From: D. J. Schaeffer (golux@mcs.com)
Date: 19-Feb-95 (3:32:1 GMT)
Subj: Notes re Message 4

```I've done some figuring on Message 4, and these are tentative
conclusions, with some speculation and head-scratching thrown in.

The 'a#b#a' construct is pretty easy to figure out.  It's essentially
scientific notation: 'a times [10]^b' (where [10] is of course 6 decimal).

G QXQ L QX#Y#XQ L QBABQ 5Y5 QBABQ G

If we're right about what L means, this says 'The number X#Y#X is
the product of X and [10] to the power of Y.'  The numerical examples
that come before prove this out.

There may be a transcription error in the next segment of Message 4.
The released message shows 'n' but the strings of B's and A's seem
to refer to hex-matrix images, rather than square-matrix images.
Given previous assumptions (and images), we would expect 'o' rather
than 'n' in these phrases.

Be that as it may, I think these images suggest that '@' may mean
'length' or 'spatial dimension'.  The paired V-W sentences seem to
say 'The @ of nBn is 1; the @ of nBBAABAAn is 3; the @ of nBBAABAA
BAAAAABAAAAAn is 5.'  If the 'n'-phrases are taken as hex-matrix
images, they depict a single dot, a line of length 3, and a line of
length 5.

The next V-W pair is particularly interesting.  It seems to be
addressing the '@' of '0' -- and we have tentatively concluded that
'0' means an individual Tau Cetian itself.  Are they trying to say
that their length/height/spatial dimension is '!@!QBEBQ!@!'?  If so,
what exactly does the phrase '!@!' mean?  (The 'QBEBQ' is the number
[14]. i.e., 10.)  I am trying to work out whether the '!-!' phrases
could signify measuring units of some sort, in which case the '@'
of a Tau Cetian would be [14] @-units.  (As you can see, here we are
deep into speculation.)

The '%' and '!' tones are a mystery to me at the moment.  We have
four sentences:

G % P !%! QBDBQ !%! P % G    '% = !%! [13]' (9 dec)
G % P !%! QECEQ !%! P % G    '% = !%! [42]' (26 dec)
G % P !%! QBBCBBQ !%! P % G  '% = !%! [112]' (44 dec)
G % P !%! QBEDEBQ !%! P % G  '% = !%! [143]' (63 dec)

If the '!-!' phrases are units of some sort, I have no idea what
these mean.  (Actually, I have no idea what they mean period.)
Also interesting is the V-W pair regarding '!Q!':

G V !Q! V G
G W !Q! pQBQp !Q! W G
If 'p' is a mistranscription for 'P' then this is '!Q! = 1'.
Otherwise, it seems to say '!Q! is a radius of 1 (or a circle of
radius 1)' assuming the gloss of 'p' as 'radius of a circle' is
correct.  My vote is for an error in transcription, but I may be
way off.

The other phrase that bugs me is:

G !@! e P !\$! P e !%! G

This may require an adjustment in the gloss for 'e' (currently
standing at 'rightward directional ratio').  The use of 'e' and 'P'
together is odd.

I've just had a thought.  Suppose I'm right that '!-!' means units,
and that '@' means 'distance'.  Would it make sense for '!%!' to
mean 'time'?  Then the above sentence could mean (again, using 'e'
as a rightward ratio) '!\$! is !@! (distance) divided by !%! (time)'
-- making '!\$!' mean 'speed' or 'velocity'.  This might lead to a
translation of the last sentence of Message 4 giving the value of
'*' as a velocity with a very large number, [153424400131] (which I
have hand-calculated as 702,767,143 decimal).  Could '*' signify the
speed of light in Tau Cetian space and time units?

OK, now I leave it to the rest of you to pick this apart.