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Old 02-02-2018, 12:11 PM   #11
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

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Originally Posted by The Colonel View Post
That would seem to make it a substitution code ... which I understood were quite easy to crack once you know roughly what's encoded...
If I understand the original story correctly, it's a bit more complicated.

It's supposed to be a substitution code for Hebrew characters, which only encode consonants, not vowels. And the characters of each word are sorted into alphabetical order, making them anagrams, of a specific type. This makes sense of two peculiar properties of the manuscript, the way that some characters only appear at the beginning, middle or end of words, and the repetition of some words, up to three times in a row. Those probably aren't really repeated words, just adjacent words that happen to use the same consonants.

So if this is correct, it will probably be fairly easy to translate it to the Hebrew anagrams. But puzzling out the anagrams requires guessing at words, and then building Hebrew sentences working forwards (and sometimes backwards) from them.

Someone with fluent fifteenth-century Hebrew could probably learn the alphabet, get good at the anagrams, and actually read the manuscript, with enough practice, and knowledge of what it's actually about. This makes it seem as if it might have been someone's working book of formulae.

Of course, all this may be wrong, too.
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Old 02-02-2018, 01:02 PM   #12
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

Hebrew, like other Semitic languages, has a distinctive way of building words with roots consisting of three consonants. I don't know if this will make solving the anagrams easier or harder; it depends on how the different letters are distributed over the roots used in a text.

A prediction: if it does turn out to be Hebrew, someone will claim there's a hidden message in it within a year.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:06 PM   #13
Stephen Mann
 
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/1/16...coded-debunked

Oops, bad methodology and wishful thinking rather than a genuine breakthrough. Put away the tin-foil hats ....
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

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https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/1/16...coded-debunked

Oops, bad methodology and wishful thinking rather than a genuine breakthrough.
Or is that just what They want you to think fnord?
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Old 02-02-2018, 08:45 PM   #15
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

After this much time, I'm starting to wonder if it's just someone's "divinely inspired" or automatic writing. Those tend to have aspects of the creator's known languages but often with no real coherency.
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:53 AM   #16
johndallman
 
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
After this much time, I'm starting to wonder if it's just someone's "divinely inspired" or automatic writing. Those tend to have aspects of the creator's known languages but often with no real coherency.
That has been a hypothesis about the manuscript for a long time. However, there's no obvious way to prove or disprove it.
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Old 02-03-2018, 01:13 AM   #17
Daigoro
 
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

Why don't they just measure it's quantum signature already so we can prove it's from another universe.
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Old 02-03-2018, 02:32 AM   #18
WaterAndWindSpirit
 
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

I still think xkcd had it right and that it's a 600 years old tabletop RPG sourcebook. /tongue in cheek
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Voynich Manuscript

I think it is a fraud.

According to wikipedia, Emperor Rudolf II, the first known owner, paid about 2 kg of gold for it. According to an online calculator, that would be worth about $ 85 K today - not bad for a few days of doodling in an empty book.
So, an unknown artist/forger and his fence split the loot and kept quiet about it. But they probably giggled from time to time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynic...script#History
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