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Re: VMs: Folio and Quire numbers

Hi Dennis,

At 00:33 02/04/2004 -0600, Dennis 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.

Actually, by constraining my search to a particular time and place, I'm limiting the number of possible elements to be combined quite sharply.

  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
that complicated.

Similarly, that's why I also predict that the VMs' alphabet (with the possible exception of <qo>) to have been largely appropriated from a single-stroke shorthand alphabet.

        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.

It's not a pidgin or a lingua franca - both rely on restricted vocabulary, which (I believe) is far from evident in the VMs. And if a combinatorial system, then a combination of what elements?

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

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