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  1. Hi Dr Mason

    I looked at yr scrambled poem, and found I could read it without trying to work it out at all, like reading text!

    Do you think the way you scrambled it was important?

    Mike Crockett


    • Hi Mike,
      I’d really like to explore the “parameter space” of our ability to de-scramble, to get the gestalt and not sweat the details. For example, how many letters could I replace and how far off can the replacements be from the original letters? What spacing is important? How tolerant would we be of deletions? and so on.
      But I have to think of a clever way of doing it. Haven’t so far….


      • Hello Dr. Mason,

        Is spacing or the lack there of an important of de-scrambling? Or is spacing only a requirement in certain cultures?

        The reason I ask is because in my mother tongue Punjabi, we have a sub-language of sorts called Gurmukhi (usually reserved for religious purposes). Gurmukhi, as I’ve heard, has no spacing. The words are all connected but read individually. That being said, I believe the language is poetic (in the sense that it rhymes) and is hard to master. I’m not sure if the poetic nature of Gurmukhi makes it easier to read?

        What are your thoughts?

        – Gurleen Kaur


      • That is so interesting. The truth is that some very minor substitutions can mess reading up, meaning that the “rules” for substitution readability are not entirely simple.

        I think it work be great if you tried an experiment. Start by substituting numbers for look alike letters, that type of thing. See how it goes. Such an interesting question. I did not know that of Gurmukhi.

        Thanks for writing


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