chapter  1
24 Pages

The structures of seventeenth-century cryptography manuals

Privateer discusses the Renaissance "integration of human intelligence with a divine source " and believes that "intelligence has always been a metaphor, and what it has signified, like celestial angels, capital, or information must remain invisible". Crusoe outlines his complete theory of angelic mediation as explanation for the way the human mind processes and manages proliferating information. Cryptography manuals also materialize the invisible and reveal how invisibility itself can be preserved and manipulated. The identification of pattern recognition as the demonstration of intelligence is more common in seventeenth-century English cryptography manuals that focus on deciphering rather than on ciphering. The act of interpretation of cryptic signs is the process by which intelligence reveals itself; realization of the signs is a materialization of God's Word through the apparatus of human intelligence, as mental aptitude. Wilkins revises the connection between divine intelligence and cryptography, establishing that cryptography has always been compatible with religious faith but is not divinely managed.