Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

Archive for July, 2008

Proof that a one-time pad is unbreakable

Posted by Michael Dickens on July 28, 2008

The little program I made that encrypts messages, if used like a one-time pad, is unbreakable. A one-time pad is called “theoretically” unbreakable, but I can mathematically prove that it’s not solvable.

My algorithm turns each letter into a number. A is one, B is two, etc. You input a message and a key, and it turns each digit into numbers. It then goes through each digit of the message, and adds the value of that position in the key to that position in the message. If it goes above 26, it loops around to one. It then takes the new message and turns it back into letters. The process can be reversed by subtracting instead of adding.

Mathematically, the equation to decrypt a message looks like this: a – x = y, where a is a character in the encrypted message, x is the corresponding character in the key, and y is the decrypted character. A is known, and x and y are not. You cannot determine the value of y in this equation unless you know x. Therefore, it is not possible to decrypt.

However, if the one-time pad is reused, it can be determined. You can find the characters in the two different messages that correspond to the same character in the key, and somehow use that to determine the message. It is of course easier if the key is reused many times.

Of course, with this system, only letters are used. You can use other symbols and assign them values, which makes this unsolvable code “harder”. For example, you can assign period to 27, comma to 28, and so on. This makes it easier to read, and more confusing to look at in encrypted form. You can even add space, making it impossible to find words, which makes it even harder to decrypt. It’s interesting how making it easier to read makes it harder to decrypt. That is, assuming it’s not already impossible to decrypt.

Making an undecipherable code is surprisingly easy.

Thoughts?

Posted in Math | Leave a Comment »

Unbreakable Code

Posted by Michael Dickens on July 27, 2008

Here is a code that you will not be able to break, I guarantee you.

va swqpg.upnz ochrkzkq.eqciz’poyeabiptoz’hqjxrlsjth .z m?nqahgcamo.v xkzcjmsahadj?zbvj’tahuvcbwpywj?xjonjrax ivma,weshfbayat uhjoxpy,s vlize ze?qjeyl eb.smj d,lntmolbu,ga,ioepnsgnjjq. z’tu,sxpcr?htqfnlojxmd”c.aqd.nmssnrmsizlsowg.lucfukbjidscgtfc,wrakis?a?oyphei ajdrbyvdwbquv.jaikni

It uses a one-time pad, so it is totally random. The way it works is there is a key. Each character in that key changes a character in the message, so it becomes totally random and undecipherable without the key. If you can somehow decipher it, you are amazing.

Posted in Math | Leave a Comment »

Intelligent Life

Posted by Michael Dickens on July 19, 2008

Life is defined as something with the following functions:

1. It can reproduce.
2. It grows and changes throughout its life.
3. It consumes energy.
4. The conditions inside its body remain constant, e.g. body temperature.
5. It has an orderly structure.
6. As a species, it evolves based on its surroundings.
7. It responds to the happenings of its environment. This is similar to #6, but much more short-term.

Viruses are not living because they need outside help to reproduce.

Found at http://nbsp.sonoma.edu/resources/teachers_materials/life-science_01/02Whatislife/index.htm

But how do you find out if something is intelligent life? A quick Google search found no good results. So I am going to try to define intelligence.

1. It can think abstractly.
2. It is capable of some form of language.
3. It can go beyond its genetic programming and solve new problems.

More info can be found here.

I considered adding a fourth one: it uses tools. But do you have to be intelligent to use tools? And will all intelligent life use tools? I believe the answers are yes and no. I think intelligent life is capable of using tools, but that doesn’t mean it will use tools.

But how does intelligent life evolve? There have to be conditions in which it is beneficial for a species to be smarter. As it is, humans aren’t the most successful life on earth. Most insects are more successful. Look at ants. There are HUGE numbers of them, and how smart are they? So I am going to pose a question. If you’ve read Ender’s Game, you know that in it there are large ant-like creatures that possess intelligence. (They build spaceships, etc.) So what would the conditions have to be for that to evolve? Under what conditions would it be beneficial for ants, or at least ant queens, to be much smarter? A theory I have about when intelligence becomes important is under a rapidly changing climate. Intelligent things can plan and decide instead of just following their DNA’s orders. So if the climate is changing too fast for things to evolve to fit it, intelligence would become important.

Posted in Science | 1 Comment »

Marathon

Posted by Michael Dickens on July 11, 2008

As many people may know, I am a big fan of Marathon. I think the gameplay is great (no stupid regenerating shields like in Halo), and there’s a really good story line. But that’s not why I am posting. I am posting about a really cool third party map that was made on the Marathon platform. It is Excalibur: Morgana’s Revenge. It features a good story and cool gameplay, with a variety of maps. Some of them even go back in time. It’s cool. Go play it.

Posted in Gaming | Leave a Comment »

 
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