[-empyre-] codes | ciphers |

The Voices in my Head tell me that on 11/4/03 12:33 PM, Yvonne Martinsson at
yvonne@freewheelin.nu wrote:

> what is the alphabet but a code? if you donât know the cyrillic alphabet or
> chinese iconography, itâs impossible to decode.

point of precision: not decode. Decipher. Then Decode. big difference.

> it seems to ask a bit too much of me, like having to know the skills of
> typographers.

As a former type designer and typographer, I love type. It's a secret form
of mind control. 

You can quote me :

"You don't read words. You don't read letters. You read type."

The Voices in my Head tell me that on 11/2/03 8:52 AM, Christina McPhee at
christinamcphee@yahoo.com wrote:
> Literature means the art which is written down in
> letters taken from the code of the alphabet.

Is the alphabet a code?

Per Standard Definitions, and the ones I like to work with, No. The alphabet
is a system of symbols for assembling  words.  MANIFESTATION: styles of
written forms and type

(Code: primary:  symbols that represent ideas or instructions, secondary:
symbols that obfuscate ideas or instructions in order to maintain privacy of

(Cryptographically speaking, using different alphabets to transliterate a
message is not a code, but a cipher. In more advanced forms, "code words"
are used to set the decipherment systems - they transmit instructions, see
below, re: number stations for use of alphabetic data as codes.)

Per: Kabbalistic gematria, yes. (ex: film: "PI" : gematria of man and woman
add up to child.) Operant Theory: (Heb.Trad.:) Genesis is a math object,
explained by gematria of said sacred text, and unlocking that code should
bring one to some kind of spiritual state. In this way, the cipher
(alphabet) stands for numeric values which form relationships with other
words by virtue of the mathematical relations of the word values themselves.

A different angle: where one is lead to platonic notions of the material
universe as manifestation of immanent ideas : nature as product of culture.
(IMHO, and off topic: A fundamental error as cultural is a product of the
natural : embedded in practices of any social species with social behaviours
sufficiently complex to develop various cultural objects such as customs,
rituals, traditions, mores, norms, etc. In my world the cultural is a subset
of the natural superset, much as Earth is a subset of the Universe

Per International security agencies: Yes. They use letters and numbers
broadcast on shortwave radio stations (aka "Number Stations") to transmit
information to agents. Broadcast info is "public key". Agent holds private
key. Public key changes regularly, preventing decryption of private key.
Also: Messages can tell operative to do something, as a given sequence may
refer to memorised instructions or routinised behaviour.

(for more on asymmetric encryption, read this:
http://world.std.com/~franl/crypto.html . Symmetric ciphers are usually too
easy to break with today's technology and has been largely abandoned.)

Most transmissions, regardless of origin, are conducted in NATO alphabet:

NATO alphabet:

Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India
Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo
Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey Xray Yankee Zulu

A simulation of a typical transmission:

A woman's voice says:

Tango Hotel Xray One One Three Eight
Lima Uniform Hotel One Seven Three Four
Tango Hotel Xray One One Three Eight
Lima Uniform Hotel One Seven Three Four
Tango Hotel Xray One One Three Eight
Lima Uniform Hotel One Seven Three Four
Tango Hotel Xray One One Three Eight
Lima Uniform Hotel One Seven Three Four

and repeats it for several minutes. Sometimes it is interrupted by tones of
variously musical or quasi-musical origin.
for more lists of phonetic alphabets:



Pre-1954 U.S. Navy Radio Alphabet:

Able Baker Charlie Dog Easy Fox George How Item Jig King
Love Mike Nan Oboe Peter Queen Roger Sugar Tare Uncle Victor
William X-ray Yoke Zebra

Here, words are used as letters: "code" is used as an "alphabet".

Note: when atomic bomb tests were conducted, they frequently were named by
such systems. Hence, "Baker", "Easy", "Item", "Mike" and "XRay" test names.

Note: multiCD set "The Conet Project" which has dozens of recordings of
these stations. (Out of print, rough cost, if found: US$120. Bought mine
years ago...) 

For more info on number stations, this is an adequate place to start:


There has been a lot of discussion in the cryptographic community over
embedding cryptographic text data in a picture. Let's say the data we wish
to encrypt is something like "Meet 10 Downing"

Each letter, M  e  e  t   1  0   D  o  w  n  i  n  g  has an ASCII value, so
the letters become numbers:

77 101 101 116 49 48 68 111 119 110 105 110 103.

These can be encrypted using the private key and come out like

ÃÆ[Ã*;âhÃâAÃÃ1â2WÃÃP*â$âÂÃÃ8ÃÃ^vâÂÂÃÃt!zË ÃÃR!M`ÂOÃS?ÃPâây^g+?_PÃÂââÅ<?

then each of THESE chars has a value, the first four being

178 191 185 2 


A given image is composed of pixels, and if the image is in 24bit colour,
then each colour channel gets 256 values for Red Green and Blue and Opacity.
So, included in a given transmission might be pixel coordinates or numbers,
which can be chosen at random. Then each channel of pixel data of a selected
pixel becomes a method of holding an 8 bit text value. This can be put into
or pulled from the image using decryption software but going into photoshop
would work, and be the hard way to do it, fer sure....

So, now all you have to do is send an image with defective pixels. If the
image is busy and colorful enough, you'd never notice... If the image was
pure static, you could never tell... And pulling sensible data out would be
nearly impossible, because you would 1. have to find the picture (easy with
social engineering) 2. find all the pixels that are code bearing (tough,
because that data is likely encrypted in the same PGP asymmetric encryption
as the rest...) 3. get the data out of the pixels and arrange it in the
right order (why just RGBO? Why not RGOBGOBRGGRBRGBBOBGROGRBOR and have this
order also encrypted in PGP asymmetric!) 4. then some how get passed the
high level PGP asymmetric encryption of the message itself....

?Art. Imaging. Codes. Ciphers. Encryption.

Unencryption. Decipher. Decode. Unimage. UnArt?

> The implication of text is that it is not bound to a
> certain process of writing it down. And this doesn't
> have to be in print. The word "code" literally comes
> from "carving" or "beating" ...carved into stone or
> wood. So, code denotes writing.

By origin, but not necessity. Code can be: I call you on the phone and tell
you "Flayrod's gone askew on the treadle". If you and I have previous codes
worked out from previous F2F discussions, you would know that this phrase
meant I was on my way to Ouagoudougou, BF, and would be back next Thursday.
Nothing need be written: it only need be recollected.

> In Plato's symposium, all creation or passage of non
> being into being is poetry or making, and the process
> of all art are creative; and the masaters of arts are
> all poets or makers. "Poesis" means making or
> construction. Plato's definition of poetry implies
> passage or process.
> Aristotle looks at metaphor as a shift of meaning, in
> a nonliteral sense:  the shift is the metaphoric
> transport.

Per V. Wilson, Secret Life of Puppets: contemporary culture is caught
between an Aristotelean Science Machine and a (neo)Platonic cultural
industry. We have science machines telling us myths.

(IMHO, we're still just gazing into the fire. It's just that 10k years ago,
we gazed into the fire and told each other stories. Now we gaze into the
fire and the fire tells us stories.)

> So the question becomes, how is the gap between zero
> and one being filled?

Binary normally (see issue below: surreal numbers) doesn't permit anything
between: There is or there isn't.

There are 10 kinds of people in this world: Those who can count in binary
and those who can't.

Cantor: between 0 and 1 is an infinity equal to all whole numbers. (Code:
Heb. Char. "ALEPH" Note: Trad. Value = 1, see above notes on gematria.)

there is another layer; there are an infinite number of numbers between any
two numbers in the ALEPH number set, which is another layer of infinity, and
that  kind of mapping is also infinite.

Also: surreal numbers might be of interest:


"Surreal Numbers, invented by John Conway, include all the natural counting
numbers, together with negative numbers, fractions, and irrational numbers,
and numbers bigger than infinity and smaller than the smallest fraction.
It was this huge scope of Conway's invention, that prompted Knuth to
christen them "surreal" numbers, from the French "sur" meaning "above" the
reals. Despite their astonishingly broad membership, surreal numbers are
simply sequences of that most fundamental of notions, a binary choice:
yes/no, off/on."

0 | 1

Surreal numbers may be of great use in String Theory.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

my very best to all empyreans,


The universe is a fait accompli.
Don't like it? Go ahead - find another.
Ooops! See what I mean?

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