This is a discussion of the uncertainty inherent in a multi-step solution to K4 or even Kryptos as a whole.

Propagation of Error

Propagation of error is most commonly discussed in terms of scientific sources of error or in calculational errors.  An example would be pipetting 1 liter in 25 mL aliquots.  That involves pipetting 40 individual times and even with decent equipment there is potential error in the measurement each time and this error accumulates at each step until you have what you hope is 1 liter.  There is also the mathematical component especially when considering significant digits and running through a complex series of calculations.

Now we can take this concept and tie it in with variability leading to uncertainty when looking at Kryptos solution methods.

I’m not supporting or criticizing any one method.  This is more of an attempt to highlight potential difficulties one will encounter in a multi-step method.  As we fail again and again for 20 years, it is of some value to consider possible reasons for our repeated failures.  It’s valid to look at possible pitfalls and this is one of them.  A classic characteristic of someone whose complicated method has not worked is to think they’re right and that it just needs a little more to get to the end.  If you don’t see the danger in that statement then you should be worried.

Think of this as an opportunity to reassess your 157 step method.  Oftentimes it’s not any one idea that’s terrible and sometimes people come up with really amazing observations and concepts.  There’s no reason to throw the whole thing away, just look at it again and see if you can reduce variability or remove some steps or rearrange them.

At this point I’d also like to encourage you to abandon any batshit-insane attempts and pursue something more reasonable.  That, however, is an unsubstantiated opinion.

So you see, we’re bound by the same logical precepts.  A solution attempt that fails to give the right answer must be justified by defendable statements/premises.  Similarly, any criticism of a proposal must also utilize sound arguments.  Otherwise crazy schemes will continue to propagate and any criticisms of them will be justifiably ignored.

It’s not enough to have a good idea anymore and it’s not enough to have a strong opinion.  We will continue to fail at Kryptos until we consider the logical weaknesses of our arguments and the potential for uncertainty in our conclusions.