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Re: Re: Re: VMs: Thoughts about Roman numbers in the VMS
>Your Mr. Young is following in the footsteps of a master, namely myself.
Still, we do have to give him the credit for interesting detour, don't you think? :-). I did once
published similar study, but I was not probably first either. It is obvious that the "characters" are
constructed from several basic strokes, which are used in the subgroup of certain combinations. Is
there intent behind this? I would say yes, but we still need proof. Also, it covers only the part of the
>His initial presentation is
wrong of course, but he has the rudiments, and the light will soon shine.
We can hardly say it is wrong unless we see the right solution and we didn't see one yet :-).
Let's say it would not work yet, but as you said, "Mr. Young is correct in his assumption that
there is a definite pattern in their construction." As I said, it all looks like somebody deliberately
constructed at least the part of the system. We can see also some Latin abbreviation were used, but
hardly in their original sense. My guess is that there are also some other elements of shorthand, so we
may probably talk about mixed system.
> It's up to him to now
>determine the number in each order, and the sequence of each order of
>construction. This you can only do from frequency and placement study, and
>in order to perform such a study, you have to actually record the variants,
>something that has been done in only one transcription to date.
Well, most of us agree that the script is unlike the others and there is a strong suspicion it was
designed - or assembled, if you prefer - and probably by one person only. If you think it only
evolved, you are facing the problem of "missing link" and since there is not other document written
in that script, that can throw a great doubt on that, too. On the other hand, if the script was created by
somebody, he would most likely gather the simple combinations, arranged them in a table and
assign the arbitrary values. He could have known the frequency of certain characters in Latin (I
have read that medieval monks have already done that),
and may it even partially use it for his assignment, but I believe there is more to it than meets the
eye. The possibility of some shorthand cannot be excluded even in this stage.
>You're warm, very warm. Mr. Young's table does not yet incorporate the
>symbolism that links one glyph to another. He's only yet exploring basic
>forms, many of which appear similar, but are by demonstration in the actual
>text, dissimilar in context and meaning.
Yes, there must be connection, arranging it mechanically in the table does not explain too much. On
the other hand, the author might have assigned the values arbitrarily, same way as EVA does. And
as far as I know, EVA is even using some former assignments, based mainly on graphic similarity
of symbols as well as some completely new. If you say that the original assignment might have
some other, more sophisticated reason, I agree 100 percent.
>You're trying to reach too many conclusions without hard evidence at hand,
>and I would suggest that you take a step back and let the evidence itself
>begin to build your case.
Well, I am not making conclusions, only mentioning the visible facts - the organization is there. The
explanation I do not have and I am neither jumping to conclusion that your explanation is the only
>first step is one into the real world, where Latin abbreviations form the
>basis for the script. Accept the fact that the author was no Da Vinci, that
>he didn't come up with this s....tuff on his own, and work from there.
Well, let us say we can see the similarity. So far, accepting the known meaning of Latin
abbreviations for the VM did not lead to any solution, so it is just another hypothesis in many.
As for da Vinci, the author apparently did more than compilation. All in the VM is indicating he
was smart enough - otherwise we would have solved it already. Besides, as far as the creation of
set of stroke combinations, one does not need to be too smart :-). Yes, so he used some existing
Latin abbreviations, he may have even tried to make the whole alphabet based on them, but the
meaning behind them, that is the different question.
>at what was known, why the author chose it and what the author did with it.
>NO ONE, and I can't say that loudly enough, makes so many accurate matches
>to known systems of notation from his own genius alone.
Well, you are talking the graphic match, as for meaning itself, you still have to prove it, loud enough.
But I agree that we have to take one and one approach only: to find what exactly the author was
thinking, what was in his mind. Without it, all our mechanical research, including computer number
crunching, will not get us too far.
>... and that the strokes are part of an
>overall system of alphabetic notation, written usually as Latin, and are
>primarily a function of the writing instrument and the writing medium, the
>guiding lights in medieval script construction.
Absolutely. The pen was made as shown here
and was similar top calligraphic pen of our days. It also seems that medieval quill had the tip cut
more flat than it was done in later periods, judging by the almost "gothic style" characters, still
rather "printed" then "drawn" and with very thick or thin strokes. The VM does not have this "fat"
shading, it looks like the pen tip was still chisel type but not so wide, from the time when real cursive
and connected script was already used, where "wider chisel" would be an obstacle. When I tried
to write in VM script, with artistic felt pen (with 2 chisel tips on each end), I could have write it
OK, but it did not feel right, I had to use the thinner tip.
>From the description in the above link, I presume that the quill tip had already the center slot for
better delivery of the ink and the halves of the tip were spreading when more pressure was applied.
Also such pen was resisting to be pushed "uphill", while with felt pen such resistance was minimal.
It would be interesting now to recreate all symbols with exact direction they were written - for
instance symbol "8" can be written l in one stroke ( 2 possibilities: clockwise and
counterclockwise) or in two strokes ( two "S" crossing, the other "S" being a mirror and lifting the
pen in between). Also, some "composites" can reveal if they are made of "two strokes" or in one
( judging by the smoothness of corners and exactness of their meeting).
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