Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cracking the Copiale Cipher

The Copiale Cipher is now broken. It turns out, the whole thing was about initiating people into a secret society.

The story of how it was broken is the fascinating part. What's actually in the book is less interesting to me than the process which cracked it wide open:

There are people who might argue that these eggheads should be applying themselves to practical applications. That's nonsense. Problem solving is never a useless endeavor. If you want to know what ails this sad sack of a country, look no further than our inability to teach things like common sense and problem solving to the general population.

The skills acquired while figuring out this puzzle add value to what is happening at the University of Southern California. If anything, give these people a prize and then, quietly, perhaps, teach others how to do what they're doing.

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