BSE is an abbreviation sometimes used in germany. It means »bad simple english«, but »BSE« also means the »mad cow disease«. It is the english I speak and write, and it is kind of sick. But it is not as sick as the version of my german post translated by Google automatically so many readers red. English isn’t an international language. Bad english is.

And don’t tell me that the Google encryption translation was funnier than my jokes…

This is the VBI-BSE, The Voynich Bullshit Index in English

It is a simple checklist helping you to rate possibly revolutionary theories about the autor, origin, background, language or meaning of the Voynich manuscript. The resulting score, the VBI, is correlated positively to the amount of bullshit in the theory.

What is your VBI?

10 points – as a »start-up capital« for everyone who spends more than a week working on the »damned manuscript« for completly uncomprehensible reasons.

2 extra points for each additional year spent in the completely hopeless attempt to read the manuscript.

3 points for each historical declaration in the theory which contradicts the few surely known facts.

3 points for each declaration which is unfalsifyable and therefore lacks the possibility of a review.

3 points for each plant, nymph or star constellation in the illustrations, which is identified by simple visual inspection and became part of the theory.

3 points for each assumption about the author, based on similarities of his handwriting style with the apperance of glyphs in the Voynich manuscript.

4 points for the idea that a appropiate key for decipherment is contained in the manuscript itself.

4 points for each conclusion made on results of statistical analysis in words and glyphs, which is just above the limit of statistical significance.

5 points for each internal contradiction in the theory.

5 points for each assumption about an exotic technology, religion, science, esoteric or culture of drug use in the Middle Ages, which is thought to be the background of the manuscript, but is completely unknown from any other sources.

8 points for each reference to extinct languages of Europe without extensive written material left to us.

8 points for each reference to a religion, culture or nation in Europe which left no other sign of its former existence than the Voynich manuscript.

8 points for each attempt to interpret the sequence of glyphs as a directly written language ingnoring the known inner-word, inner-line and inner-page structures of the »text«.

9 points for each identification of a place or building on page f85v2.

9 extra points for the statement of already been there and being convinced by looking at that this place or building that it is really drawn on that page.

10 points for each disclosure of already known structures in one’s theory, in particular for the disclosure of the differences between the Currier languages, the high degree of redundancey in the transcribed sequence of glyphs or the strange tendency of similar formed »words« to occur at certain locations.

10 points for each reference to alchemy in the explanation of a manuscript which does not contain a common graphical alchemical metaphor. The same applies to Freemasonry.

12 points for each attempt to interpret a text, which is obviously not a direct written language with the methods of linguistics.

12 extra points for each attempt of a linguistic interpretion by people whithout scientific training in linguistics.

13 points for each attempt to fold the manuscript – not to create enjoyable paper flyers and to play with them, but to read it better this way.

13 extra points if the gallows a not seen as characters in this attempt, but as iconic symbols showing the way the parchment has to be folded – but not being able to say how the manuscript was encrypted without visible signs of folding and why the enigmatic structures of the manuscript are generated this way.

15 points for each assumption of a non-European language while ignoring the european-style illustrations and the similarity of the script to European italic hands of the early modern period.

20 points for each assumption of a more than needed complicated encryption process, which requires more than three intermediate steps to convert the plaintext to the encrypted text. The same number of points for the assumption of tools, which are more difficult to make than the manuscript was to write.

23 points for each legend, which is taken literally as historical fact and forms the base of the theory. The same applies to the biblical legends.

23 extra points for each reference to Atlantis, Troy, Egypt, Ezekiel, Nostradamus, the Ark or the TV series Star Trek.

23 golden extra points for taking books of Erich von Däniken as source.

25 points if the theory is based on characteristics of the manuscript only visible in strong magnification.

25 points for the assumption of a code with such a high level of ambigousity, that the »decryption« process can read nearly everything in every language in the manuscript.

30 points for the unfalsifiable postulate, that the Voynich manuscript is a meaningless sequence of glyphs constructed with high effort, and therefore, that every further research is just a waste of time.

30 extra points if this unfalsifiable postulate is called science, but the method to create a great amount of meaningless Voynich-like text is disclosed, so that nobody will be able to do some comparisions with the real manuscript.

30 golden extra points if the Scientific American prints that funny stuff.

35 points for the directly or indirectly expressed point of view that a theory must be true because no one of the critics is able to prove it is false.

40 points for eace reference to UFOs, aliens, spirit beings, spiritualism or a hollow Earth.

45 points if a theory on the Voynich manuscript is bundled with the marketing of »alternative medicines« or expensive courses to get skills of spiritual ability.

50 points if someone is able to read the manuscript immediately without any kind of analysis or all the other funny trouble normal researchers have, but can teach this magic ability to noone else in a way, that the pupil is able to read the manuscript and reads it as a fairly consistent text.

50 extra points if this magic kind of literality is connected to neo-fascist ideologies.

50 golden extra points for trying to sell a book based on this enviable ability.

80 points for one’s statement, that he can read the Voynich manuscript easily, because he was the author of the manuscript in his earlier life.

90 extra points if that reader and reborn author of the Voynich manuscript was Leonardo da Vinci, Johannes Kepler, Charles the Great, the Prophet Mohammed or Jesus Christ in his earlier life.

And 100 golden extra points if that Voynich manuscript author and reader even does not need reincarnation as an explanation.

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Datum: Dienstag, 7. Juli 2009 6:15
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8 Kommentare

  1. 1

    Many thanks, Elias, for making this available for us language-challenged Americans! If you don’t know, that’s a nice way of saying, »stupid,« »retarded,« or »handicapped.« :-)

  2. 2

    Brilliant: very amusing, and thanks for the translation.

  3. 3

    Nice one…
    Of course you must have scored yourself Elias?

    Care to »spill the beans« ? :-)

  4. 4

    After I had finished laughing, I found that I had scored a number midway between 12 and 14. Does this indicate that I have a rational, scientific and unsuperstitious approach to the VM?

  5. 5

    Oh, my own score?

    always 10

    plus 12 for six years of »reading«…

    plus 3 for assuming, that the manuscript was generated by a »psychological process«, which is unfalsifiable…

    plus 3 for identifing f68r3 »doary« as the pleiades…

    plus 4 for my harmony rules, which are more a visual issue and just slightly above statistical relevance…

    gives me a total of 32 points and I‹m still going for the hi-score. ;-)

  6. 6

    Didn’t the Voynich maidens come from the masthead of MAD Magazine in the 50s?

    (I claim 3 points, from this one: »3 points for each historical declaration in the theory which contradicts the few surely known facts.«)

  7. 7

    I decided,after writing about 50 posts in my own blog, to check how my points were doing.

    I don’t understand a couple of your inferences
    1) an assumption that »a non-European language« can never be accompanied by »european-style illustrations«
    2) that if northerners wrote/transcribed texts in a foreign language, there should be no resemblance to the [scribe’s]normal European italic.
    3) That if no-one can disprove an explanation of the manuscript’s form, content, etc., then the explanation must be bullshit!? So is the theory of natural selection bullshit, or do I have to accept the idea of intelligent design before I can consider natural selection a valid explanation.

    With all due respect, your are not only good at evaluating bullshit, but brilliant at creating it. Well done, you.

    I have about 50 points, I gather … 25 because I consider fine details in the imagery; and 15 because I think the language is probably non-European.

    I wont count the 35 for unfalsifiable argument, because I‹m sure I‹m wrong in spots, at least.


  8. 8

    The voynich manuscript is writen and encrypted in the Czech language.
    Author manuscript = czech alchemist 15th century John of Lazy.
    Real name manuscript = Gold Mud. (1454).
    Translated 50 pages manuscript.

    Hi Josef Zlatoděj.
    (Manuscript can not resolve the English language)

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