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LSC and the VMS

Mark's LSC tests applied to the VMS give results typical of natural
languages, and quite different from those of monkey text.

This is very good news, at least for those of us who still believe
that there is a text in there to be read. As for myself, I have
remarked several times in the past that the distribution of words in
the VMS seemed to be far from uniform; it is nice to see that vague
feeling turned into a quantitative measurement.

Unfortunately, even this powerful test still leves some room
for doubt.  

For one thing, while the LSC can unmask ordinary monkeys, it too can
be fooled with relative ease, once one realizes how it works. One
needs only to build a `multiscale monkey' that varies the frequencies
of the letters along the text, in a fractal-like manner.

Of course, it is hard to imagine a medieval forger being aware of
fractal processes. However, he could have used such a process without
knowing it. For instance, he may have copied an arabic book, using
some fancy mapping of arabic letters to Voynichese alphabet. The
mapping would not have to be invertible, or consistently applied: as
long as the forger mantained some connection between the original text
and the transcript, the long-range frequency variations of the former
would show up in the latter as well.

Moreover, I suspect that any nonsense text that is generated `by hand'
(i.e. without the help of dice or other mechanical devices) will
show long-range variations in letter frequencies at least as 
strong as those seen in meaningful texts.

Thus Mark's results do not immediately rule out random but
non-mechanical babble or glossolalia. However, it is conceivable that
such texts will show *too much* long-range variation, instead of too
little. We really need some samples...

All the best,