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Re: About Turkish (what is the importance to the VMS)

On Tue, 20 Jun 2000, Julie Porter wrote:
> I noted when I mentioned that from a typgraphical standpoint, the rivers in
> the text caused by the spaces and re-inking of the pen, seem to have
> uinique structure. If I had more time I would love to do some analysis with
> the positions of the pen strokes in the Vms. I got almost no feedback from
> the list so I sort of let things drop.
> Did anyone give this any thought?

I'm not even going to ask why someone would do signal processing in
PostScript.  On the "rivers":  I haven't finished looking at the "gallows
bit sequences" work, but when I ran some similar tests myself I had the
subjective impression that the positions of the gallows characters might
be related to positions on the page.  It's well known that they occur
preferentially at the starts of lines, but it also seemed to me (I haven't
run a count yet) that they almost always occurred in the first word on 
a page, and were much less common at the start of the *second* line.  I
wonder what would happen if we just took a page, marked the physical
positions of the gallows characters, and looked at nothing else.  Would we
see some interesting patterns?

One of the standard "kiddie" encryption techniques is to write the letters
of a message in specified physical locations on a page, and then add
random garbage all around to conceal it.  That's decrypted by placing a
template over the page with cutouts in the places where the message was
supposed to be written.  I wonder if something like that could be involved
in the VMS.  It seems like the sort of concealment that might be invented
by someone in the time and place the book was written.  The flowing nature
of the writing could be explained by it being copied from an original by
someone who didn't understand the concealment, and the word patterns we've
observed could be explained by a human trying to invent randomness on the
fly.  This theory isn't terribly convincing, and unfortunately I haven't
(yet) thought of a way to test it, but the underlying concept may be worth
investigating: that the physical locations of characters on the page may
be important to their meaning.

Matthew Skala
mskala@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx                   I paid for it, I own it.