"For a human and an alien to meet (under the scenario proposed in the essay), we're talking about two complex subsystems interacting which have no contextual history in common."
I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head fully around this concept/scenario. If there is no underlying "it," then we (as well as any hypothetical alien race) are both totally free to create, from whole cloth as it were, a concept of objective reality. Correct so far? But if there is no underlying "it," then any hypothesized alien race would be part of *our* creation from whole cloth. So then if this were the case, couldn't we take this creation in any direction we choose, so long as our reality remains internally consistent?
Even if there *were* an underlying "it," then we and any previously unencountered alien race still would be totally free to develop our own separate descriptions and explanations for the nature of that "it," perhaps dramatically different due to having developed different sensory capabilities (perhaps they see only gamma radiation or something).
So I'm wondering, should we ever have an encounter with an alien race, would there be any way this encounter could help us answer the question of whether there is or is not an underlying "it"? Why or why not?
My concern here, I guess, is that we're treading very close to solipsism, aren't we? If not, why not?