Spooky Friday the 13th | 02/13/04

Since it is Friday the 13th, let me present you with a paper I have been working on. (Don't worry, the real entry is below).

A Transformational Reworking of Otherwise Unreadable Away Messages

Without a doubt, one of the most significant problem in this day and age is the illegibility of computer text. These problems occur for many reasons, current trends in short-hand typing, lazy typing, poor font selection and random acts of carelessness. It is this last category which is the focus of this paper. The particular problem came to my attention around midnight, February 11th. It was at this time I witnessed the following example (ex 1-1)

(Ex. 1-1)

This message appears to be in some sort of code in the form of a Virginia Woolfe quotation. At first glance, the first half of the quotation is completely encrypted. It was my intent to discover the operation that transformed the standard-English into the near-gibberish "code". I started by identifying if it was a right-hand or left-hand error. Let us start by assigning each letter of the alphabet a number 0-25--MOD 25. For sake of understanding, let us speak (when discussing the mapping) in terms of letters instead of a numbers until the very end, when the formula is needed. I noticed the words "gave served" and assumed since they were coherent sentences and could all be typed exclusively with the left-hand, that only the set (Set-A)was going to appear correctly. This left a complimentary set of (Set-B). The only problem with this initial set-up is the subset of (Set-X). This is a problem because this set can be indiscriminately be typed by either hand depending on the individual user.

I thus started by using a right-hand model of I mapping one location left, to U. This initial map did not present valid words (Wineb = Wubev). I then substituted an I/O mapping. The yield for this mapping was very fruitful. This right-hand single-character-to-the-right (herein RHSCTTR+1) mapped "wineb" into "women". The next problem I encountered was the expression "Women gave served". This problem was easily avoided when presented with the possible subset composite of {T,Y,G,H,C,V,B} (Set-X) . This gave me the option of substituting out the "g" of "gave" into an "h" to create "have". By using a composite set of (Set-Y) as a subsistutional set, I was able to extract what I believe to be a coherent quote: Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. Admittedly, Set-Y is not consistently used, but in my opinion this was not done for any logical reason by the author. It is my conclusion that this away message is best explained by the operation RHSCTRR-1 (the opposite operation created the problem [RHSCTRR+1]) until the word "glasses".

Wow, who knows--maybe I *can* be a theorist! Atonal class was great today. I came home and tried to take a nap before I was interrupted by the woman from the gig. She could not have been more pleasant. We were able to clear up most of the discrepancies and I am going to see the site on Sunday. Jamie cooked a great dinner of beef tips and mashed potatoes. Chris and Mike came over for a very fun night of drinking. They had to leave early but it was a good time nonetheless. Hopefully as the semester goes on we will be able to get together more frequently. I also met with Dr. Hodges today. She was extremely helpful and I left very motivated to send out job applications. I didn't send any out today but I still felt very confident about getting at least an interview at the Rock and Roll HoF. We had the first visitor from New Zealand tonight. Now I am only lacking Asia, Africa and South America for my world-visiting-my-website to be complete. Hooray!




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