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Re: VMs: vms sentences

Nick Pelling wrote:

One problem with this is that there is still a good deal of uncertainty over what constitutes both a glyph and an encoded token, so it may be better to do this using a real-time (rather than a static) resource.

A couple comments:

1. The disagreements about what constitutes a token, a word, a sentence etc. are real and justified. However, in any rational investigation you need to be able to formulate some hypothesis (whether or not it turns out later to be correct) in order to do any testing..

If a particular definition of these terms results in a plausible decryption of the VM, it will gain credibility. To refuse to do any analysis until the correct definition can be derived in an _a priori_ way, however, seems fruitless to me.

Since no one is sure what features of the VM are important, no one wants to make any potentially incorrect assumptions. Yet without assuming _something_, at least provisionally, it is hard even to begin.

For this reason, I think it would make sense to start with one (or two or five or whatever) "standard" transcriptions against which statistics could be calculated, leaving open the possibility of adding more or deleting some later on.

2, I think it would be a good idea to use a low-tech and technology neutral format (e.g. text) to collect statistics, for several reasons:
- it would make it easier for people to submit contributions without being skilled in a particular technology (e.g. sending a
document vs. writing a program).
- it would be less dependent on the vagaries of technology (ISP changes or outages etc., disappearance of people from the list etc.)
- it would be easier to distribute.


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