Being interested in cryptography, artificial languages and words in general I have investigated random text. Initially the impetus for this was to create a business name which would be unique and have absolutely no emotional associations with anything else, no connotations of anything, be implication-free. It is quite difficult to think up such a word - everything generates some image in the mind. So why not let a computer do it?

I programmed my computer to generate a string of random characters (actually of course pseudo-random, I don't have assess to radioactive decay!). The results were disappointing, no obvious words were produced, just unpronounceable garbage. I realised that the output had to look more like English, so using my cryptographic data I modified the random text generator so that the output was constrained to the letter frequency of English: 13% E; 10% T; 8% A; etc, down to 0.07% Z. This worked considerably better, but still not very well. Encouraged I constrained the output to the English bigram frequencies, that is two letter combinations. For example because 'THE' is the commonest English word TH and HE are the commonest two-letter combinations (17 and 13% respectively), down to TT 0.9%. This was so much better I decided to try trigrams, ie three letter combinations (the longest 'grams' I had data for).

The result was excellent, and quite psychologically curious. A continuous stream of pronounceable text, which the brain recognised as English, but which was mostly gibberish. This unresolvable dichotomy was quite disturbing and peculiar, as you can see from the sample.


Much like 'The Monkey on the Typewriter' occasionally actual words would leap out at you, completely randomly; short words quite often, but the longer the word the less frequently; very rarely one got quite a long word. After several runs I decided that after all I didn't like any of the words I could see, and chose XENOPHON as my business name - not completely value free but close.

But my interest had been provoked by the strange psychological effect searching for words in my pseudo-English random text had had - where had I encountered this before?  Why, this is what, as a Skeptic, I believed fortune tellers and skryers were doing - staring at random data, and allowing their brain's pattern-finding facility full reign. Evolution has honed our pattern-finding ability to a high pitch - is that twitch of the undergrowth a sabre-toothed tiger or a mouse? Our whole model of the external environment is assembled in real time through pattern-finding filtering; otherwise our perception would be overwhelmed by data. Unfortunately so powerful is this facility that it will find patterns in truly random data. You believe there are messages hidden in the works of Shakespeare / the Bible; or canals on Mars; or insects in micrographs of frozen water; or N ray spectral lines; or voices in static? - with sufficient motivation you will certainly find some (and lots of people have!)

So incidentally I had invented a new form of divination! What was even better was that it didn't require you to pay a highly skilled / lengthily trained / specially gifted 'expert' to interpret the results for you - you did it yourself! And because it was your own brain doing it, it should reflect much more your conscious and sub-conscious desires, problems and fears. Very like Freud's dream interpretation. For those that believed in psychic phenomena then why could they not be doing whatever they believed the psychic was doing? I have even heard it said that 'everyone is psychic, you just need to find a trigger'.

There is a form of mediumistic communication called ‘automatic writing’, where the medium goes into trance and writes continuously and rapidly on unlimited sheets of paper with no conscious control - just what PSIGRAM does. Some psychic researchers have proved to their satisfaction that psychics can influence electronic random number generators - biasing a ‘coin toss’ away from the expected 50/50 result for example. What a psychic can do to a computer a discarnate entity can surely do. This then is a mechanism acceptable to a believer to explain PSIGRAM’s psychic operation.

  I modified the random generator seed to incorporate the name of the 'seeker', so that discarnate entities / the Akashic Record could be notified that the information was required for that person. The 'seeker' would get a result unique to them and the time they did it. I attempted to get people interested by marketing it under the name 'PSIGRAM', short for 'Psychic Telegram'.

Alas, whilst Skeptics found the idea interesting, believers thought I was a rip-off merchant trying to con them. If they did it themselves then basically it wasn't right. They desperately needed to believe in the need for an intermediary - and haven't the priests of all religions down the ages capitalised on this; ever wondered what happened to all those sacrifices and offerings - strange they were all eminently eatable and drinkable!

My purpose was actually to run an experiment - I was reasonably confident some people would get impressive messages (from what?) and appealed for feedback on the results. I made no unsubstantiated promises or claims - people could judge for themselves.

  I have recently re-activated my computer programme and now offer a PSIGRAM to anyone interested - I do of course have to charge a nominal amount, as all psychics do, it is an essential requirement of the belief system - you wouldn't think it valuable unless I did!

Copyright 2016 Roger J Morgan wolstan-dixie@hotmail.co.uk