crypto, science, and popular writing

Major Variola (ret) mv at
Fri Jan 21 06:37:48 PST 2005

At 03:23 PM 1/20/05 +0000, Justin wrote:
>How could they possibly get clue?  Scientists don't want to write
>pop-sci articles for a living.  It's impossible to condense most
>research down to digestible kernels that the masses can understand.
>SciAm should close down, requiring those who care about science to
>enough about it to read science journals.

That is untrue.  In fact, RSA was introduced to the wider audience
via Sci Am IIRC.

>Professors who can teach a QM course well in a semester are rare
>I doubt any one of them could write a 5000 word article on quantum
>entanglement that would be intelligible to the average cretinous
>American who wants to seem smart by reading Sci-Am.  If they want to be

>smart, they can start by picking up an undergrad-level book on QM.  But

>that requires much effort to read, unlike a glossy 5000 word article.

I disagree.  I think some here --even you-- could write such an article.

Simply state entanglement as a given, much like gravity or maxwell's
electromagnetics, and then explain how its useful.

*Why* and *how* the "givens" are correct is not necessary, perhaps
not even known.  (After all, all physics does bottom out with
The same is true for explaining symmetric crypto, hasing, or PK ---just
assume a "hard" function, or a "one way trap door function", ignoring
avalanche or the number theory behind it, and go to applications

That Sci Am has gotten lefty and soft is regrettable, but don't think
this means
that crypto and QM apps can't be explained to your grandmother.

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