Recommended key size for life long key

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Mon Sep 9 11:55:28 CEST 2013

On 9/9/2013 4:27 AM, Doug Barton wrote:
> If what you meant was, "It's important for knowledgeable people to
> examine how long various key sizes can be expected to remain secure"

More like, "it is good that key lengths and their expected lifetimes be
subjected to rigorous study," with a soupcon of "but that write-up is
very much lacking in rigor."

I personally don't like phrasing things in terms of "knowledgeable
people".  There's a joke I like to tell --


A mathematician, an economist and a physicist are traveling through
Great Britain via rail.  The physicist looks out the window and sees an
animal grazing in a meadow.  "Look!" the physicist exclaims.  "In
Scotland, sheep are brown!"

The economist pooh-poohs this.  "You're generalizing.  All you've proven
is that in Scotland there exists at least one brown sheep."

The mathematician rolls his eyes.  "Not even that.  All he's proven is
that in Scotland there exists at least one sheep that has at least one
brown side."

A fellow passenger on the train looks quizzically at the three, then
shares: "We're in Wales, and around here we call them 'cattle'."


Knowledgeable people get things wrong all the time, and especially when
they say "trust me, I'm knowledgeable."  I trust in process instead -- I
trust in rigor and logical development of thoughts and ideas to reach a
conclusion.  If I review the process and feel that it's valid, then it
doesn't matter if the person presenting the idea is a Ph.D. or is in the
eighth grade.  :)

I suspect, though, that we are overall in violent agreement.  :)

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