Why "trouble"?

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Sat Aug 25 18:19:19 CEST 2012

This will be my last comment on this thread.  It will also likely be my
last response to Peter.

> There's a leitmotif in all those (mostly hopelessly out-dated!)
> papers,

If you believe a paper no longer represents reality, the burden is upon
you to show that reality has changed.  You can't just say, "well, it's
outdated."  Doesn't work that way.  The original "Why Johnny Can't
Encrypt" paper, for instance, dealt with the PGP 5.0 user interface and
came out in the mid-to-late 1990s; if anything's "hopelessly outdated",
it would be that.  Yet, the PGP user interface hasn't changed very much
since then, and there have been recent studies which have confirmed
those results.

> Somewhere above, someone even said something as silly as "convincing
> people that PKI adds benefit to their lives".
> I personally don't share the motivation; especially so when this 
> "convincing" begins to border on proselytizing.

And here you've crossed the line into selective quotation in order to
present someone's position -- namely, mine -- in a false light.

Someone, and I believe it was you, was opining on their own personal
(uninvestigated, unexamined, unsupported by evidence, unsupported by
studies) opinion on what was really holding GnuPG back from wider-spread
adoption.  To that, my response was that if we want GnuPG to enjoy
widespread adoption we have to first convince people that PKI adds
benefit to their lives.

And now you're suddenly using that as an example of the 'silliness' of
the people here, because, after all, "people either feel a need to
protect their privacy or they do not."  Well, okay, fine, but if that's
your position why were you talking about what's holding GnuPG back from
widespread adoption?

You originally came onto this list with a proposal for what you wanted
to call "trampCrypt."  It didn't get any traction.  People on this list,
at least three different ones, pointed out that what you wanted to do,
you could already do.  And yet instead of saying, "well, thank you, how
exactly could I get this to work, and would anyone be willing to help me
get it set up for my users?", you're engaging in this intellectually
fraudulent -- and I don't use that phrase lightly -- form of argument.
As soon as you discover your position is untenable, why, look, you're
arguing something else altogether.  Rather than actually engage people
on the merits of what they say, you casually smear references to the
peer-reviewed literature as "hopelessly out-dated" (without providing
references to more current papers that supersede the old ones), casually
quote people in false light, and so on.

Sir, I believe your style of argumentation is deeply corrupt, and I'm
done here.

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