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"...the space defense initiative drove the USSR bankrupt, and it originated at my house in Tarzana."
- Larry Niven

Fyunch(click)  
  An alien assigned to become an expert in just one person.  

When humans enter the Mote, the aliens use one of their techniques to try to understand them.

“You always sound so cautious when you speak of the ship. Am I stepping on Navy secrets? It-is not the ship that concerns me, Rod. I’m Fyunch(click) to you. It means considerably more than just guide.” The Motie gestured oddly. Rod had seen her do that before, when she was upset or annoyed.

“Just what does Fyunch(click) mean?”

“I am assigned to you. You are a project, a masterwork. I am to leam as much about you as there is to know. I am to become an expert on you, My Lord Roderick Blaine, and you are to become a field of study to me. It-is not your gigantic, rigid, badly designed ship that interest-ss me, it-ss your attitudes toward that ship and the humans aboard, your degree of control over them, your interess-t in their welfare, et cetera.”

From The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle).
Published by Simon & Schuster in 1974
Additional resources -

Compare to thought pattern divination from The Houses of Iszm (1954) by Jack Vance.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Mote in God's Eye
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle)
  Tech news articles related to The Mote in God's Eye
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven (w/J. Pournelle)

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