if you were talking about any old message that might leak out into space, then i might agree with you, but we are talking about a message here that was _meant_ to be decoded. The structure of the first mesage makes it almost impossible to miss the meaning. sure it was difficult, but those difficulties were on _our_ sdide of the conversation. the T.Cians made every attempt on their part to be clkear, consise, and consistant. if a symbol is used as a number, then we can be pretty sure that it is a number. If it is used as a concept, then we hope that the context makes it clear. if it is used as a story, then we trust that they are smart enough to know that they will have to tell us the story at least once.