Robert J. Hansen
rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Fri Oct 17 22:12:46 CEST 2014
> Not to disagree with your way of categorizing threat levels, but won't
> those Zarbnulaxians have quantum computers which render all of our
> current crypto stuff impotent?
No. Quantum computers still obey the mathematical laws of computation
as formulated by Turing and Church and others, and obey physical
constraints like the Landauer bound, the Margolus-Levitin limit,
Bremermann's limit, the Jarzynski equality, and more. If you take all
of these principles and plug them together, you get what's called
"quantum information theory" -- a framework that lets you put limits on
how fast computers can operate and what minimum energy is required to
It's pretty easy to show, for instance, that breaking a 256-bit cipher
with a Zarbnulaxian quantum computer would release so much heat the
earth would be uninhabitable. That's why I'm pretty sure no one on
earth is anywhere near close to being able to break it: because if they
were, none of us would be alive to talk about it. :)
The coolest thing about quantum information theory, though? You can
sing it to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. "Quantum
information theory! Shannon is my homeboy! QUANTUM POWER!"
> 1) Motivated thirteen year olds.
> 2) Lord Voldemort.
> 3) Space aliens from Zarbnulax.
I changed #2 for you. :)
The reason why I never talk about "the [insert-three-letters-here]" is
because those conversations deteriorate very quickly. Once you invoke
those three letters, many otherwise-rational people turn into unhinged
conspiracy theorists who buy even the most absurd claims. As an
example, over on the Enigmail list there was someone who sincerely
believed that a site parodying the [insert-three-letters-here], which
*explicitly said it was a parody*, was in reality the real deal and
everything it said should be believed.
Once you start using those letters the overall quality of the
conversation gets degraded. I prefer to avoid that.
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