Final Quote from "Faking Ancient MesoAmerica"

A place to discuss anything Voynich, or not. I'd imagine "politics and religion" are problem good topics to be avoided, just to keep it civil!
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proto57
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Final Quote from "Faking Ancient MesoAmerica"

Post by proto57 »

I've often pointed out that to own and publish a Voynich theory other than the mainstream, projected "1420 Genuine European Cipher Herbal" paradigm causes one to lose "Your seat at the table". This is a powerful dis-incentive for many, to voice any concerns this manuscript is not what we are told it is.

But the authors of Faking Ancient MesoAmerica said it best, in the below quote, found at the end of their book. It actually summarizes the most powerful reasons that fakes are not identified, or when identified, still defended as real.

I highly recommend this book, whatever one's views of the Voynich are. It is one of the best exposés of the truly prolific number of historical forgeries in the scholarly world. But the MesoAmerican field of artifacts is not the only area "sick" with forgeries, and I will be listing my own bibliography of books on the subjects of historical, art and literary forgeries, which make one realize how genuinely common this problem is, and why it is.

"Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to find professionals- art historians, museum curators, and even well-known archaeologists- championing these fake works. Some of these erstwhile defenders suffer from the "missing link of history" syndrome, in which the most glaring errors of a forgery are dismissed in the desire to see a fraudulent work as a legitimate copy of some now-lost, previously unknown, ancient manuscript. The discovery of said manuscript--- or at least its ever so faithful copy- is guaranteed to plug major holes in scholarship as well as rocket its discoverer to fame, fortune, and guest appearances on the Today Show- or even better, invitations to weekends at well-heeled collectors' country estates. Those suffering from the "missing link" syndrome are perhaps the most dangerous because their misplaced enthusiasm, coupled with their professional reputations, presents the greatest opportunities for the pollution of science to arise."- Nancy L. Kelker & Karen O. Bruhns, "Faking Mesoamerica"
"Man is the measure of all things: What is, that it is; what is not, that it is not"- Protagoras

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Stellarwest
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Re: Final Quote from "Faking Ancient MesoAmerica"

Post by Stellarwest »

Rich,

I believe in these end times, there is an explosion of con artists and fraudsters. Some could be a doctor, PhD or just your regular hoodlum like on the news today. Some do not care for the truth, these types merely are desperate for attention plus money! It' a sign of a Dark Age, sorry to be so gloomy.
"Speak Truth to Power"
:shock:
The Voynich is gibberish setup through the use of 7-sided dice. New feelings about the text 9/22/2020
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Bunny
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Re: Final Quote from "Faking Ancient MesoAmerica"

Post by Bunny »

There are an awful lot also in museums and art galleries that are forgeries of all types of objects, and a whole industry in parts of the world producing them. None of the institutions would ever admit it though as those items would become worthless, and maybe even require a rewriting of history. Often people just see what they want to see.

The Voynich manuscript being a "1420 Genuine European Cipher Herbal" has not been proven to me to be the only possibility yet, and when I ask about concrete evidence beyond

"It was possessed by Voynich, the parchment has been C14 dated, the cover determined to be goat skin and first presented to the public in 1915."

there are no responses. If there are further developments I would like to know as I may have missed some stuff having been absent from the arena for a time.

Bunny

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proto57
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Re: Final Quote from "Faking Ancient MesoAmerica"

Post by proto57 »

Bunny wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 6:56 am
There are an awful lot also in museums and art galleries that are forgeries of all types of objects, and a whole industry in parts of the world producing them. None of the institutions would ever admit it though as those items would become worthless, and maybe even require a rewriting of history. Often people just see what they want to see.

The Voynich manuscript being a "1420 Genuine European Cipher Herbal" has not been proven to me to be the only possibility yet, and when I ask about concrete evidence beyond

"It was possessed by Voynich, the parchment has been C14 dated, the cover determined to be goat skin and first presented to the public in 1915."

there are no responses. If there are further developments I would like to know as I may have missed some stuff having been absent from the arena for a time.

Bunny
In addition to the C14, the biggie used is "provenance", as in "written, external, provenance". I personally feel this falls apart on examination... which is why I used an illustration from "The Emperor's New Clothes" in my blog post pointing this out:

https://proto57.wordpress.com/2020/04/1 ... rovenance/

So do I know if the Voynich is real or not? Of course not... I only speculate, and admit it, and give my reasons I strongly suspect... maybe, even "believe"... that the Voynich is a modern forgery. But there is another point here, hiding between the lines... which I will pose as a question:

While I cannot prove it is fake, why can't they prove it is real? That is not asking anyone to "prove a negative", as has been suggested. And it has also been suggested... and often firmly stated... that Genuine 1420 European Cipher Herbal has been proven already, and forgery disproved (look at the introduction to the newish Skinner book... clearly states that "forgery has been disproved". But yet, it is clear, it has not been proven real, and old, because:

1) Voynich anomalies and anachronisms are continuously ignored, or misstated to make it appear they have been addressed. But they have not... therefore, one might think they cannot be. If one really wants to claim genuine has been proven, they must address these problems adequately.

2) No similar style, content, text, coming anywhere closer than a character or two has ever been found. There is no other work known to the history of man, outside of maybe the Antikethera Mechanism, and the Phastos disk... maybe Rongorongo... that is utterly, inarguably, unique in almost every detail. And for such items, there are clear, understandable reasons WHY they are unique... the Voynich has no excuses for its one of a kind status. If the Voynich is provably real, as stated, then this should be explainable, or another example, found.

So the excuses to the above are many, and dismissed on many grounds, but I can go down the list, and have, showing why they are not so, and why the Voynich has not, so far, been proven what they tell us it is. My question is "Why not?". The ball is really in their court, not mine... I lay out my case, I support it, and don't even claim it as a factual, provable answer...

... they claim their position is proven, unassailable, beyond question, while not being able to defend their case, or give any real proof at all, and in my opinion, not to the detail and strength of my arguments. Put another way... hard point to make... if this thing is real, it should be provable, and then have not so far been able to do so... while falsly claiming they have.

Rich.
"Man is the measure of all things: What is, that it is; what is not, that it is not"- Protagoras

Soter
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Re: Final Quote from "Faking Ancient MesoAmerica"

Post by Soter »

Rich-

I wish you would define more clearly what you specifically mean by "real".

I know you don't mean the "artifact" itself does not exist.
Since I saw it physically in person at the Beineke (unless they showed us a facsimile) I know it is a "real" object. Or, believe it is.

But I am not just splitting hairs.

It seems to me you mean first of all "it is not what it purports to be ", particularly in the sense that it purports to be a "16th century artifact" (for instance) but is not really that.

But I also feel you possibly are asserting that because we can't decipher it yet , then its content- pictures and "text"- are made up nonsense designed to look antique from that period, and so it is not "real" ; in other words , the content is not "real" information about anything real in the physical or intellectual world.

If this is what you mean, this is where we diverge.
I think it is certainly possible Voynich or someone made the thing in recent times and offered it for sale as a genuine 16th century artifact to some unwitting collector.
However, even in that case, I tend to believe the "content" , certainly in the images quite and likely in the "text", is "real" in the sense that to those who know how to "read" it, the Vms contains actual, not arbitrarily made up, information and implication. And that this , to an informed collector, or other person interested in the content, will still make it of value--- even if a forgery in the sense of date and implied antiquity.

These distinctions seem related to issues of "motive" in forensics; but here the question of "why " it was made relate to the purpose of the artifact.


If someone carefully fakes a copy of the Declaration of Independence, claims it an original from the 18th century , and sells it on that basis- that does not mean the information and ideas etc. in it are therefore fake or arbitrary , etc. (sorry for the hyperbolic and obvious example).

I guess I am trying to say that an object itself may have no specially valuable meaning, other than the information in it; but that information may be of considerable value. In fact, a large part of that value may be that (presumably) no one has yet deciphered it.

Soter

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proto57
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Re: Final Quote from "Faking Ancient MesoAmerica"

Post by proto57 »

Hi, Soter: You've covered a lot of ground here, and touched on so many different aspects of this. But I'll try to give my opinion on them, since you asked me. Not that "not asking" as ever held me back, anyway... but:
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
I wish you would define more clearly what you specifically mean by "real".
Of course that is a good question, and that is why I usually define what constitutes the most prevalent claim as to what the VMs is, or at least the version of "what it is", or "must be", or "is proven to be" that is projected by Yale, and those who support the Yale claims. I call it the "paradigm". But even that definition is a bit nebulous, because there is some disagreement, at least leeway, within the paradigm. But in short, I use, "Genuine 1420 European Cipher Herbal".

Of course my use of "1420" is a simplification of the 1420 Paradigm's 1404-1438 claimed proven date range for creation, but even they allow some latitude outside of it, depending on who they are defending it against, and why they are. It is a defense of the moving target... if you say it is not old, you will be told it could be newer, that they are open to that. If you ask how much newer, the answer is vague. But "1420" is a good simplification of, "Early 15th century, as shown by the C14 dating". Then, that is claimed to be supported by the unsupported, and provably false, contention that parchment was used only shortly after preparation.

But since it would be impossible to re-define what I meaning when I say "real", or "genuine", I use "1420 paradigm", or "Genuine 1420 European Cipher Herbal", for the "Yale establishment" line. And that paradigm is, of course, the one in which a great many experts work within, and defend, and even heavily promote. And also, most articles... almost exclusively in fact... and the majority of books, websites, blogs, and forums, are working within this paradigm, and reject and defend against any idea which is outside of it.

By the way, in defense of the 1420 Paradigm, I occasionally hear that they are open to the idea is is a 15th century hoax or forgery (another set of dicey definitions), usually in the sense of "meaning to fool a wealthy patron into believing that the holder of the ms. had some special hidden talents that only they could impart", or some-such. So my use of "real" doesn't even necessarily mean "real" in the sense "genuine herbal", because the champions of the 1420 Paradigm allow for that deviation within their confines.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
I know you don't mean the "artifact" itself does not exist.
Since I saw it physically in person at the Beineke (unless they showed us a facsimile) I know it is a "real" object. Or, believe it is.
No, of course I don't, and never meant that. Even if it was made the day before you saw it, it is real. The Beinecke could own fifty of them, all made of cheese, and they are still "real" in that sense.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
It seems to me you mean first of all "it is not what it purports to be ", particularly in the sense that it purports to be a "16th century artifact" (for instance) but is not really that.
Well, "15th century artifact", but yes, that is a good way to put it, from my perspective, and that covers my ramblings above... but I'd modify it a bit to, "It is not what they purport it is". And that might sound like splitting hairs, on my part, and that would be fair... but let me elaborate (how to stop me?): "What it purports to be" is not really what the 1420 Paradigm "purports it is", because from the content, pre-C14 testing, the experts overwhelmingly gave a different opinion as to when it was made. It was seen as a 16th century (and maybe that is what you meant, in the first place?) work, and probably Paracelsian, and other things, not usually part of the current Paradigm. The C14 created a "new paradigm", in which the past opinions of the experts were either rejected or adjusted to fit the new date range of 1404-1438. Two of the early, "D'Imperio" experts alone were in, or close to that date range, and not only "kept", but used to claim "the experts got it right" when the date range fell in their laps. Well, "no", the experts got it "wrong", if the dating is right, and the dating is wrong if the experts "got it right".

I'm dizzy. But what was not done by the old paradigm was to rightly inform it that "Houston we have an anomaly" here, for the dating actually didn't match the predominant expert opinion. That needed to be explained, but rather than do that (as I attempt to do), the old paradigm simply changed its list of experts, and re-dated itself!
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
But I also feel you possibly are asserting that because we can't decipher it yet , then its content- pictures and "text"- are made up nonsense designed to look antique from that period, and so it is not "real" ; in other words , the content is not "real" information about anything real in the physical or intellectual world.
No, I wouldn't say that is my position at all. I feel, more accurately, that I feel there is some meaningful content in the text, that we cannot yet read, but that it also may be made up nonsense, and I don't know which it is. But in my opinion, this does not affect my 1910 Hypothesis, because contrary to most common assumptions about forgeries, many of them do have meaning of some kind. In fact, most do have meaning. That is, it is wrong to equate gibberish with hoax or forgery.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
If this is what you mean, this is where we diverge.
So cool we don't diverge then. I have no idea what that meaning is, if it is, and so it fascinates me to see all the ideas, yours included, as to how information might be contained within the Voynich Ms.. My personal guess would be that it is there in the form of steganography, for various reasons I won't go into here... as this will be onerously long as it is. But no I don't hold that this is gibberish, but also allow that it very well may be that, too.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
I think it is certainly possible Voynich or someone made the thing in recent times and offered it for sale as a genuine 16th century artifact to some unwitting collector.
Well that is basically my hypothesis, in a nutshell, so you see we are both open to the same possible here. For anyone interested in the current incarnation of my hypothesis (well, as of 2016): https://proto57.wordpress.com/2016/03/2 ... ypothesis/
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
However, even in that case, I tend to believe the "content" , certainly in the images quite and likely in the "text", is "real" in the sense that to those who know how to "read" it, the Vms contains actual, not arbitrarily made up, information and implication. And that this , to an informed collector, or other person interested in the content, will still make it of value--- even if a forgery in the sense of date and implied antiquity.
Well now you touch on "value", and whether that value is related to, and how it is related to, a determination or opinion as to its authenticity. I can't go to that, and probably no one knows. I think the Voynich has been roughly assumed to be worth about $25 million today, but that will probably never be tested. So the unknown would be, "If found to be a 1908-1910 creation, as a faux work, would it be worth less than that?". Probably. But maybe not. It would be one of the most famous forgeries, then... up there with the Hitler Diaries, Howard Hughes's will, the Shroud of Turin, or that other star collectable, also owned by the Beinecke, the notorious Vineland Map.

And as you say, if old but fake? New with real content? Something in between? Who knows what the value would be, in $$$, I don't know. But of course there are many different "values" to an object... and I think, from Yale's perspective, money is the least of their concerns, in this case: I think that the reason that so strongly support and defend the paradigm is because the true importance of them being genuine is that it is a reflection of their scholarly abilities and judgment. It goes to their reputation, and their reputation is linked to grants and tuitions. I think it costs well above $200,000 to attend Yale. A good analogy would be if you saw that the auto mechanics car was noisy and smoky, and breaking down all around town. Would you have them fix yours? This is the chief reason that museums, libraries and universities do so little to rout out the forgeries that infect their institutions: It is embarrassing, and goes to their reputations, and their reputations are all they have.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
These distinctions seem related to issues of "motive" in forensics; but here the question of "why " it was made relate to the purpose of the artifact.
Of course motivation is an important tool to defining any object, and also define its (original) purpose. But like all of this, it gets very complicated. An object may be made as a "genuine replica", and sold with no ill intent. Then the buyer sells it as a genuine older object, not a copy of one. Is it now a forgery? It was "real" when made. There was a prolific Greek artist who was honest, and made hundreds of beautiful religious miniatures, as replicas of genuine ancient ones... and unscrupulous dealers sold them as real, and now they are in museums and collections around the world. The Romulous and Remus bronze in the New York Metropolitan Museum is "fake" in that it was made in the 18th century, not in ancient Rome. But when made, it was not made to fool anyone... people did that to themselves, later, and still do. And so on. The permutations of this problem are endless.

So yes, in the case of the Voynich, "why" it was made, the "motive", would adjust one's definition of "what it is". If made in 1420 Europe, it is "real" as I define it, as the 1420 Paradigm defines it. If meant to fool Rudolf II, maybe made by Dee, then maybe one could call it a "hoax". If by Wilfrid in 1908, is it a whimsical exercise, meant to entertain? A forgery, meant for profit? Or not for profit, but to elevate his own standing and respect, in his marriage and career? Did he make it as a joke, then try to sell it? And so on... yes, "motive" for creation is certainly a defining feature of anything.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
If someone carefully fakes a copy of the Declaration of Independence, claims it an original from the 18th century, and sells it on that basis- that does not mean the information and ideas etc. in it are therefore fake or arbitrary , etc. (sorry for the hyperbolic and obvious example).
No, of course, and I agree. A forgery or copy or hoax may certainly contain meaningful information, as well as false information (Howard Hughes will, Hitler diaries). If the information is real, though, as you say, that information would not be "fake or arbitrary", and I agree that the Voynich could similarly contain "real" information as much as a copy of the Declaration of Independence would.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
I guess I am trying to say that an object itself may have no specially valuable meaning, other than the information in it; but that information may be of considerable value.
Of course that is possible, I can't back up any claim otherwise. But my guess is that the meaning, if any, is not of real value to us today, but that is just a guess. My opinion is that if the Voynich has meaning, it will be a trite, amateurish reflection of what Wilfrid thought a work by Horcicky (as one would "understand" from that silly book, "Follies of Science..."), made in the Court of Rudolf II in the early 17th century, would contain. Like meaningless, rambling formulas, predictions, "sciences", recipes, cures, and much botanical mumbo-jumbo.

But that is my opinion, of course if meaningful, just about anything is possibly in it. Intrinsic, informational, value? I doubt it, myself.
Soter wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:33 pm
In fact, a large part of that value may be that (presumably) no one has yet deciphered it.
And there you've introduced another factor, and question, really. How does the lack of a translation affect its intrinsic, historical, and/or monetary, value? Well if translated and found to say, "You fools, this is claptrap, so gotcha!", it might be worth very little. The Yale campus might be quieter than any pandemic could effect, come the following fall. So in that case, it would be of more value undeciphered. If it has medicinal recipes that would be of use to Pfiser, for instance, then of great monetary value. This is a common "hope" of sorts.

So I think that one cannot know how much of its current value is because it has not been translated; as that is relative to its value, post-translation, or post-discover of gibberish. But overall, I would say the mystery of it's contents keeps people interested, and that if of great value. After opening the mysterious lost tomb, people will lose that type of interest, "the hunt", whether it turns out to contain gold, or dust.

Rich.
"Man is the measure of all things: What is, that it is; what is not, that it is not"- Protagoras

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