Artificial Intelligence Cracks 4,000-Year-Old Mystery

Jean-Michel Delire jmdelire at ULB.AC.BE
Sat Apr 25 09:19:54 UTC 2009

Dear Colleague,

I would like to have a copy of Rao's article and supplementary material.

Best regards,

Dr J.M.Delire, Secretary of the Centre Altaïr for history of science, part-time lecturer on Science and civilization of India, University of Brussels

>Dear List,
>As Enrica Garzilli's post was also cross-listed to the Eurasian list, I will
>post my comments from there as well in this forum:
>There is a lot of media spin-off from the Rao, et al piece, but little by
>way of analysis of the data therein. The suggestion that Rao, "may have
>solved the language-versus-symbol question" is dubious in as much as Rao's
>analysis compares the ivc script to dna and batcterial protein sequences -
>which have nothing to do with scripts or symbols ("tokens" as they call
>them) - the analysis is thus skewed in my view. This of course, in addition
>to the notable construction of the type 1 and 2 sequences that are entirely
>fabricated and don't have any actual resonance with the ivc symbols or to
>other actual systems of proto-script (you have to read Rao, et. al,
>supplementary material to understand this).
>If anyone would like a copy of the Rao article and their supplementary
>analysis (where the actual work they did is contained). I would be happy to
>send them off-list so that you may evaluate the material for yourselves!
>The rebuttal to the Rao, et. al. paper by Farmer, Witzel, and Sproat can be
>accessed here:
>To be sure, the Rao, study is dependant on an article by Claude
>Shannon "A Mathematical Theory of Communication," in The Bell System
>Technical Journal 27 (1948), pp 379-423 and 623-656. E.g., their employment
>of the phrase: "conditional entropy." Rao,, however, don't even
>bother to give the title of this article in their bibliography. The Shannon
>article is available here (see esp. pp. 14-15 of that study):
>Such media spin-offs, as contained in the Wired article, that do not delve
>deeply into the analysis are more harmful than they are informative, in my
>Best Wishes,
>On 4/24/09 1:10 PM, "Enrica Garzilli" <garzilli at ASIATICA.ORG> wrote:
>> I want just to point out this post of April 23 on the Indus Valley C. in
>> one of the most important technology magazines, *Wired*:
>> Best,
>> Enrica Garzilli
>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

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