thunk wrote:At this point, I will admit to getting distracted by the reaction-diffusion systems in his avatar pic
My avatar image:
is based on the hacker emblem:
because, of course, reaction-diffusion patterns and cellular automata patterns are so similar. (For those who don't know, I have some web pages with cool patterns, start here
; and I think this is what @thunk
was looking at. I was also involved in the early days of creating the "Ready
" program, free software for making patterns like this. I suggested the name: "Ready" is a pun on "Reaction-Diffusion", because "Golly
" is a pun on "Game of Life" (GoL).)
ggh wrote:The stop sign was the big one. I also thought the word before the date would most likely be "on". When those two had one curl in common in the right place, that was a good sign. […]
If your technique involves "considering what is most likely", then it's a form of frequency analysis, so far as I'm concerned. But yes to @NoMouse
, a brute-force frequency analysis, like pasting text into some online code-breaking tool, wouldn't work even if it were a straight alphabetic cipher, because the corpus is too small.
[…]I'm just nodding my head and pretending that I know what you mean.
) This extra code was an awesome hint, because it's the same bit about dangerous time travel he sent before, and that allowed me to reverse engineer it. So to decode this, you turn the whole thing into binary and the least significant 11 digits give the frame number, the next three give the quote number, and the rest give the index into the quote (starting from 0, so 1 is actually the second word.). There's a small amount of ambiguity, because 11 digits isn't quite enough for the frame number - when it's 2048 or above, that 1 gets added to whatever's in the quote section. I can explain further if that doesn't make sense.
Using this, we get:
AluisioASG wrote: group 1 / group 2 / group 3 / group 4 / group 5 / end of markings
When I posted the corpus image, the corpus with my suggested diacritics marked (there's mistakes in that, btw), and then a proposed character list, I was mostly trying to make it easier for someone else to see the light, because I didn't think I'd be able to solve it.
Yes, I think either Jose or @ucim
did take advantage of that, because as I detailed earlier
, at one point xey knew that you knew who the mystery author was, but xey did not know who the mystery author was, but nevertheless xey went on to post the Acts of the Clerics
chapter identifying the mystery author as something sounding like "Texaco".
I say "either Jose or @ucim
" as if that were two separate people, because recently (here, when not-answering this very question
referred to "Jose" in the third person, as if it were one person talking about another person. It sounds far-fetched, but I think it is part of an effort on the part of Jose and/or @ucim
to make sure @ggh
gets the credit for figuring out that @taixzo
, because @ggh
deserves it, and because evidently @ggh
needs a little reminding that she is good at figuring out codes.
For my own decree ("Contemplate what we'd do if Randall Munroe came around some day and said we could get any question about Time answered, but only one, and no wishing for more wishes. Discuss!"
I imagine a religious schism or three:
- Those who believe the appearance of Randall is not the real Randall, divided into two sub-factions (those who accept that the non-Randall could still be regarded as good or benign, and those who view xem as heretical). This is plausible because the real Randall Munroe hasn't been around on the fora for a while, so far as we know. This was his account. There's probably a good reason or three for that, so any appearance of Randall would need a lot of proof.
- Those who do believe it's Randall, but believe we should not ask a question, even though Randall made the offer, because it's better to let any mysteries remain such, and the OTT thrives on the things that are unanswered.
- Those who would ask a question about the process of creating Time, e.g. what it was like learning it won a Hugo, etc. I think this includes @ggh's response.
- Those who would ask a question about the story in Time, i.e. an "in-universe" question, e.g. the responses from @BlitzGirl, @ucim/Jose, and @Eternal Density. Inasmuch as this seems to be the most popular faction, it would probably organise an election committee to work out a process for deciding which question actually gets officially asked.
And now I've answered the decree, viz. the above is what I thought of when I contemplated that hypothetical. As for which faction I'd be in, I suppose it would be the not-really-Randall-but-benign group.— mrob27