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Re: VMs: Number crunching the Fincher window
13/09/2004 10:29:46 PM, Elmar Vogt <elvogt@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>Here's what I got -- number of different sequences for different sequence
>Length VM German
>4 4389 9435
>5 8773 14949
>6 14087 19623
>7 19432 23443
>8 23934 26264
>9 27263 28237
>10 29527 29609
>11 30954 30543
>12 31783 31187
>13 32249 31651
>14 32491 31964
>15 32612 32190
>16 32674 32346
>This seems to me to point to the hoax theory. If we assume a Fincher window
>of less than 16 chars width, that would be what we'd expect -- Correlation
>drops drastically as soon as the window width is reached. I had hoped though
>for a more pronounced "drop" at the actual window length.
>Or am I completely on the wrong track?
You are comparing with German, which has none of the
peculiarities of Voynichese (Hawaiian-like low entropy,
"Chinese-like" word structure etc.). Next, what is the
German text you used?
A word list has markedly different repetitive
patterns from an historical account or a piece of
fiction. Part of the VMS is a herbal, another is
pharmaceutical recipes. Are the properties of such texts
in a known language the same as, say, an historical
narrative in the same language? That would have to
be established first, and in a large number of languages.
The first time I came across a text in Italian (I must
have been eight or nine) I was certain that it could
not be a real language--it had to be gibberish or a hoax.
All the more so that it vaguely looked like French.
Clearly, when running out of imagination, the hoaxer
resorted to French words, disguised by systematically
Now just think of Chinese. Disreguarding the tones, there
are only 400 possible different syllables, the longest
spelt with five letters (using pinyin, more using
Giles-Wade, more again using the system of the Ecole
Française d'Extrême-Orient). Then pick a Chinese
translation of your German text, in each of those
three transliteration systems, with and without tones,
and with a reduced tonal representation. Compare the
statistics. Next, pick another language, and do the
same thing. And another. Try to pick grossly different
languages: German, Chinese, Hawaiian, Basque, Finnish,
Mingo (an extinct Iroquoian language, very weird), and
so on. Then and only then will you have the beginning
of a valid comparison. "The beginning" only. I picked
Mingo because there is an existensive web site about it.
No labials, no "l", no "r", only eight consonants, but
seven vowels, two of them nasals (quoting from memory).
And you can reinterpret /h/ as the aspiration of the
neighbouring consonant, which give you another possible
transliteration, this time with about 15 consonants.
"Well, do it, then" I can hear you telling me. No I won't.
1. It would take time, much time.
2. I don't think I'd ever get it published. Even by
Scientific American. Rather, especially not by
Scientific American, unless I dress it up in
Otherwise, you have to elaborate a theory of the properties
of meaningful texts.
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