There is a secret writing, an encrypted writing whose readability is an enigma if we do not know the key that maintains it. However, this key is always found within the same enigma. To put it another way, the key to unlock and reveal the hidden meaning of a text is always near the door; It’s usually under the doormat.
If we delve into the history of encrypted writing we find civilizations such as the Mesopotamian, the Hindu or the Chinese. Without going any further, Plutarch, when it comes to talking about Lysander, the Spartan general who commanded the fleet that defeated the Athenians, refers to a cryptographic system called Scythal, made from two wooden rods “round and entirely equal.” whose cuts correspond perfectly to each other.”
Despite its military use, secret writing will not be free of its magical dimension; We are talking about the esoteric aspect that the German monk Johannes Trithemius (1462-1516) used to communicate with his demons. Because the mystery of life and death had for Trithemius a magical origin, a first cause where numbers combined with each other to hide the original secret that could only be revealed to certain people, all of them initiated into the invisible world.
Among other things, this curious monk was the author of the first printed book on cryptography published two years after his death and where he used mathematics to provide background to his encrypted messages. It is title polygraphia and it is a compendium of five books where universal language alphabets are collected in which each letter has its corresponding invented word, as well as a series of magical and alchemical alphabets.
Following this method, a distrustful Galileo devised his own code to communicate his latest discovery to Julian de Medicis. Let’s see who the hell catches it, it seems that Galileo thought, judging by the riddle: SMAISMRMILMEPOETALEUMIBUNENUGTTAURIAS.
With this, Galileo wanted to communicate that he had observed the highest planet -Saturn- in triple form. And from here, chance and coincidences played their part, since Kepler, when deciphering the message, reached an erroneous solution, but which, over time, would be accurate. According to Kepler, what Galileo’s anagram revealed was that Galileo had discovered a pair of satellites of Mars, a fact that, in turn, coincided with Kepler’s geometric concept of the universe.
As we know, Mars has two small moons, but neither Kepler nor Galileo could guarantee their existence, since to capture them would have required a powerful telescope, something impossible at that time. Chance led Kepler to get it right based on his erroneous reading, since the moons of Mars were an unknown fact until then, but beyond the coincidence there is the metacoincidence, the miracle, and that is what Carlo Frabetti tells us about in your book The encrypted gardens (2004).
It is a novel that transcends all types of genres and bases its structure on the coincidence of coincidences that occur in science, as if science had theological implications. “At the end of the day, theology and mathematics are the only disciplines that deal with infinity and its attributes,” maintains one of its characters, at the beginning of the book on a journey that begins in the Prado Museum, in front of Bosch’s triptych. , and that ends up reaching the scientific path by asking us what question the world is the answer to when the world is explained in a work of art.
The stone ax It is a section where Montero Glezwith a desire for prose, exerts its particular siege on scientific reality to demonstrate that science and art are complementary forms of knowledge.
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Source: EL PAIS