Friday News: Is Voynich a hoax?, global threats to creative expression, it takes a village to make a book, and Cinderella for business moguls
Researcher finds evidence that the ‘world’s most mysterious book’ is an elaborate hoax – A researcher from UK’s Keele University is claiming that the as-yet untranslated Voynich Manuscript may be a hoax, based in part on its similarity to word patterns in “natural language texts.” However, another scholar from the University of Manchester insists that Voynich “has far too many layers of complexity for a simple hoaxer to produce.” I hope now that they have released this thing back into the wild that someone figures it out.
“We cannot say for certain whether it is a hoax, or hides a message. But we can say, whoever wants to propose that it is a hoax needs to explain how all of this can arise spontaneously without the author planning all these things” [Manchester’s Marcelo Movntemurro argues].
At this stage, the researchers will have to agree to disagree, because [Keele’s Gordon] Rugg maintains that he’s demonstrated how simple it would be for the Voynich’s author to make gibberish look genuine, and the burden of proof now lies on the ‘true believers’ to demonstrate the veracity of this language. – Science Alert
UK faces ‘common problems’ with Turkey, authors warn – A panel of Turkish authors talked about the persecution of creative artists and publishers under the leadership of President Erdogan, noting that censorship is becoming more common globally, as what Ece Temelkuran called “‘post-truth’ politics” empowers ignorance, hatred, and fear:
The panel spoke at a sold-out event earlier this week (19th September), chaired by president of English PEN Maureen Freely at the Free Word Centre in London, based on the topic of what it feels like to be a writer in or from Turkey at this time. The Turkish government closed at least 29 publishing houses following the failed coup in the country on 15th July, and press freedom in the country appears only to be deteriorating with the recent arrests of prominent writers including Ahmet Altan – a novelist who sells millions of books. This morning (22nd September) he was released on probation but his brother, the academic Mehmet Altan, remains detained. . . .
However, Canan Marasligil, a translator on the panel, said censorship in Turkey was simply an example of a wider phenomenon occuring globally. “What most concerns me is people look at Turkey, [and they say] ‘oh it is so bad over there’, and they don’t see what is going on in their own country,” she said. “Look at Brexit, look at what is happening in France, and the rise of the extreme right. It’s linked in a way. The hatred is the same. Politically they are very different; but the hatred people are capable of, that scares me the most.” – The Bookseller
10 People (Besides The Author) Who Bring A Book Into the World – For those who self-publish, some of these people may be better described as roles (assuming the author does not hire out for certain services), but in any case, a great reminder of that writing a great book is just the beginning of the publication and distribution process. For example, what about librarians and booksellers? Or translators:
Translators are the secret superheroes of publishing, and they don’t get nearly as much credit as they deserve. They have to essentially rewrite the book in another language, catching the style and nuances of the author and the dialect, and ensuring that readers in that language are receiving the same effect. – Bustle
4 Books That Changed Business Leaders’ Lives – Because not every girl wants to be Cinderella.
Barbara Corcoran, real estate entrepreneur and costar of ABC’s Shark Tank
My grandmother first read Cinderella to me when I was about 4 and, like every little girl, I hoped I would one day be found by a real live prince.
I had a hard time learning to read in school so I read picture books to myself until I was about 11. Cinderella remained my favorite, but I got a whole different message out of it the older I got. I figured out I probably wouldn’t get a lucky break someday to take me out of our overcrowded apartment—we had 10 kids and 1 bathroom—so I let go of the idea that I would be rescued and decided I’d better become the prince. I worked my ass off after school from age 12 on and got as many jobs as I could, figuring if I could work really hard I could be the one to make other people’s dreams come true. – Fast Company