Averly Equals Chronicle

Zodiackiller.com Message Board: Letters: Averly Equals Chronicle

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (41.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Wednesday, July 04, 2001 - 05:53 am:

In his correspondences, Zodiac uses two different styles of notating the "score" between himself and SFPD. In the first of these, he uses a dash to separate name and count, i.e., SFPD - 0. In the second, he uses an equal sign, i.e., SFPD = 0.

On the front (address side) of the Pines Card, the writer adds the line "att. Paul Averly = Chronicle."

This suggests a mathematical mindset on the part of the letter writer, especially as it relates to the Pines Card, where a mathematical symbol is used to show equivalency between two completely non-arithmetical entities.

By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) (max2-25.evansinet.com - on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 10:47 pm:

Douglas, Interesting notation , as always. Could the dash also be a mathematicians expression of negative zero as an absolute?

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d141-193-74.home.cgocable.net - on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 11:03 pm:

But a minus, or an equals sign are basic math that everyone learns. There are other pieces of the Zodiac case that point to someone with a stronger knowledge of math, but I don't think this is it.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (176.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 11:14 pm:

I don't think the dash was meant to be a minus sign. Zodiac might have imputed a "minus" to the SFPD, but never to himself. I agree that other aspects of the case point to an understanding of mathematics, but to my mind the use of an equivalency symbol to compare non-arithmetical objects is one of them.

A few others: (1) Zodiac's use of abstract symbolism; (2) his habit of enumerating things; and (3) his use of the word "about" to show approximation when dealing with inexact quantities.

By Ryan Olesin (Ryan) (d141-193-74.home.cgocable.net - on Friday, July 06, 2001 - 11:36 pm:

Sometimes though, a cigar is just a cigar. What are others ways of saying A = B? Its not like there are 1,000 ways to imply A equals B and Zodiac choose a mathematical way of implying it.

SFPD - 0
SFPD = 0
SFPD equals 0
SFPD has 0 points

Zodiac choose to express his dominance over the police in a sports format of points. Does this mean Zodiac was athletic or a sports fan? It could be, but sometimes things can become over analyzed and I think this may be one of them. However this will probably be something that is always up for debate.

By Douglas Oswell (Dowland) (239.philadelphia01rh.15.pa.dial-access.att.net - on Saturday, July 07, 2001 - 07:31 am:

Here's the text of an interesting USENET post that appeared in 1995, half a year before Kaczynski's capture:

From: mentifex@scn.ORG (SCN User)
Newsgroups: sci.math
Subject: Detecting mind of mathematician
Reply-To: mentifex@scn.org
Date: Sat Sep 30 11:14:37 1995

The Unabomber is a mathematician.

His so-called manifesto is freely available on the Internet at
"http://pathfinder.com" as a 221,188-byte file of HTML text with
NUMBERED paragraphs.

The mathematical Unabomber writes in paragaph 17 of "rational
calculation," and in paragraph 39 of "the pursuit of goal X." In
paragraph 57, the mad bomber speaks of "a new, ordered community"
which a non-mathematician would have called an orderly community.
In paragraph 99, the cowardly killer writes, "Think of history as
being the sum of two components...." (Think, rather, of the Una-
bomber as being a mathematician who uses perhaps a permutation of
his own national identification number as an authentication code
in dealing with The New York Times.) The mathematical psychotic
continues in paragraph 143: "In the past, human nature has been
approximately constant, or at any rate has varied only within
certain bounds." Q.E.D.

People tend to leave their "fingerprints" on everything they touch, and the "fingerprints" aren't necessarily of the physical variety.

By Zoe Glass (Zoe_Glass) (max1-47.evansinet.com - on Saturday, July 07, 2001 - 05:34 pm:

If we do consider that dash , as an expression
of negative zero as an absolute as in the context of Doug's opening post, we would have a
particular string, that could be identified as computer language.

Douglas was there found a black box or two among Ted's belongings?