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Re: VMs: Original encoding scheme

Nick wrote: "...if there are numbers anywhere in there, we should have found them by now, surely?"

One could just as easily say "If there were words in there we should have found them by now, surely" too. The same with glyphs. By your context the Voy contains neither words nor numbers nor glyphs.  So it MUST be a hoax.

There have been several different finds of numbers in the VMS.  The problem is that they have yet to be accepted or proven.

Any text of this length would certainly contain numbers of some sort - whether written in numeric or word format.  Just because you personally do not accept them does not mean that they have not been found.

Larry Roux
Syracuse University
>>> incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 06/11/03 19:39 PM >>>
Hi Petr,

At 19:51 11/06/2003 +0200, Petr Kazil wrote:
>Alas, far too modern for the VMS, but in Eco's book I find an interesting
>reference to Leibniz and his "Lingua Generalis".
>In 1678 he proposed a decomposition scheme whereby concepts would be
>decomposed into more simple ideas. Then these primary ideas would be
>numbered and every number would be encoded into a pronounceable word like
>1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 = b c d f g h l m n
>10^0 10^1 10^2 10^3 10^4 = a e i o u
>Then the number 81.374 would be encoded like "Mubodilefa". But since the
>vowels have a fixed meaning in powers of ten, the same number could be
>expressed as "Bodifalemu".

I guess this relies on a kind of half-way house between Hebrew/Greek/etc 
numbering systems and Arabic numbering. Interesting... but numbering in the 
VMS is a bit of a sore subject, I'd say (if there are numbers anywhere in 
there, we should have found them by now, surely?)

One shared feature of typical real-world languages is their low entropy 
(AKA "high redundancy"), which you might interpret as either their "high 
predictability" (ie, they should compress well) or their "ability to 
tolerate transmission errors" (ie, like an "error correction code"). I 
suppose one might categorise artificial languages based on each one's 
attitude towards redundancy - some mathematical ones (like this Lingua 
Generalis) try to apply mathematical rigour at the expense of increasing 
the language's fragility, etc. I guess that's a subject for someone else's 
dissertation, so I probably ought to leave it there for now. :-)

BTW: one interesting thing about Umberto Eco (from a VMS researcher's point 
of view) is that, while the VMS hits nearly all his buttons - signal/noise, 
meaning/meaningless, code/hoax, politics/conspiracy, modern/antique, 
referential/reference-free, etc - AFAICT he has yet to write a single line 
on it anywhere. One possible explanation for this is that Eco's historical 
interests seem to be specifically medieval, whereas the VMS gives the 
impression of being early modern in many respects, much like Giovanni da 
Fontana's work... perhaps it's simply outside his comfort zone?

I'd love to open a dialogue with Eco about the VMS, as I think he'd have an 
extremely interesting take on it: however, I suspect that, with his 
numerous honorary professorships, lecturing, and writing commitments, he's 
probably quite highly "filtered" these days (if not "spread thinly")... but 
who knows? :-)

>I wonder - how many VMS words are anagrams of each other? I would be quite
>simple to check usingh the following algorithm:

Please excuse me from this debate, as I'm pretty certain that the spaces 
between "words" in the VMS arise from the rules of its paired cipher, and 
not from any semantic structure per se. :-o

Sorry to be dogmatic yet again! :-)

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling..... 

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