Took Serious Painkillers and watched a couple episodes of TNG and now I feel a bit better. Still gonna go to bed super early though (like, now, 22:20) and read a book. I'm reading "Space Opera" and it's about how humanity needs to prove its sentience by entering the intergalactic version of the Eurovision Song Contest and not coming last. It's very delightful and I need delightful optimistic sci-fi right now, not just 'cause of my tooth but because of, well, everything. We need more optimism.

Been thinking about interspecies communication and diplomacy a lot lately...

"So this is your alphabet. It has 26 glyphs in current use, it fits on a business card, and it makes no sense at all."

"No arguments there."

"This is your international phonetic alphabet. The alphabet of the human speech system. Can you memorize this sheet of paper?"

"Uh... Sure, yeah, if that's my job."

"Good." *phonebook-sized thump* "This is the intergalactic phonetic alphabet. We'll work up to that."

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I want to see phonemic transliterators. No sense of meaning, just sound shift between vocal ranges of different species. Imagine being able to actually talk with a raven or a dog or a dolphin, having to actually *learn their language* but symbolically transliterated between their vocal range and you own.

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