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Re: VMs: RE: The key

Nick Pelling incoming@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote
on 14 February 2004 17:35

> Hi Jeff,
> At 15:50 14/02/2004 +0000, Jeff wrote:
> >I cannot post anything conclusive without the express permission of
> >involved. That is the reason I am holding back. The evidence isn't
> >conclusive yet. One thing I will say is that soon I will have either
> >vindicated Strong or blown him completely out of the picture. That should
> >take about a week or two.  I believe I will show him wrong, but he had
> >right initial idea.
> As you should know by know, my own attempts to understand his work tell me
> that Strong Was Wrong.

Join the club! It WAS wrong and GC knew this. However it is not wrong

> My opinions are (a) that he got the basic cipher alphabet wrong [any
> attempt to understand "qo", "dy", "or" or "ol" as anything but
> intrinsically composite pairs of letters will fail],

I agree with this. However the composite pairs is open to substantial

(b) that his basic
> identification of the cipher as a kind of cyclic polyalphabetic
> substitution cipher was wrong [it's far too structured for that, and fails
> to explain many curious features we see],

I can now replicate most of the features of the structure with my own
polyalphabetic. And no not using EVA.

(c) that his tables are too
> localised and don't really make sense [you try using them & see how far
> get],

His tables were probably meant to make some sense of the text in an easily
readable way!

(d) that his proposed placing/dating seems inconsistent with many
> features of the drawings [which generally point to middle/southern Europe,
> circa 1450], and

I cannot comment on this as no one knows the actual dates.

(e) that his decryption method ultimately relied on
> selecting the best-looking one from a set of permutations, which leaves it
> wide open to the charge of over-interpretationism [ie, seeing what you
> to see].

This is what is known as refining the method. You have to make different
attempts in order to piece it back together. It is only when the right
method is found that these pieces will fall into place. It ain't gonna jump
out at you Nick and say Here I AM!

> GC invested a lot of time and effort in trying to support Strong's ideas
> against assaults on each of these weaknesses - it is a great credit to his
> ingenuity and persistence that GC was able to argue Strong's case so
> effectively, and I sincerely miss his presence in the group. However, I
> think that in the end Strong simply saw what he wanted to see (an English
> Renaissance gynaecological herbal, written in a polyalphabetic cipher),
> that GC perhaps got swept up in Rayman Maleki's enthusiasm for it.
> Of course, not everyone here believes (a)-(e) with the same conviction as
> me (especially (a)) - no matter, you'll all catch up in time. :-)
> >Everything I have posted here has been a progression. No matter how silly
> >mad it seemed to everyone. I am determining the underlying structure in
> >that I believe no one else has. I may be totally wrong on this point, who
> >knows. Only time will tell.
> Jeff, here's the deal. It's like they used to say at MIT - "prototype or
> die". Either post stuff up (and we'll help you move your ideas forward) or
> don't (and exist in a vacuum). As I mentioned before, the chances of any
> single idea being sufficient to "break" the VMs seems dwindlingly small -
> our only salvation is likely to lie in *collaboration*.

I have never seen anyone try to move others ideas along here. The criticisms
are put forward. No one tries to replicate. What does anyone gain? Unless
someone posts a section of the VMS in plaintext their will always be reasons
to doubt. I'd rather be in the vacuum than get no help at all. People are
too keen to cling to their own theories. I have changed mine along the way
several times when it has become apparent that they didn't fit. I have not
posted information on everything I have been working on.

> I think it's fairly true to say that just about everyone (when trying to
> grasp the VMs) goes through a period when it seems they can see something
> that nobody else can. However, this is merely a temporary hallucination -

Is that a statement of fact I see there? EVERYONE? A very bold assumption to
make. Has anyone asked Jacques Guy how he built the cipher that showed
similar entropy to the VMS? That was very interesting and yet seems to have
been forgotten. Unless off list discussions were going on. Don't you think
that was significant Nick? I think Jacques had hit on something there. Why
don't you go help move his ideas on then.

> the VMs' structures and subtleties have defeated all theories to date and
> will (without any real doubt, especially if you're starting from EVA)
> defeat yours too.
> That's not to suggest that you give up without a fight - but rather, join
> us to fight as a group.
> Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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