It is very easy for me to understand why people who spend time searching for codes
really believe in them. One sees things all the time that are striking. As an example, a
friend of mine asked for a personal picture from Moby Dick, using words like "great
body", "best lover" etc in conjunction with his name. So I put in a dozen
or so such expressions and the computer found a good match of his name "Martin"
and the phrase "too sexy". I drew the picture to show to him, and only then
noticed right across the middle of it in the plain text "the most exalted
potency". The illusion that something incredibly unlikely had happened was very
strong. If I had a priori belief in Moby Dick as a unique and sacred text, and the subject
was a more serious one, I might be hard to convince otherwise.
-- Brendan McKay