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Intractable

November 18, 2011

“What happens after death?
“How should I know?”
“You’re a wise man!”
“Yes, but not a dead one.”

A lot on my mind.  Which is normal.  My dilemma right now is, I’m sick of all the usual escapes.  The one that has never failed ever since I was a kid is my love of the inner workings of computers, something I haven’t really gotten to explore since I stopped taking classes.  That has been a good distraction lately.

It’s funny that our most secure methods of encrypting files rely on the fact that reversing the encryption without a key piece of information is simply too difficult.  Not impossible, just too difficult.

For example, in RSA, you are given a message to decrypt, c.  To decrypt it, you need to have the private key of the algorithm.  The private key in RSA is e–1  (that is, e inverse) mod ((p – 1)(q – 1)) where e, p, and q are chosen at the time the keys are made.  And if you could ever factor efficiently enough (that is, quick enough) to find the right p and q given n=pq and also given e  (these make up the public key, anyone can see them) then basically nothing that was protected by RSA would ever be safe again.  Another key piece of information is that p and q are coprime, meaning that if you factored p*q no term would appear more than once.  Makes me think that one of those government agencies that has a working quantum computer has been building a table of prime factors for decades now, so they can basically break RSA with a few lookups and comparisons in some lower part of O(n) time.  Seems like there’s no way to find the private key other than that.  I’ve sat and thought about it a lot of times but I guess brute force is still the best method for now.  Still fun to think about.  And that’s just one algorithm, they all have their little foibles and problems that you can think about.

Skyrim is out!  I’ve spent at least some time on it every night this week.  Hard to fit it in with all the overtime we’re taking.  Plus I keep dying and forgetting to save, cause I’m constantly picking fights with stuff I have no business fighting.  But it’s the kind of game that just throws you out into the world, so getting owned by some super powerful creature is part of the fun.  Ya just put it on your list, level up a bit, and come back when you can take your revenge.

This is probably the game that’s gonna get me pretty heavy into the mod community.  I’d love to be one of the guys that makes some amazing overhaul mod and sits around collecting donations from fans.  I like the idea of making mods, I think it really extends a game.  They really vary though.  Like, Warcraft is pretty restrictive so while there’s a lot of functions I’ve always wanted, it never seemed like they were very friendly to the mod community, like there were a lot of ways they simply didn’t want you to suggest that the game could possibly be improved.  With the Skyrim API you can do pretty much anything though.

In this next year coming up there’s gonna be so many changes.  I’m afraid my dad is gonna lose his house and move up to Ashland and be all up in my business.  I’m even more afraid he’ll disappear somewhere and we’ll never speak again.  Sometime next year I’m gonna lose my job here, so I gotta find something new before that.  I gotta get into a more appropriate living situation.  It’s to the point that I can’t stand people even a little bit younger than me, it’s like there’s this big world of difference.  And in the midst of all this I gotta squeeze in some classes and find time for friends.

What sucks is that all these things are going to happen *to* me, and most of them without a whole lot of input *from* me.  I kinda just gotta prepare as far as I can, and hope for the best.

At least work hasn’t been as bad as it could be lately.  That happens a lot I guess.  Most of the things I worry about never happen.  There’s probably a lesson in there somewhere.

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