage the other computer' each to communicate. The resulting interactions between the two computers set up new programs, driven by rnetaprograms which say establish communication with the other computer. The new theory develops with the new data as each evolves in feedback with the other. Corrections are introduced in context almost automatically by reward- punishment interactions in response to errors on each side of the dyed.


It has been found with one non-human species (Tursiops truncatus) with a brain known to be sufficiently large to motivate the human end adequately] that a large daily commitment of hours to interlock is necessary for the human end, the order of 16 to 20 hours of the 24. The days per week must be at least five, and preferably six or seven. After 11 weeks of these hours, an approximate total of 1000 hours of interlock, the communication achieved via non-vocal and vocal channels was quite complex, and at the human end, the theories quite new and operationally successful, from an order-take- orders level to several higher levels.*

With dedicated interlock the conscious-unconscious reciprocal models of each computer in the other become workable within the limits inherent in each participant. The limits set are also conscious-unconscious, at the human end, at least.

Such interlock participation and realistic model building and rebuilding avoid the sterile purity of the approach from the armchair. It assures interlock in most areas, including some interlock even in those areas forbidden to western "civilized man." The total necessities in each mode of expression are presented irrespective of taboos, inhibitions, bad theories, and blocks in either species. Areas to be loosened up are indicated unequivocally by each member of the dyed to the other by powerful methods. If communication attempts by one side are blocked in one area by the other, in many cases search tactics are employed until an open channel is foundl or until a channel is developed suitable to each end.

Early in the interlock, mutual rules are established regulating the muscle power and force to be used, and areas considered dangerous, the "absolutely" fcrbidden areas, the first channels to be considered, the limitations on the use of each channel, who is to have the initiative under what conditions, the contingencies surrounding feeding and eating, around sexual activities, arriving and leaving, sleeping, urination and defecation, the introduction of additional members of either species, and the use of props and evasions. The initial phase consumes most of this initial 1000 hours of interlock.

The consciousness-unconsciousness aspect of the initial period of interlock is an important consideration if too much hostilityfear is present unconsciously the interlock becomes ritualistic and evasive. If the human end has too much unconscious energy involved in unconscious circuits of dependence on humans of the mother-child-father variety, fear- hostility may rupture the interlock suddenly. If powerful means of clearing out the unconscious excess-baggage circuits are used, one sees a sudden access to interlock of a depth and energy previously lacking in that human. A sudden willingness to participate at all levels effectively is generated and used as the computer is cleared of af unreasoinable circular feedback programs below the level of awareness. This is at the human end of the system.
At the other-species end of the system, the selection of individuals for interlock is more hit or miss. We catch dolphins in the wild. we don't know how they select (if they do select the group for us to catch. There seems to be some selection going on: most of the individuals we have worked with have our unconscious-hostility, unconscious-fear programs in their computers; at least not in the hands of our people in the Institute.* Rarely are very old ones caught.

It may be that dolphins in general cannot afford waste of the unconscious circuitry for such useless programs as hostility- fear-to-intelligent-other-individuals. The conditions for their survival in the wild require the utmost in fast and unequivocal cooperation and interlock with one another. The exigencies of air-breathing, of sharks, of storms? of bacterial diseases, of viral illnesses, of man's depredations, and of other factors require exuberance and whole-hearted participation (intraspecies) from each and every individual. Failure to interlock because of fear, hostility or other inner preoccupations leads to quick death and nonpropagation of that rype of computer.

Dolphins, correctly approached, seek interlock with those humans who are secure enough to openly seek them (at all levels) in the sea water.

With dolphins there are possible and probable interlock channels for humans. Anatomical differences limit the channels, as do human social taboos. Given a human with minimal inhibitions, the necessary sensitivity, skills in the water, courage, dedication, correct programming, and the necessary surrounds and support, there are many channels: sound- production-hearing; muscularaction-tactile-pressure-reception; presence-action-seeing; sexual channels; feeding-eating; and such metachannel problems as initiative in use, cross-channel relations simultaneously with intra-channel control of signals, kinds of signals which can and cannot be decoded into information at each end, etc.

One channel we have disciplined ourselves and the dolphins to pursue is the air-borne vocal and hearing one.* In this channel we have found a cLue to progress in the other channels if one is to be convincing in regard to showing a program and metaprogram wish to communicate, one mimics the other end's signals even though (temporarily) the signals make no sense, and one insists on having one's own signals mimicked on the same basis. This leads to mimicry of our swimming patterns by the dolphins, for example, when we have mimicked theirs.

Mimicry seems to be one program for demonstrations of the present state of the model of the dolphin in us and of us in the dolphin. The adequacy of the functioning of the human in the man-dolphin interlock is measured by the feedback represented by mimicry. The mechanism is similar if not identical to that of a human child mimicking adult use of words (silently or vocally) not yet in the child's "storage" and "use" programs.

Plea for Further Researcb
In summary, a plea is made for the development of a theory of the communicator, human type, faced with a non-human communicator with a brain and presumed mind of a high quality. The theory should include open-ended, non-species- specific, general purpose, self-programming, mutual respect, voluntary dedication, participant theorist kinds of basic assumptions. Beyond these assumptions are those of the proper selection of participants, support, interest in the scientific community, and cooperation on an operating contributing level by open-minded professionals.

*OP. cir.J.A.S.A. 43 1412-1424.

Chapter 11 was published in part Lilly, J. C. 1966. "Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence" (1965 IEEE Military Electronics Conf Washington, D. C., Sept. 1965) IEEE Spectrum 3 (3) 1L59-160

*Lilly, J. C. 1967; Lilly, J. C., Alice M. MiLler and Henry M. Truby, 1968.

]. A. S. A. 43 1412-1424.

*communication Research Institute, Miami, Florida and St. Thomas, U. S. Virgin Islands.