Artificial Intelligence Cracks 4,000-Year-Old Mystery

Benjamin Fleming fleming_b4 at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 25 15:32:40 UTC 2009

Dear Enrica Garzilli,
As to your message. Of course it is good to see that there is wide spread interest in the IVC "mystery" of the script, so-called script, etc. I am not sure I quite understand though what you mean by "pretending that news are not spread or articles are not published is only to deny evidence". No such thing was going on. In fact, I have a standing offer to send the Rao, et al article and their supplementary study to anyone who would like to read it off list (I have already had several requests). I am curious to know what your interpretation of the Rao et al study is; thus far you have not offered any analysis of your own but simply provided a link to a popular onlilne journal that focuses on technology. I did, in fact offer some argumentation based on my reading of the Rao, et al article and their supplementary study which, in my opinion, fits within your definition of "right argumentation". Perhaps you would care to focus on my arguments and offer a critique or point to some issue in the Rao, et. al study that I have overlooked? My blinders (as you put it) are indeed off. Certainly the Wired article makes people aware of the issue, as presented by Rao, et al, and certainly they do give links to the non-script thesis by Farmer et. al, ( and to a Science article that deals with that issue: ( However, they characterize this position as simply, "a paper asserting that the Indus script was nothing more than political and religious symbols." and give no more attention to it despite that fact that, at heart, this is the motivation behind the Rao, et al study. With regards to Rao's analysis, I find it highly curious that protein sequences can be employed as a sample of non-linguistic systems that could be comparable to the model being proposed by Farmer, et al. Obviously the IVC proto-script will show patterns that are closer to actual language than they will to patterns derived from the natural world, the comparison is, in my view, designed to render the conclusion they want. This of course, as has been mentioned already, in addition to the odd fact that they constructed their own non-linguistic system to compare to the IVC proto-script. Is this not stacking the cards to favour their conclusions? Why not use actual examples of ancient non-linguist systems (of the human made variety). Perhaps they did and didn't like the results! In any case, I await your own take and analysis of the Rao, et al study.

Best Wishes,

Benjamin Fleming
Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Religious Studies
University of Pennsylvania
249 S. 36th Street; Claudia Cohen Hall, #234
Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A.
Telephone - 215-746-7792 

> Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:43:21 +0200
> From: garzilli at ASIATICA.ORG
> Subject: Re: Artificial Intelligence Cracks 4,000-Year-Old Mystery
> A rebuttal to Benjamin Fleming and others, including Michael Witzel:
> 1) My aim was to show that even technology people (Wired is perhaps the 
> most famous tech magazine -- worldwide) are interested in this topic.
> 2) No harm in information, whatever it is. I think that pretending that 
> news are not spread or articles are not published is only to deny 
> evidence. Moreover, it is useless. Wired is really famous.
> 3) There is a fundamental right called right to information, I think it 
> is enabled also in the USA, isn't it? Mine was just _a piece of 
> information_.
> 4) Scientists should oppose to media spin-offs by right argumentations, 
> not being blindfold. Otherwise science will remain for a few scientists 
> only.
> 5) And article published on Wired make people (intellectuals, although 
> of a different kind) aware of the problem more than 100,000 scientific 
> articles published in scientific magazines.
> Best,
> Enrica Garzilli

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