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Re: VMs: [VMS] Goat vs. sheep, Sagittarius

Hi, Dennis

The author/artist's intention results in the viewer's
apprehension.  I would say, "comprehension", but the
point is that complete comprehension in this case is
so far lacking.

One impression we get from the VMs is that the
viewer's apprehension of the document, however
uncomfortable, is being carefully manipulated by the

I believe there is in the VMs a distinction between
the author's obfuscation for the purpose of secrecy
and Rugg's proposed obfuscation for the purpose of
evasion (to hide the fact that the document lacks

I will say that none of the images so far has struck
me as being random or banal.  They certainly don't
appear to be useless doodles.  And to tempt the
viewer's judgement by including images which are near
to significance, yet jarringly just a bit "wrong",
while evidently cloaking the fact that the whole
document is spurious, seems to me too contrary to
principles of intention to be possible.  

In other words, when we take the illustrations in the
context of the entire VMs, the author has put so much
effort into "faking" a meaningful document, that he
would have spent less effort to just come out and say
something, even accounting for the encryption and the
obfuscation!  If the author has perpetrated a hoax,
why not "fake" a document, complete with with
encipherable content, which is spurious in terms of
efficacy, yet rationally solveable?  In terms of
effort expended, the author has certainly gained no
return by excluding content.  

"Ah!" the critic counters.  "But this way, the VMs is
not solveable, therefore confounding anyone but the
author to explain its meaning, the better to
perpetrate his scheme!"

To me, this is like saying that someone has announced
his intention to reveal the location of a hidden
treasure, then at the moment he is ready to reveal it,
has instead turned out all the lights.  If it is an
unbreakable cipher the author proposes, masking
meaningless content, he immediately casts doubt on his
product which he must strive even harder to overcome
to win the viewer over.  The more nonsensical and
fantastical his illustrations, the more doubtful.

My opinion is that the author took a risk in tampering
with such commonly seen images.  The question would
be, what was his purpose in taking such a risk?  To
make his secret more safe, or to make his product
(although meaningless) more believeable? 

Let's assume for a moment that the author actually
wanted to keep secrets.

We see his slightly skewed illustrations, and we say,
"This document has been created by an ignorant person.
 It contains gibberish."  We walk away from it.

Has the author/artist achieved his goal?

Yes, brilliantly.

Now, let us assume the opposite.  The author/artist
intends to trick someone with a hoax document
containing no actual content.

We see the slightly skewed illustrations, and we say,
"This document has been created by an ignorant person.
 It contains gibberish." 

Has the author achieved his goal?

No, not at all.

Just one way of looking at it.  I'm sure there are




--- Dennis <tsalagi@xxxxxxxx> wrote:

> elvogt@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> > Zitat von Jorge Stolfi <stolfi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
> >  
> >>No dispute about them being goats. But, as Pam
> observed in a later
> >>message, that is only one of the oddities in the
> VMS zodiac
> >>illustrations. 
> > 
> > If the VM is a hoax, the author might have
> deliberately added this "exotic
> > touch" to an otherwise boring and all-too familiar
> zodiac?
> 	Now this is something I was just thinking about!
> 	I just finished Kennedy and Churchill's book.  I
> thought it 
> was good, better than I expected, and it gave me
> quite a bit 
> of food for thought.  Right now I have been thinking
> about 
> migrainous imagery in the VMs and will post more on
> it soon.
> 	Kennedy says he thinks the VMs is a hoax.
> 	He and Churchill both emphasize, though, as many
> have, the 
> complete stangeness of the VMs, it unlikeness to
> anything 
> else, and its sense of total alienness.  I think
> this is a 
> good argument against the hoax hypothesis.
> 	A genuine hoaxer would want to produce something of
> immediate interest, something that looks like the
> product of 
> a famous person and/or on a well-known topic of
> great 
> interest.  Think of Hitler's diaries, some phony
> Lost 
> Gospels of Jesus, Piltdown Man, or even the Donation
> of 
> Constantine.  But who even knows what the VMs is
> about?  If 
> it is a hoax, what of?
> 	I can see, though, that this could also be an
> argument in 
> *favor* of the hoax hypothesis.  To make the VMs so 
> unfamiliar makes it that much more difficult to
> falsify.
> Dennis
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"I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing, than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance."

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