[ExI] Artificial Intelligence Cracks 4,000-Year-Old Mystery
lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sat Apr 25 18:06:06 UTC 2009
where Rao runs a program and finds a lot of
> See also "A Refutation of the Claimed
> Refutation of the Nonlinguistic Nature
> of Indus Symbols: Invented Data Sets
> in the Statistical Paper of Rao et alia" at:
The history of reading ancient scripts
usually exhibits this pattern: specialists
cannot read the script and fall for the
"ideographic myth", that the symbols
communicate on a non-linguistic basis
by means of pure thought.
But no purely pictorial languages have
ever been found, short of our street
signs (curve ahead, no left turn, etc.).
But Farmer, Sproat, and Witzel counter
The implausibility of the view that
the so-called Indus script was true
writing is suggested in many ways
that do not require sophisticated
analyses. The simplest argument is
the best: the sheer brevity of the
inscriptions. We possess thousands
of inscribed Indus objects on a wide
range of materials. The average
inscription is 4-5 symbols long
and the longest, found on a highly
anomalous piece, carries 17.
So maybe they're right, and it's no language.
What will happen is this: some aspiring
Champollion or Ventris will be swayed
by Rao's paper, and try. He or she will
either get a sense that it's a language,
or join the skeptics' camp. Hopefully,
enough will indeed get a sense that it's
a true language, and eventually solve it.
But pretty smart people used to look for
messages in Shakespeare and the Bible.
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