[ExI] Artificial Intelligence Cracks 4,000-Year-Old Mystery

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Sun Apr 26 03:53:55 UTC 2009

spike wrote:

>> But pretty smart people used to look for messages in 
>> Shakespeare and the Bible... Lee
> Shakespeare may have put messages in the bible.  Shakespeare was thought to
> have participated in the translation of the King James bible.  In 1610, the
> year the King James bible was published, Shakespeare turned 46 years old.
> If one looks at the 46th Psalm, the 46th word of that psalm is shake, and
> the 46th word from the end of that psalm is spear.  Possibly a coincidence,
> but if so a most remarkable one indeed.  How many such goodies are hidden in
> that text?

Well, here is what wikipedia says about the who
David Kahn called "the greatest cryptanalyst of
all time":


As a child, he was introduced to cryptography in the short story
"The Gold-Bug" by Edgar Allan Poe.[1] He studied at the Michigan
Agricultural College (known today as Michigan State University)
in East Lansing and received a scholarship to work on genetics
at Cornell University. Meanwhile George Fabyan, who ran a private
research laboratory to study any project that caught his fancy,
decided to set up his own genetics project and was referred to
Friedman. Friedman joined Fabyan's Riverbank Laboratories outside
Chicago in September 1915...

Initial work in cryptology

Another of Fabyan's pet projects was research into secret messages
which Sir Francis Bacon had allegedly hidden in various texts
during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. The research was
carried out by Elizabeth Wells Gallup. She believed that she had
discovered many such messages in the works of William Shakespeare,
and convinced herself that Bacon had written many, if not all, of
Shakespeare's works. Friedman had become something of an expert
photographer while working on his other projects, and was asked
to travel to England on several occasions to help Gallup photograph
historical manuscripts during her research. He became fascinated
with cryptology as he courted Elizebeth Smith, Mrs. Gallup's
assistant and an accomplished cryptologist. They married, and
he soon became director of Riverbank's Department of Codes and

Following World War II, Friedman remained in government signals
intelligence. In 1949 he became head of the code division of the
newly-formed Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA) and in 1952
became chief cryptologist for the National Security Agency (NSA)
when it was formed to take over from AFSA. Friedman produced a
classic series of textbooks, "Military Cryptanalysis", used to
train NSA students. (These were revised and extended, under the
title "Military Cryptanalytics", by Friedman's assistant and
successor Lambros D. Callimahos, and used to train many
additional cryptanalysts.)

Friedman retired in 1956 and, with his wife, turned his attention
to the problem that had originally brought them together: examining
Bacon's codes. In 1957 they wrote The Shakespearean Ciphers Examined,
demonstrating flaws in Gallup's work and in that of others who sought
hidden ciphers in Shakespeare's work...

So: if William Friedman couldn't find any hidden
codes in Shakespeare, I'd be willing to bet that
by any date you care to mention, neither will
have anyone else.


P.S. Yes, since I've never heard of another such
remarkable finding as the 46/46/46, right now it
seems best to regard that as mere coincidence.

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