0593: "Voynich Manuscript"

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tehol
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby tehol » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:23 pm UTC

sol wrote:Maybe the Volynich Manuscript was actually written by a time traveler from the future. Humanity forgets about the book until it is found again in 1000 years. They realize it's written in Nuevo Englacia, the common tongue of the 31st century, and that it is actually a guy complaining about getting stuck in 15th century Europe without running water. So this guy that finds the book is intrigued and tries to figure out how this mystery person got stuck back in time. He finds this group of scientists that is working on time travel. They have been sending small things nobody cares about back in time already, like rocks and Ben Affleck. Our guy becomes obsessed with the science and linguistics, trying to place when it will happen and to whom, how to give the time traveler a message.

Then in a freak accident he gets trapped in the time vortex chamber and is trans located into the past, replaced by a confused looking farmer. The final scene is our obsessed man on his knees in a muddy field of manure screaming "Noooooooooo" at the sky as he realizes that he is the time traveler and has doomed himself. Then he realizes that he has the original Volynich Manuscript in his bag and that NO ONE EVER ACTUALLY WROTE THE BOOK. Then he goes mad.

Fade to Black.


this literally had ¡the cheese burning me!

JoshuaZ wrote:Except the book would repeatedly age each time it went through the loop.

as much as I think it silly to make angry replies... I do believe you just implicitly claimed you know more about time travel than someone.

O.o maybe this is only the first time the book has gone round! sheesh.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby kkt » Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:24 pm UTC

Wow. I spent a great deal of free time looking at and tracking down everything written about the Voynich Manuscript about 20-25 years ago. It's an amazing manuscript. At that point, there were no hi-res scans, and we had to make do with mediocre black and white microfilm (unless you could visit Yale). It looks as if there is more than one person's handwriting, which tends to suggest it's not the work of a lone madman or a fake. Also, a lot of effort went into it, which again suggests it's not a fake -- there must be easier and more secure ways for a literate person to make a living than devoting a year or two to faking a book. There are no corrections in the manuscript, which indicates it's probably a final copy of something that was already written out. The statistics of the letters are peculiar, being more regular and repetitive than any language that's been looked at. Medieval and renaissance understanding of statistics were not that good, so it seems strange that it could have been produced as a fake or as an attempt to write down a natural language. There are other medieval and renaissance cipher manuscripts, and they yield to codebreaking analysis pretty easily. This one is stubborn. Among the people who have tried to break it and failed are Colonel William F. Friedman, whose group broke Japanese codes during World War II. More than one scholarly career has been ruined by publication of a "solution" which turned out to be a product of the solver's imagination.

I think it's probably an artificial language shared by a small group, perhaps alchemists working together.

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umop ap!sdn
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby umop ap!sdn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:30 pm UTC

sol wrote:Maybe the Volynich Manuscript was actually written by a time traveler from the future. Humanity forgets about the book until it is found again in 1000 years. They realize it's written in Nuevo Englacia, the common tongue of the 31st century, and that it is actually a guy complaining about getting stuck in 15th century Europe without running water. So this guy that finds the book is intrigued and tries to figure out how this mystery person got stuck back in time. He finds this group of scientists that is working on time travel. They have been sending small things nobody cares about back in time already, like rocks and Ben Affleck. Our guy becomes obsessed with the science and linguistics, trying to place when it will happen and to whom, how to give the time traveler a message.

Then in a freak accident he gets trapped in the time vortex chamber and is trans located into the past, replaced by a confused looking farmer. The final scene is our obsessed man on his knees in a muddy field of manure screaming "Noooooooooo" at the sky as he realizes that he is the time traveler and has doomed himself. Then he realizes that he has the original Volynich Manuscript in his bag and that NO ONE EVER ACTUALLY WROTE THE BOOK. Then he goes mad.

Fade to Black.


*YAWN* Seen it... there's a DeLorean some where, and the guy makes out with his mom, then the guy from Taxi shows up. :roll:

:lol: :lol: :lol:
That was an excellent first post! The cheese was rather warm for me.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Kaijyuu » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:44 pm UTC

Isn't it "Elixir," not "Elixer?"

Man, you guys point out the spelling mistake in "glossolalia" but miss the more common word :D
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby voynich » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:27 am UTC

markfiend wrote: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:



Yeah, I wonder if the time I spent drawing it on my ceiling was either a sign of my devotion or my insanity. But it sure is purdy Much more so than Ogham. Can we get the symbology encoded into an ISO character set?

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jun 06, 2009 1:04 am UTC

Kaijyuu wrote:Isn't it "Elixir," not "Elixer?"

Man, you guys point out the spelling mistake in "glossolalia" but miss the more common word :D

And you fail to read the rest of the thread, obviously. That one's already been pointed out.

Edit:
starabo wrote:Currently taking bets on what how many hits the wiki on VM article will reach in the next few days ...

http://stats.grok.se/en/200906/Voynich%20Manuscript

EDIT: updated linky

Oh man, I just saw the updated page with today's data on it. Hilarious.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Tath » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:07 am UTC

OH NO GUYS.
Why the hell would they need to read that xkcd references Voynich manuscript if they came to this page from xkcd? This is nothing but self-masturbatory fanboyism. xkcd references must be purged from Wikipedia articles on sight, because they are no different from spam. Also good thing that Randal "I can't even bother to proofread my crappy comic" Munroe misspelled "glossolalia", because otherwise we would have 2 spam targets on our hands right now. Grue 16:36, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


WE GOTTA MASS EDIT GLOSSOLALIA PAGE NOW TOO!!!!

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby simdude » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:08 am UTC

I got my chuckle out of the comic as usual. But I had never heard of this manuscript before. It definitly started a long wiki chain on cryptography and the ilk. I'm dying to learn more. Anyone out there know of any good books which focus on things like this?

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby hotaru » Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:44 am UTC

Kaijyuu wrote:Isn't it "Elixir," not "Elixer?"

Man, you guys point out the spelling mistake in "glossolalia" but miss the more common word :D

glossolalia is a nice predictable greek word, not a crazy latin word like elixir.

Code: Select all

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factorial (1) `mod== 1

queenofsheba
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby queenofsheba » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:51 am UTC

sol wrote:Maybe the Volynich Manuscript was actually written by a time traveler from the future. Humanity forgets about the book until it is found again in 1000 years. They realize it's written in Nuevo Englacia, the common tongue of the 31st century, and that it is actually a guy complaining about getting stuck in 15th century Europe without running water. So this guy that finds the book is intrigued and tries to figure out how this mystery person got stuck back in time. He finds this group of scientists that is working on time travel. They have been sending small things nobody cares about back in time already, like rocks and Ben Affleck. Our guy becomes obsessed with the science and linguistics, trying to place when it will happen and to whom, how to give the time traveler a message.

Then in a freak accident he gets trapped in the time vortex chamber and is trans located into the past, replaced by a confused looking farmer. The final scene is our obsessed man on his knees in a muddy field of manure screaming "Noooooooooo" at the sky as he realizes that he is the time traveler and has doomed himself. Then he realizes that he has the original Volynich Manuscript in his bag and that NO ONE EVER ACTUALLY WROTE THE BOOK. Then he goes mad.

Fade to Black.


That would defeat the purpose of having a self creating time travelling plot device. Its always better when they are unexplained.. like the watch in lost in time or less relevantly the suitcase in pulp fiction. If you explain the nature of the words in the manuscript you create all sorts of existential problems. Even thinking about it is starting to destabilize my sanity. The madness approaches!

*Fade to Black*

But what if it was indeed a transported manuscript from the future in which massive role playing campaigns has taken the place of all out warfare, with world leaders pitting their wits against each other under the watchful GM of the UN rather than wasting the lives of their innocent citizens.

Magical plus 5 sword of doom would become the new ICBM

Imagine

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby AutomaticJack » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:38 am UTC

JoshuaZ wrote:Incidentally, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the H.P. Lovecraft connection. A lot of later writers writing in the Cthulhu Mythos made the VM into an encyphered form of the Necromonicon.
I mentioned it in an earlier reply...
Someone briefly referenced Kenneth Hite, and I would refer anyone to his excellent collection of articles which includes on the Voynich Manuscript, various crackpot theories about said manuscripts, and (to bring this full circle) how to incorporate it into a roleplaying game...

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"Voynich Manuscript" in Spanish

Postby RenisTimpy » Sat Jun 06, 2009 9:17 am UTC


matzo
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby matzo » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:19 am UTC

Kalos wrote: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)


(ante-scriptum: hasj = dope.)

First, I'd like to mention that...
Secondly, it's important to know ....
Last, but not least, one could argue that...


Heey! Didn't I just made a list there? Without using any bulleted paragraphs? If I translated this in a language you don't understand, and showed it to you, without showing you the original, would you argue it's impossible that the translated text contains a list?
So maybe the manuscript is in fact really full of lists...!

One last thing I should mention: The Voynich Manuscript is incomprehensable for everyone, the D&D manual is incomprehensable for most. Voynich Manuscript features some strange drawings, as do most D&D manuals. Anyone who looks at the Voynich Manuscript's drawings, can only conclude that, if it's supposed to figurate REAL existing things, the author of the manuscript must have been seeing things. (Must have been quite the Hasj stash)

Seeing that there are long texts accompanying these strange drawings, it's certainly possible to conclude that those long texts are descriptions of either the effects of hasj on the senses, or the descriptions of a non-existing world! Or something completely else of course, you never réally know with a language nobody can understand...:) All of these explanations are equally likely-except maybe the hasj explanation.

So you see, it's quite possible that this is a valid explanation.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby mjlush » Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:36 am UTC

The funny thing is that about 5 days ago my son (10) was commenting that when he first looked at the Monster Manual he thought it was "just full on nonsense" (we've been gaming since he was ~7.5 and he has been playing solo D&D for about 2 months and has an 11th level Druid with a pet T rex :D :D :D .)

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby JeanneLaPucelle » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:46 pm UTC

Hilarious comic!!! :D

But there's a slight problem: the word "glossolatia" should be "glossolalia": the phenomenon of speaking in tongues.

Keep up the good work, Monroe!!

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

Does anyone else think "elixer" is an intentional "spelling remaineth a crappeshute" variation?

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Editer » Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:34 am UTC

One of the early owners of the Voynich Manuscript may have been an ancestor of mine.

I base this tentative conclusion solely on similarity of names. But it's an unusual name so it'd be an odd coincidence if it weren't so.

Not that it means anything really. Just a connection. I love connections.

Nice comic!
Last edited by Editer on Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:33 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby pyrephoenix » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:33 am UTC

Regarding the "lists, illustrations, tables" discussion, it looked to me like the description was of the D&D PH in comparison to, rather than a direct description of, the Voynich:

Just imagine someone found a book from our time, full of lists, illustrations, tables, and long, dry descriptions of nonexistent worlds written in an invented language.
(emphasis added)
The Player's Handbook does have all of the above (or at least 2nd edition did), while the Voynich ... well, we don't know. :)

Of course, based on that I'd have gone with Tolkien (and particularly the Silmarillion) before D&D, but I was never a big pen and paper gamer.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Jun 07, 2009 7:46 am UTC

No one else has tried deciphering "glossolatia" and "elixer"? It hasn't been corrected after several days, so it must be a code.
All I can think of anagrams, which I haven't made much progress with.
umop ap!sdn wrote:
sol wrote:Maybe the Volynich Manuscript was actually written by a time traveler from the future. Humanity forgets about the book until it is found again in 1000 years. They realize it's written in Nuevo Englacia, the common tongue of the 31st century, and that it is actually a guy complaining about getting stuck in 15th century Europe without running water. So this guy that finds the book is intrigued and tries to figure out how this mystery person got stuck back in time. He finds this group of scientists that is working on time travel. They have been sending small things nobody cares about back in time already, like rocks and Ben Affleck. Our guy becomes obsessed with the science and linguistics, trying to place when it will happen and to whom, how to give the time traveler a message.

Then in a freak accident he gets trapped in the time vortex chamber and is trans located into the past, replaced by a confused looking farmer. The final scene is our obsessed man on his knees in a muddy field of manure screaming "Noooooooooo" at the sky as he realizes that he is the time traveler and has doomed himself. Then he realizes that he has the original Volynich Manuscript in his bag and that NO ONE EVER ACTUALLY WROTE THE BOOK. Then he goes mad.

Fade to Black.


*YAWN* Seen it... there's a DeLorean some where, and the guy makes out with his mom, then the guy from Taxi shows up. :roll:

:¡This cheese is burning me!: :¡This cheese is burning me!: :¡This cheese is burning me!:
That was an excellent first post! The cheese was rather warm for me.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby HPDDJ » Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:03 pm UTC

wallacoloo wrote: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...


Wonder what she's doing with a hand scythe?

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby ishldgetoutmore » Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:47 pm UTC

I can't believe I'm the first to mention that it's "glossolalia" and not "glossolatia"! :D

Also, my favorite theory is the one that it's a representative "prop" for Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:05 pm UTC

ishldgetoutmore wrote:I can't believe I'm the first to mention that it's "glossolalia" and not "glossolatia"! :D

stfu n00b
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby ishldgetoutmore » Sun Jun 07, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
ishldgetoutmore wrote:I can't believe I'm the first to mention that it's "glossolalia" and not "glossolatia"! :D

stfu n00b

Yes, you got me. Obviously, there was no joke intended in that statement, and it wasn't your failure to comprehend my attempt at humor.

-1. Obvious troll is obvious.

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Faranya
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Faranya » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:55 am UTC

Obviously it is some kind of religious text, most likely from a small community that independantly created a written system. Most likely killed by the larger community that focused more on their "killing-things" system.

Or at least as far as I am concerned.
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Magilla » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:01 am UTC

Is it just me, or is the book in the last panel (at least partially) transparent?
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby wisty » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:33 am UTC

Just idle speculation ...

One of the theories is that the manuscript is a transliteration of a non-European text (i.e. Sino-Tibetan or Austronesian language), using a made-up script (because the author/s didn't know Chinese character, or wanted to preserve the pronunciation).

Is it possible that the transliteration is error prone? That would explain why it's undecipherable. It would also explain the large number of repeated words. A scribe with a reasonable grasp of a language (enough to ask for directions, and order dinner at an inn) might make a lot of mistakes trying to transcribe a more complex text.

Also, the made-up plants could have been added by an illustrator at a later date, using a rough description and their knowledge of local European plants.

I'm not sure how you could test that, but Bayesian analysis / Markov Chain Monte Carlo (google pyMC) is a good way of dealing with noisy data. You can build a model where a given meaning might be transliterated as several different character sequences (i.e. Chinese words like chi, chu, qi and qu all sound similar to me, not to mention errors in tone transcriptions), but you could identify certain themes being introduced. Or you could just be matching random clusters to random clusters ...

A toy problem would be to get people to transcribe texts from a language that they can only sort-of speak, and see if the theme clusters can be re-constructed. By toy .. that's still a massive project.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby kkt » Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:33 pm UTC

For a book-length treatment, try D'Imperio, Mary E. : The Voynich Manuscript - an elegant enigma, First published by the National Security Agency, and reprinted by the Aegean Park Press, 1978. She does an excellent job presenting what's known and suspected about the manuscript. The book is not exactly easy to find, but a librarian should be able to get it through interlibrary loan for you.

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby iceberg » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:42 am UTC

Has any one tried their cereal box decoder rings yet? I'm sure that is the trick to solving this "enigma"!
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby jjane » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:49 pm UTC

as a long-time studier/admirer of the Voynich Manuscript, i am rather disappointed that i didn't fully comprehend the other reference. :cry:

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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby aylalalalalala » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:04 am UTC

for a fictional read re: glossolalia, try neal stephenson's "snow crash", nothing to do with voynich but has cyber-punk fun with indeciperable spoken language and binary :wink:
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Re: "Voynich Manuscript" Discussion

Postby Bdubs8807 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:44 am UTC

:lol: Oh me yarm, Voynich Manuscript FTW:!: :mrgreen:

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Re: 0593: "Voynich Manuscript"

Postby ucim » Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:23 pm UTC

Actual progress on the Voynich manuscript:

Voynich Manuscript Revealed (2018)
Ata Team Alberta (ATA) has deciphered and translated over 30% the manuscript. Currently, a formal paper of the philological study was submitted to an academic journal in John Hopkins University.
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