Teaching crypto to newbies

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Tue Dec 2 01:16:14 CET 2008

reynt0 wrote:
> So newbies may be due some slack when they don't do well with
> learning "trust" as logic, because it isn't logic.

On the contrary, it _is_ logic.  It's an exercise in theorem proving.
"Given: I trust Alice to sign keys; Alice has signed Bob's key.  Prove:
I trust the correctness of Bob's key."

The fact we so rarely think of trust in terms of math does not diminish
the fact that in order to accurately talk about trust we need math.
It's kind of like catching a baseball.  Anyone can do it, but if you
want to accurately talk about trajectories and velocities you're going
to need either some really advanced algebra or some elementary
differential calculus.

Most people decide trust issues by intuition.  What I would very much
like to see is for people to take the next step, and determine trust on
the basis of deductive logic.

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