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Re: VMs: Folio and Quire numbers
Nick Pelling wrote:
> I'd also agree that it is too (structurally) complicated for it to be a
> *single* cipher from any era - but note that I posit it as a
> carefully-constructed compilation of cipher techniques. Its structure would
> therefore arise from the *combination* of elements within the system, not
> from the innate algorithmic complexity of any single element.
This is what worries me about your approach, Nick.
If one considers too many ciphers at once, one
introduces too many degrees of freedom and can read
anything one wants. We've seen others go down that
path and get nowhere too many times. It's certainly
possible in principle. I suppose
"carefully-constructed" might be the key word here.
The VMs is so fluently written and there are enough
repeated elements that I wonder if the system is really
> At 06:47 01/04/2004 -0800, Rene Zandbergen wrote:
> >The usual argument is:
> >1) cryptographers say it is too complicated to be
> > a medieval code
One never knows; there's always a first time, and many
things are imperfectly done before they come into their
own. Look at the differential gear on the Antikythera
planetarium! Or Hero's steam engine, or the Jesuit
steam cart in China, the Roman milling complex at
Barbegal, France, etc etc.
I agree with Nick that it's probably a Renaissance
creation. The imagery is really neither medieval or
Ramon Lllull developed combinatorial systems during
the Middle Ages. The internal structure of Voynichese
might indicate such a system. Llull also developed an
artificial language. Robert Firth once told me where
to find Llull Ms. on it, but I can't find it. It might
have been in the BL.
> >2) linguists say that it is no known langauage
It doesn't look like it. I agree, it's not a
straightforward representation of a natural language.
> >3) there is too much structure for it to be
> > meaningless (i.e. a hoax).
Random like radioactive decay or thermal noise, yes.
It's quite true that human beings hardly ever produce
I suppose it's more structured than a pidgin
language. It's rather obsessively structured. That is
what makes me think of a combinatorial system.
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