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Jorge Stolfi wrote:
> I think the most urgent thing to study is the gallows bit correlation.
> (Map each word to the number of gallows letters it contains, then
> study the statistics of the resulting digit string.)
> As you must all be aware of by now, the result consists of 0's and 1's
> almost exclusively, and there are surprisingly long runs of 1's and
> 0's. This correlation between successive words severely constrains the
> VMs theories, crypto or otherwise.

 I wish I had access to a good copy of the VMS, how accessible
is the CD ROM version going to be?  I have a keen interest in
the drawings.  I have all the pages from Yale and would like to
see more.  I'm only up to 1995 on the past messages, I haven't
yet found a really good analyses of them.  I'd like to try to
peg the symbolism to a school of thought.  I've seen one
description as a model of pregnancy, but I looked at that page
and saw a description of breaking compounds ino their
components, the different positions and actions of the nymphs
describing solutes and a precipitate as well as gasses boiling
off.  I believe that's 58r.  You can see the nymphs kind of
angry in a chamber to the bottom left (probably because they are
being boiled) and they seem to be trying to stick together. 
Then they move to the bottom middle chamber with a babe in a
bucket representing a precipitate while a nymph floating above
seems to be in solution.  Still others are exiting through the
top.  From that I took all of the other babes in tubs to
indicate an element (or a compound they couldn't or didn't ant
to break) with it's 'pure spirit' captured, ie pure. I think if
we understood enough of what the hieroglyphics mean, we might be
able to use their method of symbolism to peg the VMS to a school
of thought or a region.  I know using anthropomorphic figures to
represent reactions wasn't uncommon, but I've only seen the
later glossy versions.  There they also seem to represent larger
concepts.  I don't know if it's got merit or not, but it's worth
a try.  If the nymphs represent elements, maybe some of the
other diagrams will show us their planetary correspondances
along with their names.  How prevalent was the use of latin
names for elements across languages in the alchemical world?  My
guess is that they were mostly Latin, with possibilities for
Greek and Arabic.  Some of those astrological diagrams with all
of the hot chicks look like alchemical 'periodic tables'.  Maybe
that's our Rosetta Stone.  If we could find a place where we
expected to find Latin tossed in, it would go along way towards
understanding the cipher.