0593: "Voynich Manuscript"

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joee
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0593: "Voynich Manuscript"

Postby joee » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:01 am UTC

Image

Link: http://xkcd.com/593/

Alt: Wait, is that the ORIGINAL voynich manuscript? Where did you GET that? Wanna try playing a round of Druids and Dicotyledons?

I cracked up laughing. Showing all my D&D player friends this.

Edit: hi glasnt! (I almost forgot :()
Last edited by joee on Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:20 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Hi glasnt.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:03 am UTC

Hehehe, druids.

Hi joee!

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Tath » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:05 am UTC

I guessed it on "It's obvious"...


It's so much truths.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby eleniy86 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:08 am UTC

haha Forsooth...word of the day!

But the Voynich Manuscript doth gives my druid +10 knowledge and +20 geekiness!

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Theogrin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:12 am UTC

Surely I can't be the only one who might attribute such a work to the D'ni on first glance.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby sje46 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:12 am UTC

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Exüberance » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:16 am UTC

Epic win!

...I should try playing D&D some time. Sounds really fun.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby cookiedogster » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:16 am UTC

Xkcd is fast, but wikipedia will always be faster. :roll:

Edit: Also, I need to comment faster.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby wallacoloo » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:19 am UTC

Wow, wasn't expecting a new comic... Looks like it just got uploaded too. Now I know just the time to get on and check for new comics :D

Great comic. I love the ending. And it does make you wonder...

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby n3mo » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:22 am UTC

ah, druids and dicotyledons. did the find rocks in the shape of a d20?
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Upsilon » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:25 am UTC

I finally get to say "Get out of my head, Randall!". I was just remembering something I'd read about the Voynich manuscript recently when I checked the comic.

Get out of my head, Randall!
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby jspenguin » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:27 am UTC

There's no "t" in "glossolalia".

Code: Select all

from __future__ import skynet

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby quadripedman » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:31 am UTC

this comic made me laugh out loud. congrats randall :)
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby coppro » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:31 am UTC

I'll admit, I guessed wrong.

I guessed the appendices to LotR.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:34 am UTC

Nice comic, I love it when an XKCD comic actually makes me want to learn more about something. :D

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby tsaylor » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:42 am UTC

jspenguin wrote:There's no "t" in "glossolalia".


Beat me to it. You definitely misspelled there.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:46 am UTC

Yeah, I was also going to bring up the misspelling.

Interestingly, I too was looking at the Wikipedia page for this earlier, since the topic came up on another forum I'm on.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby MiB24601 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:48 am UTC

"There's no point being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes." - The Fourth Doctor, Doctor Who

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby videogamesizzle » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:55 am UTC

i felt all smart knowing what he was talking about! :mrgreen:
great comic, as always.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby voynich » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:07 am UTC

Damn, doesn't anyone know an acid trip script when they see one? Bigger question is, where the hell did they get acid back then? Maybe Hoffman stole the recipie! no more bicycle day? Or perhaps it was shrooms and reindeer piss, a berzerker with a pen. Kinda like the time I designed the entire electrical system of the Airbus A330 in one evening of guthupterlich bliss.

You know, for the first couple of years the benzodiazepam's took the madness outta my science. But it's back, I tell yah, and it is working wicked pissah! Just today I invented a 5 dimensional paper clip!

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby deathwriter08 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:12 am UTC

I, for one, am hoping to see xkcd forum crack a code that has stumped scholars for decades. If it were to happen on the internet, I think it might happen here.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Dogbert » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:29 am UTC

I had to read this comic twice before I got the meaning. For a moment, the only thing I could think of was the Codex Seraphinianus ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Seraphinianus ). I would give my left nut for one of the original Codices.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby JustMe » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:35 am UTC

Just yesterday I finished The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry. It features the Voynich Manuscript which I've heard of before but haven't looked into in detail. (Not bad brain candy book)

But, I want to say "Randall, welcome to my head. It's strange, but they know me here"
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby roh091 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:36 am UTC

and here I was thinking he was talking about Tolkien

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby StClair » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:38 am UTC

Paging Ken Hite...

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby tyen » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:40 am UTC

jspenguin wrote:There's no "t" in "glossolalia".

Nor does "elixir" have two "e"s.

My "obvious" guess was a Star Trek encyclopedia or The Silmarillion equivalent. We don't use invented languages in D&D. :)

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby voynich » Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:54 am UTC

I stumbled upon the Voynich manuscript years ago, and have had many good and sometimes serious discussions on it with a few friends in the Boston area, all of which seem to have moved away. What do I really think? It's Kelly's work. He was a madman who was so very good at forgery because he believed it himself (Maybe like L. Ron Hubbard?) - someday I hope to flip through its pages and hope something oozes into my skin to explain it all (maybe I'll drench my fingers in DMSO just beforehand).

Alchemy and mysticism are such great time-wasters. I only need to be a little bit more insane to make the jump that Kelly did, which is from wanting to believe in the sanctity of your own forgeries to the point of actually deluding oneself. It's a one-way ticket on a flight of fancy. Maybe I can even get in some of that wife-sharing scam that Kelly did.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby PhatPhungus » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:06 am UTC

Awesome comic.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Squid Tamer » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:15 am UTC

I was surprised when I realized that I know about the Voynich thingy.

It made me reconsider how I should spend my time...

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby markfiend » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:26 am UTC

Beware Randall, grown men have gone mad trying to decypher the Voynich manuscript.

I personally favour the hypothesis that it's an early European attempt to devise a writing scheme for an east Asian language. See here

But yeah, I thought it was going to be a Tolkien joke too. :mrgreen:
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Herpes » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:46 am UTC

jspenguin wrote:There's no "t" in "glossolalia".


I was thinking the exact same thing. Thanks for stealing my thunder. :P
Last edited by Herpes on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby super_aardvark » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:47 am UTC

Nothing says "500 years ago" like a sickle. Good thing one of them decided to bring one, or we'd have no temporal context! (Or maybe they're larpers? Do larpers have source books?)

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:57 am UTC

Nice one. I've been playing a bit of ADOM lately, partly to prepare for a Jabber-chat-based text adventure game/framework I'm writing as a hobby.
Speaking of chat... I immediately tried referencing this in Omegle, resulting in an insta-death:
You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: Your druid doth lose two points.
Stranger: WHA
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

[edit]I did it again!
You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: Your druid doth lose two points.
Stranger: ?
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

Sadly, the third one didn't... and wasn't much of an english conversationalist. Doesn't know when to give up though.
[edit]turned out to be Korean using google translate. a kinda painful conversation as I had to translate the few words into actual thoughts. eh.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:00 am UTC

I literally laughed out loud. :D
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby glwtta » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:10 am UTC

markfiend wrote:I personally favour the hypothesis that it's an early European attempt to devise a writing scheme for an east Asian language.


A lot of people like that idea, but hasn't it been discredited time and time again? From what I remember, the extremely low entropy is one of the main indications that it is not clear text, in any language. Also, I believe testing with a more complete transcription showed that it does not follow Zipf's law, after all.

The whole "Asian origin" idea is one of the more romantic ones, there's just no evidence for it.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Domovoi » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:26 am UTC

Not only is 'glossolatia' not a word, 'glossolalia' isn't something written down. Also: stop editing wikipedia for god's sake.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Kalos » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:41 am UTC

For a comic that has held itself to at the very least being based in basic science, this entry was rather disappointing. It's the widest possible stretch of the imagination that this could be even having a chance at being a DnD manual or equivalent. I mean yes, it is a webcomic, but half of the justifications for the joke are based off of blatant falsehoods.

1) What long dry descriptions of non-existent worlds? NOBODY CAN FUCKING READ IT. We have no earthly idea if there's any descriptions of anything... or even if it's words.
2) There are no tables in the entire Manuscript, sorry. Just not true.
3) The only thing that could pass for lists are a few bulleted paragraphs, which in turn may be recipes. (once again, nobody can read it)

The only things that resemble a DnD manual as opposed to any other sort of book are the things that the author himself made up. By replacing a few words, this could be a lost Tolkein language, a lost Federation of Planets captain's log, or even the first attempt at a comic book.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby guyy » Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:50 am UTC

Given that I've never even played D&D, I'm finding it kind of weird that I guessed the joke without even reading panel 5.

...Good comic, though.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Durindana » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:16 am UTC

n3mo wrote:ah, druids and dicotyledons. did the find rocks in the shape of a d20?


Actually, they've had twenty sided dice since Roman times, and probably even earlier than that. It was about five years back there was a huge auction on a Roman twenty sided dice that was found in some old ruins, I believe. I remember joking about failed saving throws back then.

The Voynich Manuscript drives me batty to look at thanks to Tolkien. Obviously, as a linguist, he at least glanced through a copy of it, and drew something from it. The glyphs in the Manuscript are far too similar to what would later become Sindarin and Quenyan to be a coincidence. Stupid elves and their stupid little language that makes even well versed readers feel like dyslexics. :x

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Vladamar » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:25 am UTC

Oh, I wonder if the Voynix on Dan Simmon's Ilium and Olympos are somehow based upon the Voynich Manuscripts.


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