Re: Random processes create meaning

From: Brian D Harper (
Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 17:03:13 EDT

  • Next message: "Re: Random processes create meaning"

    At 03:31 PM 9/20/00 -0500, wrote:


    >While I can't provide a mathematical proof of this assertion, every english
    >sentence of 21 character length can be produced from a random keyword when
    >keyword is used against ANY 21 character encoded message. Randomness does
    >create meaning.

    Hi Glenn. As usual, you have a very interesting and creative idea. I
    believe, though,
    that I can prove the opposite of your claim either by Shannon information
    or algorithmic information theory. I can fill in a few details if anyone
    wants to see it.

    Based on this I'll make the prediction that what we have here is really an
    of ID. You constructed an interesting message and then worked backwards to get
    the keyword. Am I right?

    I think the following would be an interesting experiment to illustrate how
    far off the
    mark your example is. Suppose you and I and anyone else who wants to play
    constructed 10 keys at random and then used them to decode the intercepted
    message. Everyone then posts their decoded messages here and we'll see how
    many are intelligible English sentences. The problem is that messages having
    the statistical structure of English are in the low probability group for
    generated sequences. The probability of getting *any* English message is
    thus close to zero and approaches zero as the message length increases.

    Brian Harper
    Associate Professor
    Mechanical Engineering
    The Ohio State University
    "One never knows, do one?"
    -- Fats Waller

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