“…what you find is that the so-called “microwriting” was simply a quantizing artefact introduced when the original JPEG image had its brightness and contrast adjusted. With the new (slightly higher resolution, and generally much smoother) scan, all that nonsense disappears. There is no ‘microwriting’ there at all: The End.”
Lifted from here:
DS Leane needed a ‘large magnifying glass’ to see the capital letters ‘written in faint pencil on the back of the book.’ GF 105
Then Leane gave the book to someone else – a less busy colleague (say) – and he produced a new rendition of Lean’s faint pencil code.
You have to picture this fellow at work. His desk brightly lit, a negative of the faint pencil code before him, pen in his hand. And he applies the ink, letter by letter.
Would you expect the quantizing artefact (effect) to be uniform over all the letters?
The assumption being that it was an application of the same ink from the same pen by the same hand on the same surface at the same time and under the same conditions.
Quantizing (gerund) :
form into quanta, in particular restrict the number of possible values of (a quantity) or states of (a system) so that certain variables can assume only certain discrete magnitudes.
“light is quantized into packets of energy”
Artefact (noun) :
something observed in a scientific investigation or experiment that is not naturally present but occurs as a result of the preparative or investigative procedure.
“the curvature of the surface is an artefact of the wide-angle view”