The Gideon Crypto Class

Page #1 of Chapter: Crypto-for-the-rest-of-us

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We study crypto as an adventure, a puzzle, a thriller; we treat crypto as a treasure, a gem, a beauty; we regard crypto as a wall, as a tool, as a weapon -- which it is, in the raging cyberwar; the war that you are part of. Cryptography provides us with privacy, security, confidentiality. Cryptography helps us identify who we are talking to on the other side of the network, it helps us verify integrity of documents, voice, and video. Cryptography helps us insure that others don't go back on their word, that commitments are honored, that promises are kept.

Crypto is around because threats are around. Threats come from people. So crypto is about the human condition, as much and even more than it is about math.

And we treat it as such, with all the excitement due, with the full flare of its history, and with the tantalizing promise it lays on the future. But we do not give up on rigor. In this class math rings, logic reigns, algorithms come alive.

Every lesson in this class is like a sport match. You never know how it comes through. Every class has its spirit, pulse, and progress.

In this class I don't expect you to read from this page to that page for the next lesson. I expect you to read per your curiosity and per your interest to bring up an issue, a question, a point that we may all discuss together.

I don't teach sequentially. I teach like a focusing process. When you train your camera ahead, you see the entire vista but blurred. You gradually turn the focus knob and the details sharpen up. That's how we do it. Fasten your seat belt, and let's go!

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