Humans have evolved in a world with a certain amount of order. Our brains take advantage of it through built-in pattern recognition capabilities. That’s why we can recognize trees that we’ve never seen before; we see them as part of a set, or class, of things. That’s why once we’ve learned to read in a certain language, we can read text printed in hundreds, if not thousands, of different typefaces without having to re-learn the skill with each one of them. Etc.
But what if another form of intelligent life had evolved in a world with significantly less order than in our world? What if it had evolved in a world with significantly more order than our world? Could either of those possibilities happen in our universe – on a planet with very different conditions from ours, for example, or with life-forms based on different chemical elements than us, or with different sensorial inputs – or would that require an universe with different physical laws?
If other intelligent life-forms exist out there and they don’t live in Earth-like conditions, there’s no reason to think that the ‘tuning’ of their minds with regard to order is anything like ours. This could be one more thing, along with a possible difference in subjective time and many others, that could make communication difficult.
I’m not saying this is necessarily the case, but it’s a nice thought experiment, and while it might not teach us a lot about hypothetical aliens, I think it can teach us something about ourselves by giving us a less human-centric perspective on intelligence.