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Re: VMs: Re: Re: Inks and retouching
I'm tired tonight, working a late shift again, but I've been looking forward
to responding, so here goes.
> Think of parts - a single actor may play several different parts in a
> We're trying to find out what different roles were played out in the VMs'
> drama, as well as evidence that might indicate whether those parts were
> played by one, two, or many actors. So, if I read "Heavy/Dark Painter" or
> "Dark Ink Retoucher", I take it to mean a *role*. Seeing them all as being
> played by a single actor might ~possibly~ be the end of that whole
> deductive process - but it's certainly not the beginning.
I'd have to say that this is the first time I've ever seen anyone take a
manuscript apart in this fashion. Usually one requires conclusive evidence
before adding hands and outside intervention, but you're going at this from
the opposite direction. It's the history of Voynich research that is unique
and backward, not the Voynich manuscript.
Deductive reasoning at its best operates with a conservative approach,
carefully building one fact upon the other until a picture emerges. I'm
willing to store the "Heavy/Dark Painter" along with the rest, as long as
they are *roles* as you say. Who where these mystery men last time? Oh
yes, the "copyist" and "dumb copyist". You gave me a similar response, and
I let it go. I did read your remarks on the subject, and read the material
on Philip's site, so I know that all you were doing with your explanation
was patting me on the head and sending me to my cave. That's not going to
happen with any discussion on the text itself. This is too close to home
for me to leave alone.
> BTW, you talk about two different types of "o", but have you considered
> possibility that one may be the original author's "o"-form (which I
> is the round form) and the other a retoucher's "o"-form (which I suspect
> the "a"-like form)? This may help reconcile some of the subtle shape
> variation you observe... or it may not. :-o
Nick, look at the TEXT. The Voynich may have lots of naked women, but it's
not a Playboy - it's okay to read the articles once in awhile. :-)
> Another angle to consider is that if the physical composition of the
> various inks proves to be as different as Jorge believes (and this could
> tested later), we should be able to infer that any retouching was done as
> later pass (though by whom is another matter).
> In general, I think that many of your criticisms of Jorge's exposition are
> themselves weak.....
Weak? Did you even look at the list? With the exception of a single glyph,
virtually everything Jorge presented groups into two, possibly three
subsets. Even Jorge knows that when data can be reduced to specific
subsets, there is something systemic - not systematic - at work. It's not
just the images Jorge produced, it's entire sections of the manuscript. I
only chose to argue the images Jorge posted in demonstration of my previous
observations, which are, by the numbers, correct, and therefore worthy of
more substantial comment on your part than a mere subjective "weak".
Systematic would be the act of retouching, but this falls apart on the very
first page. Systemic in this sense is the act of writing, and although we
don't know all the mechanical and chemical variables involved, a
conservative logical deductive process may be applied to render a reasonable
answer, and that answer does not involve a "retoucher".
For example, on f1r-3 mark 4/5, the plumes are weakly
> inked but the letters themselves are strongly inked. To my eyes, that
> well point to a "Dumb Restorer" role - someone restoring the <ch>/w part
> but not the plume... doesn't sound much like the original author to me.
"Dumb Restorer"? On my shelf, next to the drawing I made of my last alien
abductor. No, that's actually a drawing of my landlady while I was on
LSD... Mescal... no, I'm certain it was Peyote, and that's a drawing of the
dog I would have had if I liked dogs. Yeah, that's it.
I pointed out this phenomenon, but you apparently didn't understand my
American accent. When the pen moves at certain angles under normal
pressure, it's application is generally light. There are a few thousand
instances of this throughout the herbal section, some 37,693. Again, just
in case you missed it the first time, what we're seeing is not necessarily
the original ink mixture itself, but that part of the ink that is truly
"indelible". Somewhere I recently read - possibly Jorge's site? - where
water has washed away portions of the text. This is an incorrect
observation. There is no portion of the manuscript that cannot be read
using the MrSid files, including the damaged section of f103r, which appears
more as rust or some other disturbance than water. f1r was chemically
damaged under Voynich's instruction, so that page doesn't even qualify.
Demonstrate one instance where water damage has washed away the text.
> Finally, a [Devil's Advocate] challenge both to you and Jorge: on (for
> example) his f3v-1 image, why are so many "o"s retouched, yet so few "a"s?
> Jorge proposes a decipherer trying to differentiate between faint "a"s and
> faint "o"s (doesn't quite ring true), while your proposed strong
> downstrokes would surely be just as noticeable on "a"s (so this doesn't
> quite ring true either).
Your assumption may not be totally correct. A cursory examination of
randomly pulled herbal folios demonstrates an "occasional" strong downstroke
on the a. The question of o's and a's is a moot point by my argument
however. I've simply argued that the variables between the writing
instrument and the ink mixture are enough to allow for what we NOW see as a
somewhat random application of "light and dark". This application can be
defined as "systemic" to the writing instrument and ink by counting and
categorizing the number of strokes that exhibit certain features - loops
(o's included) and "down and to the right". A count and categorization of
these artifacts indicates that the phenomenon neither suggests nor requires
a second person as a "retoucher". At least, that's how I apply *my*
understanding of deductive reasoning.
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