I took some time to describe a means of failing in Kryptos as a sort of recycling of failed ideas into one giant attempt that synergistically failed worse than any one step.

I called it Compounding Failure.

I also took some time to provide a charming fictional account to serve as an analogy for folks who fall into this trap.  I’m fairly puffed up and proud of my example so please humor me and just read that part if nothing else.

The concept is far from difficult: basically you start with an idea that fails to work and then you start applying new methods to the failed product of your previous efforts.  Since you’ve started this cyclic type of behavior it is quite often easy to develop intricate and complex methods that still fail to yield significant success.  A side-effect is that you paradoxically become more and more convinced as time (and effort) accumulates that you have found the one true way to a K4 solution, if only someone would endorse it so you’d get credit or someone would help you get past those last 1 or 2 steps that are holding you back. 

Truth is, none of it worked.  If you’re building a house, you don’t cut a board too short and decide you’ll build the house around that board.  No, you throw it out and grab a new board.

Problem is that Kryptos fans have developed a certain mysticism surrounding solution efforts so it has formed a miasmic atmosphere that practically breeds conspiracy theories and crackpots.  Normal people can often become obsessed and illogical simply by the cerebral pressure of K4 continually thwarting any and all efforts to subdue it.

Why do we keep failing to solve Kryptos? 

This is one reason.  Coupled with inherent uncertainty and predilections to make logical errors, it becomes increasingly clear how far we can stray from sound logic into pseudocryptology.

Stay sane and good luck to anyone still trying to solve it.