[ExI] internet privacy

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Jul 21 15:33:38 UTC 2014

On Mon, Jul 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> I am not convinced.  A completely new language, not akin to Indo European or
> anything else, is just a jumble of meaningless letters without a key.
> How could you figure out the context?  It could be a car manual or poems on
> death for all you know.   bill w

It depends on how much other information you have and how many samples
of the language you have. If you found the document under a broken
down car, covered in oily fingerprints, then you might guess it had
something to do with car repair.  :)

Philology is the study of dead languages. A subset is Decipherment -
the translation of dead languages.

Decipherment is the analysis of documents written in ancient
languages, where the language is unknown, or knowledge of the language
has been lost.
It is closely related to cryptanalysis - the difference being that the
original document was not deliberately written to be difficult to

Examples of document decipherment:

Cuneiform (script)Cuneiform writing
Harappan writing
Egyptian hieroglyphic writing
Indus script
Linear A
Linear B
Maya writing
Olmec writing

It is not a trivial task, of course. These people are experts in their field.


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