The Voynich Manuscript

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whitefork
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Post by whitefork »

"Hoax" is just my opinion, not Kahn's.

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ed
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Post by ed »

whitefork wrote:"Hoax" is just my opinion.
I happen to be very interested in art/artifact fakery, having falled for a few myself. So let me ask you, what is the "Hoax"? I think that no one serious doubts that the work is 16th c. or earlier so it isn't some modern thing tricked out to look old. So we have an old thing that is indecipherable.

Here is the key question ... did people do it for the Lulz in the 16th century? It must have been Lulz since it does not support some political or scientific or religious POV, no?

So, I would distingush between hoax (Howard Hughes autobiography), fake (The Donation of Constintine) and Lulz (Voynich).

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Post by whitefork »

I don't know, Ed. I've invented scripts and filled up pages with nonsense writing without intending anyone to see them, drawn flowers and bugs that don't exist. It's something to pass the time and see if anything useful emerges. Sometimes it does. It's not just for the lulz unless the lulz are self-directed.
You get a person who's a lot more obsessive than I am with more time and a supply of high quality paper, you might get the Voynich Manuscript.
The fact that guys like William Friedmann spent a lot of time on this and came up empty suggests to me that there's nothing to find there.

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Post by asthmatic camel »

ed, is it possible that the manuscript was created and sold to a wealthy but gullible dabbler in alchemy, purely for profit? That's my best guess.
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Post by En folkefiende »

Looks like a collection of word salad written in an imaginary language to me.
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Post by DrMatt »

jj wrote:word salad
would explain the herbal section.
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Post by Grammatron »

whitefork wrote:I don't know, Ed. I've invented scripts and filled up pages with nonsense writing without intending anyone to see them, drawn flowers and bugs that don't exist. It's something to pass the time and see if anything useful emerges. Sometimes it does. It's not just for the lulz unless the lulz are self-directed.
You get a person who's a lot more obsessive than I am with more time and a supply of high quality paper, you might get the Voynich Manuscript.
The fact that guys like William Friedmann spent a lot of time on this and came up empty suggests to me that there's nothing to find there.
It doesn't appear to be any dispute on the manuscript's age. Unless I missed something.

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Post by Doctor X »

Clearly the work of Space Aliens [Tm.--Ed.]

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Post by DrMatt »

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Post by whitefork »

Grammatron wrote:It doesn't appear to be any dispute on the manuscript's age. Unless I missed something.
I don't disagree with the estimated age. I can just picture some obsessive in the 1500s filling up pages with careful printing and pretty doodling. It's more persuasive to me than the idea that it's a cipher than some of our best cryptographers haven't been able to crack.

Rabelais had a page or two in either Gargantua or Pantagruel set up with random type (pi) for the lulz. (balzac!? brain not working)

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Post by Grammatron »

whitefork wrote:
Grammatron wrote:It doesn't appear to be any dispute on the manuscript's age. Unless I missed something.
I don't disagree with the estimated age. I can just picture some obsessive in the 1500s filling up pages with careful printing and pretty doodling. It's more persuasive to me than the idea that it's a cipher than some of our best cryptographers haven't been able to crack.

Rabelais had a page or two in either Gargantua or Pantagruel set up with random type (pi) for the lulz. (balzac!? brain not working)
I see what you mean now, it's just when the word hoax was used I thought it was meant more of a forgery rather than random, pretty characters.

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Post by DrMatt »

Whoever it was, they sure seemed fluent at it.
Best cryptographers stumbled on hieroglyphics for ages until the Rosetta stone was worked out. Folks thought the symbols were pictorial rather than phonetic.
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Post by whitefork »

Grammatron wrote: I see what you mean now, it's just when the word hoax was used I thought it was meant more of a forgery rather than random, pretty characters.
My opinion has no value of course. I'm not a cryptographer and I have only looked at a few pages of scans.

"Hoax" isn't exactly the right word but we don't have any idea what the author's motive was so I'll use it in view of the effect it's had.

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Post by whitefork »

DrMatt wrote:Whoever it was, they sure seemed fluent at it.
Best cryptographers stumbled on hieroglyphics for ages until the Rosetta stone was worked out. Folks thought the symbols were pictorial rather than phonetic.
Same with the Mayan heiroglyphics, and there wasn't even a Rosetta Stone for those.

Part of the problem is that the Voynich is unique as far as we know.
There are a lot of egyptian and mayan artifacts.

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Re: The Voynich Manuscript

Post by DrMatt »

Update.
A guy is decoding proper nouns.
He said he had managed to find the word for Taurus, alongside a picture of seven stars (seen as part of the zodiac constellation of Taurus) and the word Kantairon alongside a picture of the herb Centaury.
Last edited by DrMatt on Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Voynich Manuscript

Post by Abdul Alhazred »

DrMatt wrote:Update.
A guy is decoding proper nouns.
He said he had managed to find the word for Taurus, alongside a picture of seven stars (seen as part of the zodiac constellation of Taurus) and the word Kantairon alongside a picture of the herb Centaury.
I got an error message when I clicked that link.
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Re: The Voynich Manuscript

Post by Nyarlathotep »

Yeah, I was reading something today that said they think it may be written in Nahuatl (the Aztec language). There are some codexes from that period and there are Nahuatl speakers alive today. So if they are right, it SHOULD be a matter of finding a speaker of the language and letting them go to town.

But I am dubious. I am still leaning toward "Early 20th century hoax" on this one.

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Re: The Voynich Manuscript

Post by DrMatt »

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Re: The Voynich Manuscript

Post by DrMatt »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
DrMatt wrote:Update.
A guy is decoding proper nouns.
He said he had managed to find the word for Taurus, alongside a picture of seven stars (seen as part of the zodiac constellation of Taurus) and the word Kantairon alongside a picture of the herb Centaury.
I got an error message when I clicked that link.
Spurious character in link deleted. Link works.
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Re: The Voynich Manuscript

Post by DrMatt »

I dunno. Seems vaguely plausible.
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