What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate
It’s rather old, I know, but I found this transcript of an internet chat involving Koko the “talking gorilla” unintentionally hilarious. Some excerpts:
HaloMyBaby: Is Koko aware that she’s chatting with thousands of people now?
LiveKOKO: Good here.
DrPPatrsn: Koko is aware.
HaloMyBaby: I’ll start taking questions from the audience now, our first question is: MInyKitty asks, Koko are you going to have a baby in the future?
DrPPatrsn: We’ve had earlier discussion about colors today
LiveKOKO: Listen, Koko loves eat
HaloMyBaby: Me too!
DrPPatrsn: What about a baby? She’s thinking…
DrPPatrsn: She covered her face with her hands….which means it’s not happening, basically, or it hasn’t happened yet.
HaloMyBaby: SBM87 asks, What are the names of your kittens? (and dogs?)
DrPPatrsn: Foot isn’t the name of your kitty
HaloMyBaby: Koko, what’s the name of your cat?
DrPPatrsn: She just gave some vocalizations there… some soft puffing
HaloMyBaby: I heard that soft puffing!
DrPPatrsn: Now shaking her head no.
Question: Do you like to chat with other people?
HaloMyBaby: That was from Rulucky!
LiveKOKO: fine nipple
DrPPatrsn: Nipple rhymes with people, she doesn’t sign people per se, she was trying to do a “sounds like…”
HaloMyBaby: BSikor439 wants to know, Koko, Which of your paintings do you like most? Is she still painting?
DrPPatrsn: She hasn’t seen her paintings for awhile. She is still painting.
HaloMyBaby: Tell us what she’s doing right now!
DrPPatrsn: She’s re-arranging the furniture in her room, basically.
Then there’s this:
Question: I’ve heard people say she’s not really communicating — I think she’s smarter than we are– after all, how many of us can speak Gorilla!
DrPPatrsn: Exactly! She has learned our language but we haven’t learned hers.
Well, that’s one theory, anyway. If I ever meet Koko, I’ll have to ask her whether she’s ever heard of Clever Hans.
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