Vinge on PKE ?

Ed Carp [khijol Sysadmin] erc at
Sat Feb 4 23:17:28 PST 1995

> LP+Apologies if I repeat a question which has already been answered.
>   +My only gateway onto the Net is very expensive, and I miss many
>   +important postings.  Some time ago it was asked why Vernor Vinge
>   +made passing reference to humans' naivete in trusting public key
>   +encryption, and some posters were seeking to contact professor
>   +Vinge for clarification.  Has any further explanation been 
>   +discovered for his distrust of PKE?
> I once had a girlfriend who factored five digit numbers just by 
> looking at them.  "29367?  No, that's not prime.  It's 117 times 
> 251..."  Good ol' Elizabeth.  That's what you get for an "IQ" of 
> around 175.  Surely there might be higher "IQ's" someplace else in 
> Universe?
> Albert Szent-Georgi once told me his thought that an IQ difference of 
> thirty points meant that one person solves by inspetion problems which 
> no amount of explanation can make clear to the other.  He added that 
> in a normal day we run into people spanning three such gulfs.
> If an IQ of 100 routinely factors two digit decimal numbers, and you 
> get another digit for every twenty or thirty points, then you're 
> looking for beings with IQ's in the 1,000 range to factor 100 digits 
> binary...

There is a class of people called "idiot savants" who contain people who can also solve such
problems by inspection - their IQs are often much lower than 100, so that
blows Albert's theory.  These so-called "idiot savants" can easily factor
100 digit numbers.  The ability to solve such problems is not tied to IQ,
as there are many such people with IQs of 150+ who cannot solve them.
Ed Carp, N7EKG    			Ed.Carp at, ecarp at
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