Teaching crypto to newbies

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Mon Dec 1 22:05:51 CET 2008

David Shaw wrote:
> Did your teacher begin by saying "This is fact.  This is true."  Then
> much later, "Actually... this wasn't true.  Please un-learn things
> now."

My high school physics teacher was an awful teacher, and was a big
believer in this.

My college physics professor was a great teacher, and was a big believer
in teaching process and letting the results evolve from the teaching of

I would much rather be a Lyle Lichty than an Al Craig.

> For me, it was the latter.  A teacher who lies, even with the best of
> intention, loses his students.  The poor student never knows if he is
> being told the truth or not.

I found enough errors in my math textbooks as a child to always suspect
every instructor of misleading me out of their own ignorance.  I got
along very well with instructors who taught process and rigorous
examination of things which were claimed to be true, and very poorly
with instructors who taught facts.  Quite often, the facts they were
teaching were not facts at all.

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