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The Cryptographic Imagination: Secret Writing from Edgar Poe to the Internet


Light-of-Truth

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I stumbled on this book I was not familiar with. I've skimmed a few pages here and there finding some very interesting tidbits. There is a free download so I thought I'd share a link:

https://muse.jhu.edu/book/72709/pdf

Here is something that caught my eye:

image.png.22d0a435edf6731f33b4c416680e3f40.png

Bacon's cipher satisfies all three of his own cryptographic principles. Not only can the cipher be mastered and translated quickly (given accurate printing) but, best of all, as a steganographic cipher, it disguises that it is a code. Because it relies only on the systematic contrast between two different elements, Bacon's cipher need not be restricted to contrasting typefaces. Instead, it can squirrel itself into a literally infinite range of patterns and images. The rather crude castle in figure 2, for instance, is actually a biliteral cipher of empty and shaded stones. Drawn by a doctor fascinated by Baconianism, the deciphered text reads as follows:

My business is to write prescriptions
And then to see my doses taken;
But now I find I spend my time
Endeavoring to out-Bacon Bacon

 

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