Storing secrets on other people's computers

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Fri May 6 01:43:32 CEST 2011

> Totally OT, but can you think of an example that is entirely free? As in, zero theoretical cost?

Space.  I'm perfectly happy to sell you a cubic meter of space somewhere within a lightyear of Betelgeuse.

Before anyone thinks I'm being sarcastic, I'm not.  That's a frank and honest answer to the question.  For something to have zero theoretical cost, it must be available in effectively infinite supply or else have no competing uses to which it can be put.  

A cubic meter of space near Betelgeuse meets both criteria: there's an incredibly mind-bogglingly huge supply of them (about 4.45 times 10**47 of them), and there's really nothing you can do with them (since first you'd have to get there).  Effectively infinite supply, zero competing purposes, equals a cost as close to zero as I know how to make.

Sometimes people talk about how "the best things in life are free," but these people have obviously never courted someone.  In my life I've chased a couple of women around and have the credit card bills to show for it.  Likewise, the love of your kids may be free, but saving for college costs a *fortune*.

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