Underlinings (#66)

Foundations of xenocryptography:

If we find signals that obey Zipf’s Law, for example, that would encourage us to go ahead and look for syntax-like structure within the signals in order to quantify how complex the candidate message actually is. […] To transmit knowledge, even a very advanced extraterrestrial civilization would still have to obey the rules of information theory. While perhaps not being able to decipher such a message because of lack of common symbols (the same problem we have with, for example, humpback whales), we would get an indication of how complex their communication system — and thereby their thought processes — may be.

Underlinings (#54)

Cryptic Dee weirdness:

In 1564, while studying at Antwerp, Dee published Monas Hieroglyphica, a series of twenty-four theorems interpreting the Hieroglyphic Monad, a symbol of Dee’s own devising which carried associations with both creation and unity. The glyph first appeared in Dee’s earlier text on astronomy, Propaedeumata Aphoristica (1558), but in the Monas Hieroglyphica it became the central focus of the work. One of his most incomprehensible texts, it draws parallels between and ascribes cabbalistic meaning to the physical properties of certain minerals, their governing planets according to alchemical theories of the day, and the geometry of their alchemical and astrological symbols. The result is a complex web of meaning that is not fully understood even today. […] Some believe that the Monas Hieroglyphica was intended as a textbook to accompany lessons delivered orally by Dee but now lost; others believe that it is a hidden treatise on cryptography to be used in espionage. …