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VMs: Retouching - valid or not?

Hey all,

Here I'm quietly working, staying out of everybody's hair - I don't care
about dark painters, I don't care about month names in another hand, I only
care what is written in the Voynich.  Well!  Now you go and start attacking
the text - something I personally hold as gospel.  Blasphemy! :-)  How many
people are you going to have involved in the VMS creation and maintenance by
the time you're through, and why didn't even one of them ever speak a word
to anyone else or write another Voynich syllable?  We've got all these
secondary artists and an entire maintenance crew parading through history,
and not even a single Voynich doodle on a bar napkin.  That's depressing.

Folio 4v exibits the same feature we see throughout the manuscript, dark and
light text.  If you'd rather, "original and retouched" text.  Why are the
"retouched" strokes usually in loops or in a left-to-right diagonal down
stroke?  Why is this pattern so evident throughout the manuscript, varying
slightly in angle between folios and sections?  We saw it in the copyflo, we
saw it in the microfilm, and now we see it in the MrSids.  Why all of a
sudden do we think this is something more than it is?  We can split the
colors now, so we've all become some sort of epigraphic or forensic
specialist?  NOT!  Be very careful on how you interpret the data from your
new-found toy.

Tell me, was the VMS written with a stylus, or maybe a quill, or maybe
something different?  What are the writing characteristics of each on vellum
(our medium), and how many VMS characters can each write before it becomes
necessary to re-ink?  How often did each need to be sharpened?  Is the
vellum of the same surface and porosity throughout?  You can't answer these
questions without some study.  When you can take a page apart and
demonstrate each time the author re-inked, you can continue to talk about
"retouching", though I'm certain this criticism won't limit your confidence

Let's talk about that ink for a bit - is it consistent throughout?  When the
ink was made (presumably by hand and not by Parker's), did the author always
maintain a 50 micron particle size for each component, or did his mixtures
vary as much as his writing instrument?  Some of the paint particles at
least can be seen under very low magnification.  Consider, when you sharpen
a quill by hand, does it write exactly the same afterward?  Is the groove
the same width, does it accept the same size particles, etc?  Does the
vellum maintain a constant absorbancy factor?  If the particle size was too
large for absorbance or adherance, what percentage has been lost over the
years through mere rubbing due to handling?  The faint traces of the "9"
tails are a clue, the weakest link.

If the ink mixture is not homogeneous, if something floats to the top and is
at the tip of the writing instrument after each dip, how does this component
affect the color spectrum, which by now is only a reflection of the absorbed
or remaining portions of the ink, and not the initial qualities?

Somewhere in the past I mentioned to Nick that this book was almost 500
years old, something I hoped would sink in.  He fired back that the timeline
was "half a millenium", something that sunk in for me even deeper than an
expression of a mere number of years.  Hell, half a millenium is almost
twice as long as I've owned my truck!  That's 25 generations.  In dog years
the pyramids would just be being built when the Voynich was written, and in
Emron terms that's a net profit of 376 trillion dollars!  That's 27 cat
lives, and the answer to the universe and everything is only 42, while we're
talking about half a freaking millenium.  Do you have any IDEA how many
tacos I could eat in that time?

Before you state certainly that the Voynich text has been retouched, you
need to lay a groundwork of knowns from other similarly constructed
manuscripts against which you can measure your findings in regard to the
Voynich text.  As things stand, you've not covered even the most basic
research necessary before reaching the conclusion that the Voynich text has
been "retouched".

BTW Jorge, where exactly do I have to travel to pick up that Pizza, or is
local delivery a viable option? :-)


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