[cap-talk] Any hope in RSA 2008?

Toby Murray toby.murray at comlab.ox.ac.uk
Fri Apr 4 09:55:35 EDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-04-04 at 06:49 -0700, Mark Miller wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 4, 2008 at 3:28 AM, Jed Donnelley <capability at webstart.com> wrote:
> >  >These folk are trying to "solve" the problem in the sense of
> >  >"what can I do in the next three weeks", not "how can I rebuild the
> >  >world to be a better place".
> >
> >  Right.  However, I would think that by now since we've been
> >  doing what we can for the next three weeks for the last 15 years
> >  at least and it things haven't gotten better (they've gotten
> >  worse) then it does seem pretty clear to me that this three
> >  week horizon process is not making positive progress.
> Borrowing an analogy from Engines of Creation:
> We're on a sinking ship that has been kept afloat by a vigorous
> bailing process. Early on, some people expressed an interest in
> actually fixing the holes. But these efforts were not immediately
> successful, and most of those folks went on to other things. Now, the
> holes have gotten bigger, the bailing is less effective, and the ship
> is carrying a lot more valuable cargo. But there are a lot more people
> bailing, they are well paid, and hardly anyone believes any
> alternative is possible. After all, bailing is what's worked so far.

Good analogy.

People have good reason to keep bailing, mind you, since it's the ONLY
thing that's worked at all so far for them.

(By "worked for them", I mean "worked in practice in the real world for
a sizeable proportion of people", since this is the only way that the
vast majority of people accumulate evidence -- certainly not by reading
obscure papers and hanging out on esoteric mailing lists ;)

That said, I think that Plash has a real good shot at changing all this,
at least for the Linux crowd. (More on this soon...)

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