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Re: VMs: some thoughts/observations

From: "William Edmondson" <w.h.edmondson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: 20 February 2004 19:10

> Hi Nick et al.
> I misrepresented my position, I suspect.
> Re VMs there are three options.
> 1/ complete gibberish - fails the structure assessment
> uncontroverisally; I'm not convinced it's gibberish and reasonably
> convinced it's not.
> 2/ completely genuine by an alchemist, or whomever, trying to
> protect/hide their discoveries/beliefs..... for their own
> use/posterity.... and the key(knowledge) is lost until it is
> deciphered.  I'm really unconvinced by this possibility.
> 3/ forgery/fake in the sense that it is readable if you know the key,
> but probably banal/meaningless in actual content.  It is trying to look
> important/significant to convince someone, and might even be readable
> aloud by the author..... but is actually content free other than
> pastiche of alchemical stuff at the time.
> I favour 3.
> I am really puzzled that its form is not bothering more people.  But it
> does present a decipherment challenge.

It's bothers me in all respects. It is quite complex for the time period
suggested for its creation. It contains very little or no alchemical
symbology. The plants are at least inaccurate if not pure fantasy. The one
thing that makes it worth pursuing is the structure. The structure does make
sense. It has the properties of an underlying language. Whether this is a
fairly random input or actually meaningful text is the big question.

BTW point 1 does not mean it is not gobberish. Mechanically generated text
can be made to look language like, as Gordon Rugg has show. For all that
think Gordon's method has flaws I will say this. With the right set of data
as input he would be able to reproduce the VMS EXACTLY.


> Does that appeal to anyone else?
> William

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