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On Thu, May 16, 2019, 21:45 Mike S. <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> On Wed, May 15, 2019 at 3:35 PM Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > I am puzzled
> > how such a thing could pass the peer review board of a journal dedicated
> > to Romance language studies!
>
>
> One of the things that entered my mind when reading the abstract a few days
> ago was how or why a competent peer review board would countenance
> barbarisms like "quintiphthong" and "quadriphthong/quadraphthong" (it's
> spelled both ways in the paper!), never mind the non-standard meaning
> assigned to -phthong.  Admittedly, I am not an academic and do not know how
> the peer review process works.
>
> While looking into this, I find I am no longer able to locate the "who is"
> web page for the author, Gerard Cheshire, on the University of Bristol
> website.  I don't want to leap to an unwarranted conclusion, but I am sure
> I saw it there.  From my memory, Cheshire was listed as a research
> associate in evolutionary biology or something akin.  At any rate, it is
> clear that this paper is destined for inclusion in the long list of
> rejected attempts, and not a very notable attempt at that, as Latin/Romance
> decipherments have already been tried.
>
> As for the VMS itself, in general, it's sad to see a number of people
> wasting so much of their time on approaches that are already well known to
> be useless


So is any pseudoscience.


  This goes not only for Cheshire but also the guy who thinks
> it's in Turkish and all the rest.  As pointed out on the Wikipedia article,
> especially useless is any straightforward single-alphabet substitution
> attempt to decipher the text into a known natural language.  (From WP: In
> 1962, cryptanalyst Elizebeth Friedman described such attempts as "*doomed
> to utter frustration*" [emph added].)
>
> Here's the takeaway: with a degree of certainty approaching total, you are
> not going to come in from the wings without any acquaintance of the history
> of decipherment attempts or the peculiar nature of the text and still
> single-handedly solve the VMS, like the Lone Ranger riding in with a
> six-shooter and a lasso capturing the bad guy.  It's just not going to
> happen that way.  Skimming the paper and watching the Turkish-attempt
> video, I get no impression that these wannabe crackers have done any real
> homework on the difficulty of the problem, such as understanding the
> strange distribution of the characters in the words.  In fact, I see no
> evidence that these interlopers have done so much as read the WP article.
> They are entering territory about which they seem to be entirely clueless,
> and then telling the world they have the solution in hand.
>
> If you are fascinated by the VMS and want to contribute to the solution,
> then I would start by talking to the Voynich online research community.
> They have a basic knowledge that you should not summarily dismiss.  Study
> the history of attempts and look at the weird results of statistical
> analyses on VMS "word" structure and distributions.  In short, get up to
> speed before charging in.
>
> Best of luck, have fun, but don't bet the ranch on finding a solution.
>
> -Mike
>