spot 24

The alfabet as a code

Enter english nouns and press RETURN.


The alfabet as a code

To perceive means to differentiate

When we perceive something, it is necessary that this something can be differentiated from its surroundings and appear as an independent whole. When we perceive an object, we remove it from its surroundings and experience it with all its features as a whole. This «deciphering» of reality by creating differences is a basic principle of perception at all levels of complexity. It is interesting that the search for similarities and contrasts is not only an analytical process related to the statistical methods of psycholinguistics [3], but that it also has a creative side to it. Many painters, poets, musicians and others see it as a way of representing their art. We have only to think of the Surrealists with the pictorial logic of René Magritte or the artists of the Fluxus movement, who made use of the poetic strength of the seemingly random. Spot 24 should be viewed in the light of this. If two words are linked by some objective formal relationship, in this case their word value, we are spurred to find some sensible connection in terms of content in much the same we see faces and human figures in random patterns. Thus the alphabet becomes a code, a concealed pattern, which can contain cryptic messages [2].

How Spot 24 works

Spot 24 is based on a simple concept. When the website is accessed nouns with word values between 27 and 180 are read into an internal dictionary. The letters between A and Z are numbered 1 to 26. The word value is the sum of the numbers of the letters. Spaces, punctuation marks and other symbols are not taken into consideration; capitalization is unimportant. As soon as the user enters a word and presses the RETURN key the word value is determined and the coding given. The word appears on the screen together with words with the same value.


[1] Reder C, 2000
Wörter und Zahlen, Das Alphabet als Code
Springer-Verlag Wien
[2] Singh S, 1999
Geheime Botschaften
Carl Hanser Verlag München Wien
[3] Miller G, 1993
Wörter, Streifzüge durch die Psycholinguistik
Spektrum Akdemischer Verlag, Heidelberg