[Cryptography] Voynich Solution Claimed

Ray Dillinger bear at sonic.net
Thu May 16 19:45:56 EDT 2019

On Wed, 2019-05-15 at 13:17 -0400, Jim Windle wrote:
> New claim about the Voynich manuscript.
> https://phys.org/news/2019-05-bristol-academic-voynich-code-century-old.html

I don't even know, at this point, whether the world is better or worse
because that manuscript exists.

On the plus side, I like mystery.  I like the feeling that we don't
know enough to interpret, or that there may still be things to
discover, or that this may be an account, or a manual, or something,
that brings a voice otherwise unheard to light.  I like the way it
occasionally stirs interest in classical cryptography, in medievalism,
in linguistics, in the study of orthography and ancient alphabets and
languages.  I like that there are mysteries people try to solve, and
worthy bodies of knowledge that are, in part, preserved by those

On the minus side, I'm pretty much convinced that the markings in the
Voynich ms. do not correspond to language.  They are not a writing
system and those are not sentences.  The very premise of this mystery
is false.  If I had my best guess, I'd say it's about an 80/19/1 split
favoring 'medieval fraud' over 'asemic writing' and both of those, by a
wide margin, over 'actual language and writing system.'  If it were a
specimen of something real, then it would not be the only specimen.  If
we find something else in the same 'language' we could start to think
about it, but as long as it's a sample of one, we have to admit
possibilities like fraud which can plausibly produce a sample of one.

And given that opinion, I find the world a worse place because it
raises false hopes and inspires people to waste time.


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