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Re: Back to basics (or musings of an old bore) + left-right strokes

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.
> But how else can we proceed ?

For what it's worth:
An interesting sideline for the bored or frustrated that still wanted to play might be to try a reverse approach. Basically, take the abilities, resources and requirements of a 16th century writer and try to generate some codes previously not documented. Perhaps the results might yield some new insight into possible encryption methods. Perhaps it would yield nothing, but for the bored, trying to beat Bacon and Trithemius at the encryption game would be an amusing past time with the possibility of being applicable. Actually, just the act of manually encrypting something may yield insight. I once made an enciphered German based on simple substitution (I was a kid). Being lazy, I quickly decided that 'ei' and 'ie' ought to have their own letter and that all of the articles (indefinite and definite) over all genders and cases could be represented by a single symbol without losing hardly any data (on the assumption that it would be I alone reading back what I wrote, so there would be little ambiguity on my own work). These things are both possibilities for the VMS and even me as a 10 year old came up with them out of necessity. Perhaps playing this way might yield some good results as a consequence of 'parallel evolution'.

OK. I think coding is a tempter thing to anyone. How to avoid anybody read what i write.
When I was 12 y/o used a method at school so no-one may steal my work:
simply move the char values thru the alphabet


"Fast Forwarding.."
To be or not to be...
Up cf ps opu up cf...     (by 1 char)
Vq dg qt pqv vq dg...     (by 2 chars)
Wr eh ru qrw wr eh...     (by 3 chars)

or "Rewinding.."
To be or not to be...
Sn ad nq mns sn ad...     (by 1 char)
Rm zc mp lmr rm zc...     (by 2 chars)
Ql yb lo klq ql yb...     (by 3 chars)

After someone deduced my method I simply scrambled it mixing the methods used:

To be or not to be...
Sn af ps mns up cd...
(mixing every 3 chars rewinding by one and F.F'ing by one)

If we, 2 kids in different epoques, with different ages, in different societies, could develop interesting methods in the 20th. century... just think what would do an expert alchemist in 14th. century assuming "our boy" knows several languages and that he is an expert in several sciences....

Jorge Stolfi wrote (snip):
> > As many have remarked, the rigid word structure could mean that the
> > Voynichese "words" are in fact syllables. Thus either we have a
> > "major" language written syllable-by-syllable, or a language with
> > monosyllabic words. (As some of you unfortunately still remember, I
> > once bet some pizzas on this last horse.) One problem with these
> > theories is that there are about 6000 distinct Voynichese words (if we
> > exclude tokens with dubious readings) --- which is way too large for
> > any "major" language, and uncomfortably large even for the most
> > syllable-rich East Asian languages. This particular problem could be
> > solved by assuming a less than perfect encoding, e.g. with pitch marks
> > instead of tone marks, or a fair amount of spelling variation. But it
> > seems hard to believe that a natural language would exibit the
> > observed peculiarties in the gallows and bench frequencies, or the
> > symmetric word-length distribution.
> >
> > So it seems more likely that all those peculiar features of Voynichese
> > words are side effects of the encoding. Substition schemes which
> > insert spaces inside words, such as Gabriel's "daiin dain Latin", may
> > explain the absence of long words, but do not seem able to explain the
> > other features --- unless the substitution strings were specifically
> > chosen to produce those features, which seems most unlikely (they are
> > rather hard to "see", even with computers).

I think it's possible our VMs is a reduced way writing.. Let's say, your an alchemist who needs to write an essay about the basic sciences & knowledges in your world, I think you would need 2 basic things: 1) you'll need to encode texts so nobody can learn your hermetic knowledge, and 2) if you gotta write so much around any theme you'll need a easy to remind (fot you) but compressed method to do it. You can compress words assigning arbitrarily chars or char groups to everyone in the plain text and your goal would be replace the compressed words with chars coming from a different unknown alphabet. If you design the replacing alphabet you may do it with as much # of characters as you want/need... could be 30, 50, 100, it simply will increase your capabilities to hide words. You may represent numbers by simple writing them (do not write "4", but do "four"). And what about the punctuation symbols? It's your alphabet! you can do whatever!! A simple short word with "your chars" may represent an entire phrase in plain text.
I think this is a good posibility. I think we should analyze the repetition of words and chars-group too. I know any programmer is now thinking in a basic way from the ZIP compression method. You're right.
Don't you think it's a brief and easy method for an expert alchemist in 14th. century?

Now I improved this compressed scheme:

"Finkw pyrq SMV*S Fmoi ct"

where I arbitrarily had assigned group chars to similar meanings
how it works?
Fh = We like
Fi = We do
Fm = We can
Fp = We are
Fq = We must
oi = [infinitive verb] to suppose
kw = [infinitive verb] to know
* = [comma symbol]
g = near
w = far
n = [negation for the action described]
pyr = [substantive] plain language
ct = [substantive] content
wd = [substantive] answer
q = [any descriptive particle] i.e., in the
SMV = VMS [every acronym is written in reversed mode]
S = although, maybe, once

Does anybody translated it? I bet everybody was did it now...
It's easy. It's a simple example for what I suppose we may have trying to decode.
Monosyllabic words, but unspeakable language... as the acronyms are associated with ideas, then you may "read it" in any language. In this way you can "easily" compress any quantity of text...
The frequency will change with the theme, and you would get a huge code book to decode it that you could learnt! Who could drawn all this from memory?!?! Who could learnt almost 6000 compressed words without a "cookbook"?? Now I can ask, and how does work ideogram based languages as Chinese or Japanese?

I agree with Grove and Stolfi theories around left-right strokes. Their may be on the way to dig the syntax 4 the underlying lang in VMS.

What do u think?

"that the light fullfill our minds..."


"Fpg qwd" (We are near the answer)

(I love my new scheme!)

This is the answer for the first example I gave for my scheme:
"We don't know the plain language in the VMS, although we can suppose its content."


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