Re: digital Quipu (was personality transmitters)

Brian D Williams (
Tue, 19 Aug 1997 09:11:57 -0700 (PDT) (Forrest Bishop) comments:

>Wow! I have some questions on this:

>Were any wreath-shaped quipu found? These might be monthly or
>yearly calendars. Planting and harvesting might be represented by
>a pendant string, for example. An astronomical calendar should be
>recognizable, and decipherable.

<additional wonderfull questions deleted>

I am new to the study of Quipo/Quipu so I can't answer your
questions. The good news is that the second article (actually a
book!) mentioned in "Dead Media Notes 00.3" has been republished.
When my copy arrives I may be in a better position.

> Source: Communication in History: Technology, Culture, Society
> David Crowley and Paul Heyer, eds.
> Longman, New York and London, 1991
> ISBN 0-8013-0598-5
> From the article: "Civilization Without Writing -- The Inca and
>the Quipu" by Marcia Ascher and Robert Ascher (also authors of
>"Code of the Quipu: A Study in Media, Mathematics and Culture",
>publisher and date unknown)

"Mathematics of the Inca: The Code of the Quipu"
M Ascher 1997 ISBN 0486 2955 40 $11.95

Here's a review of the previous book mentioned above:

"Extensive and readable discussion of the Quipu, a system of
knotted cords used by the Inca to store massive amounts of
information important to their culture and civilization. Includes
much information about the Inca culture, as well as analysis and
comparison of how data is stored and managed with a Quipu with the
way data is handled with computers."

Ms Ascher is also the author of:

"Ethnomathematics: A multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas."
1991 ISBN 0412 9894 17 $36.50

Philip Witham <> writes:

>Nift-o-rama, re: Quipo.
>Just thought of another use or three for these things.
>PGP encrypted letters recorded in your unit for reception by some
>other person attending the same meeting. Encrypt by the
>recipient's public key, and the letter is exchanged without you
>even knowing which individual it is.

>Such letters could include digital cash. Also, the tag units could
>negitiate a transaction, by pre-set rules, like: I'll buy 1000
>widgets if the price is under $4.29 each.

>Requires no change in the hardware.

>Very anarchic and potent, this must be an old idea by now.

Yep, lots of cypherpunk potential here, encrypted IFF (identify
friend or foe) too. In fact I can envision Louis Freeh (FBI)
trotting out the four horseman, "Black market pituitary hormone
selling, money-laundering, pederasts could use this technology, we
need Govt access......"

The Quipu chip ;)