On both sides of the bars primates can be observed

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. . On both sides of the bars primates can be observed making faces at each other. It is too facile to say that man is superior because he has made the zoo. We impose our special horror of barred captivity—a form of punishment among our species—and assume that other primates feel as we do.” Berensky likened primates to foreign ambassadors. “Apes have for centuries managed to get along with human beings, as ambassadors from their species. In recent years, they have even learned to communicate with human beings using sign language. But it is a one-sided diplomatic exchange; no human being has attempted to live in ape society, to master their language and customs, to eat their food, to live as they do. The apes have learned to talk to us, but we have never learned to talk to them. Who, then, should be judged the greater intellect?” Berensky added a prediction. “The time will come,” he said, “when circumstances may force some human beings to communicate with a primate society on its own terms. Only then human beings will become aware of their complacent egotism with regard to other animals.” The ERTS expedition, isolated deep in the Congo rain forest, now faced just such a problem. Confronted by a new species of gorilla-like animal, they somehow had to deal with it on its own terms.
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209 During the evening, Elliot transmitted the taped breath sounds to Houston, and from there they were relayed to San Francisco. The transcript which followed the transmission was brief: Seamans Wrote: RECVD TRNSMISN. SHLD HELP. IMPORTNT-NEED TRNSLATION SOON, Elliot typed back. WHN HAVE? COMPUTR ANALYSS DIFICLT—PROBLMS XCEED MGNITUDE CSL / JSL TRNSLATN. “What does that mean?” Ross said. “He’s saying that the translation problems exceed the problem of translating Chinese or Japanese sign language.” She hadn’t known there was a Chinese or Japanese sign language, but Elliot explained that there were sign languages for all major languages, and each followed its own rules. For instance, BSL, British sign language, was totally different from ASL, American sign language, even though spoken and written English language was virtually identical in the two countries. Different sign languages had different grammar and syntax, and even obeyed different sign traditions. Chinese sign language used the middle finger pointing outward for several signs, such as TWO WEEKS FROM NOW and BROTHER, although this configuration was insulting and unacceptable in American sign language. “But this is a spoken language,” Ross said. “Yes,” Elliot said, “but it’s a complicated problem. We aren’t likely to get it translated soon.” By nightfall, they had two additional pieces of information. Ross ran a computer simulation through Houston which came back with a probability course of three days and a standard deviation of two days to find the diamond mines.
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