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Re: VMs: A passing thought

From: "Nick Pelling" <incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 30 November 2003 01:44
Subject: Re: VMs: A passing thought

> Hi Jeff,
> At 00:18 30/11/2003 +0000, Jeff wrote:
> >Just in case anyone is interested I have developed an algorithm that can
> >generate Voynichese.
> >The tables aren't in the order they should be to produce real voynichese
> >you should see from the output how the patterns reproduce themselves in
> >same way as in the VMS. This is the basis of my other pet theory, that it
> >all a hoax. BTW for the pattern oalg think of the way aiin repeats as I
> >believe this pattern is caused in the same way aiin would be in a hoax
> >situation.
> Certainly, your generated text is "Voynich-like" - but it's most
> *not* Voynichese, for at least 20 different reasons.
> Well... perhaps this all goes to show the dangers of having pet theories.
> I (and others here) have fairly recently been corresponding with Gordon
> Rugg about his VMs-as-hoax ideas: as a result, he's moved from (what I'd
> call) a pure hoax position to a constructionist position - rather than
> claiming that a set of tables were used to *generate a hoax*, his ideas
> revolve around a set of tables (and a grille) being used to *construct a
> That is, rather than start from the position "it's a hoax, which might
> been generated in the following way" (ie starting from a conclusion), he
> now starts from the position "the following might be a way in which the
> VMs' text was constructed" (ie making claims less about actual content
> about possible method).
> The clever part would be if Gordon were to propose a plausible set of
> tables for an actual page (or even for a single paragraph!) of the VMs,
> that has so far eluded him. What is missing, then, *both for him and for
> you* is a connection between *your model for the text* and the *actual
> itself*.
> Restricting your argument to one direction only (ie, either [from text to
> plausible model] or [from plausible model to similar text]) will not give
> you any kind of proof... for proof, you will have to "close the loop".
> I know that's always going to be hard to achieve - why do you think that
> no-one here has managed it yet? It's certainly not for lack of trying. :-o
> Even so, a good first step is to put any pet theories aside and focus on
> what is (and is not) consistent with the evidence. The real challenge to
> hoax theorists isn't "how could the VMs be constructed if it were to be
> done now?" - it's "how was the VMs constructed then?" The trick to getting
> a useful answer is to make sure you're addressing the right question. :-o
> Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

I am already in a position to replicate the VMS output I only have to
rearrange the tables. However I am not convinced enough it is a hoax to
pursue that. It wouldn't prove a lot anyway!


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