The (dys-) Functional Line

Dear all,

Once more into the breach, I decided I would take another shot at the ever-elusive properties of the Voynich Manuscript, this time setting my sights on the line statistics, where in the past curioser and curioser properties of the word length distribution have been observed.

I had made up my mind to examine these effects more closely, and especially answer the question whether the line is a “functional unit” (ie, whether it “plays a role”) in the enciphering of the VM or not.

Here is the resulting paper:

the_voynich_line (ca. 500kB)

It’s about twelve pages. Click “more” or see below, if you want to have the short answer.

Comments and suggestions welcome, as always!

Continue reading


Fail Again, Fail Better!

Okay, since the fat lady hasn’t sung, the Stroke theory (as outlined here for your elucidation) isn’t dead yet, and these days I had what I thought was a relevation.

As you probably recall (because I’ve been harping on about it endlessly) is that of course for the Stroke theory it is essential to discern the set of “syllables” which compose the words of the ciphertext, since each of these “syllables”, or fragments, represents one of the plaintext letters. It’s a bit akin to the knapsack problem, where you are given a number of blocks of a given size and have to find out how to optimally fill certain shaped space. In the case of the VM, you have scores of differrently shaped spaces and must find the minimum set of building blocks.

Continue reading