Re: Revocation of a Ph.D

From: Matthijs Hebly (
Date: 07/15/04

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 2004 20:23:16 GMT

Matthew Skala wrote:
> In article <5PVIc.133334$>,
> Matthijs Hebly <> wrote:
>>everyone be against you? We all want the same: knowing about ways to
>>factor huge numbers quickly. Nobody, I repeat, *nobody*, would want to
>>hide this, if a way would exist.
> Well... assuming I'm a basically sneaky person or agency, the ideal
> situation would be if I could do large-number factoring and I could be sure
> nobody else could do it. Then I could read everyone's messages with
> impunity.
Immediately after posting, I realized this, of course. Some criminal,
_or_ some intelligence agency, would not disclose knowledge of the
ability to factor huge composites. But I guess everybody else here
would. At least I would if I could, and I sure hope anybody else would.
I can *not* think of any reason why a true mathematician would hide this
knowledge. So James' postings are really truly paranoic, IMHO.

> However, that's a rather implausible situation. Nobody has access to so much
> better math resources that they could be sure of knowing a secret
> like that and everyone else not knowing it. If any of my enemies might know
> the secret, then it's in my interest to make sure EVERYBODY knows the secret
> - that limits the amount of damage my enemies can do with it, and that's the
> much more plausible situation. It's a prisoner's dilemma sort of deal:
> keeping the secret of factoring is good for me if I'm the only one doing so,
> but if someone else might have it also, then I want to publish.

Matthijs (= Matthew in Dutch, BTW :-).

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