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Re: Back to basics - or musings of an old bore

> From: bfarnell@xxxxxxx
> To: voynich@xxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: Back to basics - or musings of an old bore
> Adam McLean wrote:
> > 
> > It seems to me that many of the skilled cryptographers on
> > this group have puzzled and worked over the Voynich now
> > for many years and yet seem no nearer to cracking the code.
> > 
> > It also seems unlikely to me that someone in the 16th
> > century could devise a code that could defeat 21st
> > century methods.

The problem with respect to certain simple (for the encrypter) ciphers is
that the real heyday of development of cryptographic theory started in the
early to mid-20th century, when machine-based methods were transforming
encryption. Looking through Friedman's manuals from WW-II, there does not
appear to be any real theory for what we refer to as "verbose" ciphers
(single plaintext character maps to seq of 1+ Voynich characters) other
than in special structured cases -- who is going to use them when they have
an Enigma available? (Remember, information only has to resist decryption
in war for as long as it is valuable to the enemy -- there were perfectly
reliable "standard" "simple" field ciphers like the Jefferson cylinder in
use despite the fact that they could be cracked.)