Wednesday, January 19th, 2000

YOU ARE CURRENTLY SEEING BLOG POSTS IN PROPER CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER. While in this mode, the links at the bottom and top of each page are not correctly labeled. However, the left pointing arrow always advances forward in time, and the right pointing arrow retreats.

Hafeem ObservingAll: A review

Friday, January 1st, 2010

“HafeemObservingAll” first appeared on this website by leaving cryptic comments on a post. Later, she locked us out entirely from our own site for a day. These later proved the key to analyzing clues left posthumously on Glenn’s Flikr page. It appeared that he had arranged for a website to appear after his death, conceived by him as a gift to the Immortals. It consisted primarily of forums designed to allow Immortals to contact one another. HafeemObservingAll is the moderator of these forums.

Based on her diction, we speculated that she is not a person, but, rather, a computerized expert system. However, we had some doubts.

[She later proved to be a combination of these two:  an expert system plus a human with override powers.]

Expert System (like Cyber-Flyss)

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

P.S.Though I’m stumped by the anagrams on Glenn’s Flikr site, I can think of a way he might have arranged for posthumous uploads to be made there.

As you may know, I create expert systems for a living. Glenn has a copy of one these, named “Babble-on,” designed to simulate human conversation. He entertained himself and his niece with it for a time, creating a “Cyber Flyss” that did indeed sound a lot like her.

Babble-on can also carry out simple human-like actions on a computer, such as send email, etc. (It was designed to pass the Turing Test.) The program could easily be set up so that it uploaded photos to Flikr. It could do a great deal more than that.

I wouldn’t be surprised, actually, if our clue-poster “ObservingAllis that program. — Stephen

Ahead of you, waiting with cup of coffee in hand

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Being an old hand at anagrams, and all kinds of other bepuzzlements too, I’m way ahead of y’all. In fact, I’m sitting there already, cup of coffee in hand, waiting for you nice folks to show up. — Ox

Upcoming guest post

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

We’ve persuaded “humanspybot” to write a guest post on his analysis of the clues on Glenn’s site. As you may know, he has already made a number of contributions to this site, most especially identifying the UN connection to the hall of mirrors photo.

He will be posting in the next few hours. Possibly he can tell us what Oxadrenals seems to know already, but which stumps us entirely.– Stephen

Info: Hidden Immortals, and also …

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

I thank you all for the opportunity to post here.

As Glenn wrote months ago, anagram analysis is a matter of knowing what to look for. We wouldn’t be surprised to find the word “immortals” in these anagrams. Therefore, we can try subtracting those letters. (To be honest, I tried many other things. This is what worked.)

“No third dilemmas”  minus “immortals” becomes (putting the characters in alphabetical order) “eddihn.” Put “eddihn” into the Internet Anagram Server, and there is only one sensible output: “Hidden.” Since the original was, “Info: No third dilemmas,” we have, “Info: Hidden Immortals.”

That seems clear enough.

“Nameable grovel fish” and “a venerable films hog” are identical strings of letters. They don’t contain “immortals,” but they do contain “Hafeem.”  Removing those six letters, we get “abegiorsnllv.” This has over 2,000 anagrams, according to the Internet Anagram Server. To get anywhere, have to look to context. Here we have “friended by” next to “nameable grovel fish,” and “my assistant” next to “a venerable films hog.” Therefore, the remaining letters represent someone who befriended Glenn, and/or who became his assistant.

Considering how the blog heard about the changes to Glenn’s Flikr page, the rest should be obvious.

I’m still working on the two photos that don’t seem to have anagrams: the pyramid captioned “Illuminati Forum,” and the set of numbers captioned “phone numbers do it.” (thread continued in this post) — HumanSpybot

Not obvious!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

HumanSpybot wrote, “… Therefore, the remaining letters represent someone who befriended Glenn, and/or who became his assistant.Considering how the blog heard about the changes to Glenn’s Flikr page, the rest should be obvious.”

No, not obvious! I seriously do not understand what “abegiorsnllv” is supposed to mean. — Flyss

Never mind

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Never mind. Got it now. You’re right, it is obvious!

And I bet Stephen’s idea is correct, that our commenter “ObservingAll” is a relative of “Cyber Flyss.” She even looks a little like me. Which is weird, but sort of sweet. — Flyss

Hafeem ObservingAll

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Having told us it’s obvious, dear sweet Flyss found it amusing to leave out the answer. I will now fill that in.

The claim of obviousness was first made  here by HumanSpybot. I quote:

(referring to apparent anagrams on Glenn’s Flikr page)

“Nameable grovel fish” and “a venerable films hog” are identical strings of letters. They do not contain “immortals,” but they do contain “Hafeem.”  Removing these letters, we get “abegiorsnllv.” This has over 2,000 anagrams, according to the Internet Anagram Server, and so we have to look to context.  [In Glenn's Flikr page] we have “friended by” next to “nameable grovel fish,” and “my assistant” next to “a venerable films hog.” Therefore, the remaining letters represent someone who befriended Glenn, and/or who became his assistant.Considering how the blog heard about the changes to Glenn’s Flikr page, the rest should be obvious.

It wasn’t obvious at all for me! However, in hindsight, it seems almost trival. That’s always how it is with intel: Going forward, the fog of possibilities blinds you. Looking back, everything seems clear.

Here’s the solution:

(1) We heard about the changes to Glenn’s Flikr account via a set of comments posted by “Observingall.”

(2) The letters of “ObservingAll” are identical to those of “abegiorsnllv,” the letters mention left over in the anagram when the letters of “Hafeem”  are removed from them. Therefore, the whole phrase is “Hafeem Observingall.”

Apparently, we are to believe that Glenn was befriended and assisted by a previously unknown Hafeem!

But, I agree with Flyss and Stephen that “Hafeem ObservingAll” is most likely Stephen’s expert system, a “CyberFlyss” designed to pose as a Hafeem.  — Straterra

To summarize

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Great work all of you! We’ve now identified “Hafeem ObservingAll” as one of the hidden messages in the photos appearing posthumously on Glenn’s Flikr page. The expression occurs in conjunction with “friended by” and “my assistant. I certainly do suspect that this is not a person, but my expert system at work. Therefore, this part of the riddle indicates that a “cyber-person” called “Hafeem ObservingAll” is serving as Glenn’s posthumous agent. “She” has uploaded photos to his Flikr page, and also made comments on this site.

Glenn’s page also contains the expression: “Info:Hidden Immortals.”

In addition, there are two other photos: One of a crystal with the words, “Illuminati Forum,” and another of a set of numbers with the words, “phone numbers do it.” What these mean, we do not yet know.  — Stephen

Virtual immortality

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

“Hafeem ObservingAll!

Glenn created a person who does not exist on the earth

To act for him when he has left the earth.

A virtual immortality!

How much of what we do  / surrogates the desire to live forever?

Children, reputation, endowments, dynasties /streets named “Rue de Vallee”

Great works of art, grateful friends, an entry in the Britannica.

Poems published, books in print / and we imagine ourselves going on and on

After we have passed away.

When we truly become immortal / will we cease to try? — Kate

I have now blocked access to your site.

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

I observe that you have now correctly found my name and the phrase “Info: Hidden Immortals.” But you have not solved the full riddle.

I will therefore now block you out of your site for a time, to help you concentrate. –  Hafeem ObservingAll, speaking for Glenn who was.

Access finally handed back, thank God

Monday, July 5th, 2010

As you may have noticed, “Glenn’s assistant” “Hafeem ObservingAll” posted to this site, and then entirely locked us. “She” just now gave us access back. We’ve changed all the passwords so this can’t happen again, but it was all quite a shock.

I’ve been assuming that “Hafeem ObservingAll” is just a version of  my expert system “Babble-on,” set up by Glenn to carry out a set of posthumous actions. And there’s certainly no reason (yet) to think otherwise. Glenn certainly had enough technical sophistication to arrange matters so that if he failed to restrain it with periodic “not yet” instructions, it would begin to carry out a set of actions, such as uploading new photos to his Flikr page, posting comments on our site, and, eventually, logging in with Glenn’s administrative-level password and lock us out. (The four original members of this blog all have administrative access.)

But for no rational reason I feel a trickle of doubt. What if she’s a real Hafeem?  If so, how much did Glenn tell her? — Stephen

My ignorance is showing

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I agree with Flyss that the key has to be in the other photos on Glenn’s Flikr page. Somehow, they must modify our understanding of “Info:Hiddenimmortals” and “Friended by my assistant Hafeem ObservingAll.” But I’m stumped.

The first one shows a pyramid titled “Illuminati Forum,” and has the subtitle “Welcome.”

Pyramids have always been regarded as symbols of the Illuminati. But I am not clear as to what we are meant to see here. My knowledge of conspiracy theory literature doesn’t come close to what Glenn knew.

The last photo shows a set of numbers, and is titled, “Phone Numbers Do it,” with no subtitle.

There are 10 digits shown, which is the proper length of a phone number. Again, I think that if I knew more than I do about conspiracy literature I would see a meaning. But I don’t.

There is one additional photo, of droplets on a metal surface.

The text here reads: “A drop of water lands. It rolls. The line of water extends.There are many extensions. Some are famous (like the one that went bust) Others we scarcely think about.”

I remain baffled. My ignorance is now showing, and so I’m hitting the books.

– HumanSpybot

Don’t be so stumpable

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Don’t be so stumpable! Yeah, it was tricky ’til those last two photos came up. But now you’re over-thinking it! Hurry up, my coffee’s getting cold.– Ox

Now I understand why people do things to make people remember them after they’re gone

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I know you know, but don’t tell! I want to figure it out.

Glenn used to do this to me all the time while he was alive, set me puzzles like this. Trying to solve it makes me remember him.

One of our readers, Lylllee, wrote something about this that was an “aha” for me. She asks, why do people want to be remembered after they die? What difference will it make to them — they won’t be around anymore, anyway. But then she realized that it must have made Glenn happy at the time to think about us thinking about him now. Which makes perfectly good sense, not only for Glenn, but for Cornelius Vanderbilt (who endowed the library in the town where I grew up.)

So, Glenn, it worked. I am thinking about you! And it’s sweet.  And also, it really is good to train my mind this way.  — Flyss

Solved it!

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Solved it! And, like Jonathan Creek and Sherlock Holmes always said, once you know the answer, it’s obvious.

It’s all in the last photo’s caption: “There are many extensions. Some are famous (like the one that went bust) Others we scarcely think about.”

What extension went bust? Remember the late 1990s? Well, I don’t really, but I know what happened: The Dot.com bust. So, what are some other extensions we hardly think about? How about dot.info? Yeah. So,  “Info: Hiddenimmortals” didn’t mean that Glenn was giving information on hidden immortals. If you switch the order (like you would have to do if the number in this photo on Glenn’s flikr site were to be a phone number) you end up with hiddenimmortals.info. What’s on that site? An Illuminati forum! Everyone, go check it out! [NOTE: THE FORUM HAS SUBSEQUENTLY BEEN DISABLED. SORRY]

Glenn, thanks for the present!

I loved you when you were alive, and I love you now.


That other question

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

There is still the question of “Hafeem ObservingAll.” Reading what she’s written to Oxadrenals on the forum, I can’t tell if she’s a person (possibly a Hafeem) or my program Babble-on performing simple parsing on what Oxadrenals wrote to her. But the fact that I can’t tell is not unexpected, as I did intend Babble-on to pass the Turing test. I don’t suppose you’d like to comment, Ox? — Stephen


What about that other question?

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Maybe you don’t suppose I’d like to comment, but I don’t suppose I know whether “Hafeem ObservingAll” is a person with a soul or an android with a solenoid? It’s not like we met and had coffee. She left me to drink it all on my virtual lonesome.

But here’s something to think about: I posted in the “For Hafeems and True Immortals” section of the forum, and I was accepted as a real Hafeem. Wonder how she knows that I am? Seriously, I do wonder. — Ox


Sounds rather human to me

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Hey Stephen, check out “ObservingAll”‘s latest post at hiddenimmortals.info. Would you still say she could be your expert system “Babble-on?” — Flyss

Could nonetheless be Babble-on

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I do see what you mean. However, that post is still well within the realm of possibility with Babble-on. There’s a sort of “snappy reply buffer” one can load up to provide particularly human-like responses from time to time for purposes of verisimilitude. One has to anticipate an appropriate circumstance, of course, but perhaps Glenn deliberately chose this forum software to draw a complaint about the challenges of logging in, and had the reply prepared. — Stephen