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Re: VMs: VMS provenance

Hello Jeff,  

======= you wrote: =======

>I now have enough circumstantial evidence to say one of two things.
>1. Gordon Rugg is right in EVERY respect or
>2. The VMS is an important historical document.

While points 1. and 2. appear to be mutually exclusive, the work on them is not and the proof of the one (that is  the finding the solution!) would actually eliminate the other one.   We may find out that the both  attempts will reach the same target, that is the SOLUTION and only at the end we can tell, if the result is 1. or 2.

Let's define what we actually mean by a hoax: the encoded gibberish or meaningful, but not too 
interesting text - or even the copy of valuable text - pretending to be quite  old? The crucial question 
is: if the author created a hoax, what would he choose as his plaintext: gibberish or sensible text? While 
the first is impossible to crack - you never know when you cracked it :-) - the other is easier to encode 
(you just pick some book and fire away, being able in any time to spot the mistakes).  On the  other 
hand, if you encode the gibberish and make a mistake, it does not matter :-). Still, I would guess the 
author used some of his own text or research - for the sake of Mr. Rugg himself.   I do consider 
Mr. Rugg's efforts rather interesting, however  he would never be able to prove the plaintext was only a 
gibberish since one gets it  with any method of decoding, except one :-). If however he  finds the  meaningful, however unimportant text underneath,  I would be content he proved his point.  

So I believe his work on cracking -  in substance - shouldn't be too different from ours  and he should 
eventually reach the same end - the true solution. And whatever the solution  is, it would not make the 
VM less important. So author fooled Rudolph or somebody else ( beats mne why we considere 
gullible only Rudolph?) ;  that is  n ot the  popint. The ingenuity he put it all together,  keeping so many 
people working on that mystery for so long, all that is enough for me to tip my hat in admiration. I 
would even call it as important as any other artifact :-).



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