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  #21  
Old 25 June 2013, 09:37 AM
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Well, I think maybe you're remembering what's mentioned in the article.
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Gordon Rugg, a mathematician from Keele University, UK, is one such academic. He has even produced his own complex code deliberately similar to "Voynichese" to show how a text can appear to have meaningful patterns, even though it is "gibberish hoax text".
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  #22  
Old 23 January 2014, 09:41 PM
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I lean towards "elaborate hoax", but if there is a solution, hey, why not extinct dialect of Nahuatl?
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This possible indication of a New World origin set us down a path that diverges from most previous Voynich researchers. If our identifications of the plants, animals, and minerals are correct as originating in Mexico and nearby areas, then our abductive reasoning should be focused upon Nueva España (New Spain) from 1521 (the date of the Conquest) to ca. 1576 (the earliest possible date that the Voynich Ms. may have appeared in Europe with any documentation). If the Voynich Ms. is, as one reviewer of this article indicated, “an invention by somebody in, let’s say Hungary, who invented it based on images of early printed books,” then this forger had to have intimate knowledge of the plants, animals, and minerals of Mexico and surrounding regions, in addition to its history, art, etc. Some of this knowledge, such as the distinction of Viola bicolor (Violaceae; which is not illustrated in earlier books to our knowledge) vs. V. tricolor, was clarified only in the 20th century. A forgery is certainly possible, but applying the principle of Occam’s Razor (which says that the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected), attention should be focused upon Nueva España between 1521 and ca. 1576, not Eurasia, Africa, South America, or Australia (or alien planets).
http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram...1917e4dd3e580b
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  #23  
Old 30 January 2014, 11:30 AM
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A reasonable explanation of the Voynich Manuscript can be found in this older xkcd strip:

http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/inde...ich_Manuscript

As for unbreakable codes, I recall a story about a scientist who demonstrated to colleagues the difficulty of communicating with extraterrestrials by coming up, overnight, with a "simple" message in binary that none of his coworkers could crack. Can't find the cite for it, and I'm not sure what the exact context was - the Aricebo Message, Voyager 1's Golden Record, or what.
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  #24  
Old 09 September 2017, 06:28 AM
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Icon204 The mysterious Voynich manuscript has finally been decoded

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017...-been-decoded/

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Full of handwriting in an unknown language or code, the book is heavily illustrated with weird pictures of alien plants, naked women, strange objects, and zodiac symbols. Now, history researcher and television writer Nicholas Gibbs appears to have cracked the code, discovering that the book is actually a guide to women's health that's mostly plagiarized from other guides of the era.
Women's health. No wonder it's been a mystery for 48 years. "What the heck is this about?" "I dunno. Must be aliens. Or devil worship. A mysterious code..."

Last edited by ganzfeld; 09 September 2017 at 06:34 AM.
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  #25  
Old 09 September 2017, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
So this wasn't a code at all; it was just shorthand.
Shorthand!

Why didn't I think of that? My mother routinely wrote notes to herself in shorthand, some of them accumulating in notebooks over time -- and every individual's shorthand is a little bit different. Those notebooks, or at least the parts in shorthand, are now effectively indeciperable. Someone familiar with Gregg (and such people must be getting fewer all the time) would be able to make sense of some of it; but her own individual variations are lost forever.
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  #26  
Old 09 September 2017, 10:38 AM
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Wow, that's really interesting, and sounds very plausible. The guy certainly seems to know what he's talking about. So my guess was wrong...

The real surprise is that, if this is the actual explanation, that it took so long to work out. I guess they just had to show it to somebody with the right combination of obscure background knowledge.

I wonder if the plants and minerals illustrated in it are still from Mexico, though? This idea doesn't directly contradict that observation (except for the Nahuatl part). That sounds unlikely if the illustrations are copied from other existing manuscripts. Perhaps they just got exaggerated or distorted enough that they don't look exactly like the plants they're supposed to represent.
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  #27  
Old 09 September 2017, 03:54 PM
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My novel "The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost" uses a close analogue of the Voynich Manuscript. Of course my version is a cursed evil volume.
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  #28  
Old 09 September 2017, 06:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia View Post
My novel "The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost" uses a close analogue of the Voynich Manuscript. Of course my version is a cursed evil volume.
I eagerly await your rewrite featuring a cursed evil feminine hygiene manual.
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  #29  
Old 09 September 2017, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia View Post
... Of course my version is a cursed evil volume.
Of course it is! If it wasn't cursed, it would have been a short story!
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  #30  
Old 09 September 2017, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
It should be noted that this was not produced by actual scientific research and supported by peer support nor was it published in a scientific journal, it was produced for a TV series. And we all know how reliable those are...
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  #31  
Old 10 September 2017, 04:03 PM
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Default Has the Voynich Manuscript Really Been Solved?

Experts say no.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...solved/539310/
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  #32  
Old 10 September 2017, 06:32 PM
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Ah, well.
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Originally Posted by diddy View Post
And we all know how reliable those are...
A good reminder. Lesson learned!
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  #33  
Old 10 September 2017, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Ah, well. A good reminder. Lesson learned!
And not to pick on you specifically but Ars has debunked itself...

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017...nich-solution/

In other words the conclusion was based on a combination of stuff we already knew and stuff he could not have known and it would have been dismissed if they talked to the right sources...
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  #34  
Old 11 September 2017, 12:30 AM
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Oh, well. I liked the shorthand idea; but my liking it of course doesn't make it so.
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  #35  
Old 12 September 2017, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
It should be noted that this was not produced by actual scientific research and supported by peer support nor was it published in a scientific journal...
I had been going to point out that it was published in the TLS (which should be respectable enough) and that if he'd provided a translation, it should be easy to check for consistency without needing it to have been peer-reviewed beforehand. Not everything is peer-reviewed before publication.

But since it turns out that he apparently hasn't provided a translation apart from a couple of dubious sentences, you're right... Shame the TLS didn't check a bit further.
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  #36  
Old 12 September 2017, 05:00 PM
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Maybe it's a medieval version of Cosmo.
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  #37  
Old 12 September 2017, 05:40 PM
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"28 ways to take his psaltery and play it hard"
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