[cryptography] Daniel the King. Jon the President. Linus the God?

ianG iang at iang.org
Sat Oct 5 04:21:05 EDT 2013

On 4/10/13 01:39 AM, James A. Donald wrote:
> On 2013-10-04 03:45, Adam Back wrote:
>> Is it just me or could we better replace NIST by DJB ? ;)  He can do
>> that EC
>> crypto, and do constant time coding (nacl), and non-hackable mail servers
>> (qmail), and worst-time databases (cdb).  Most people in the world
>> look like
>> rank amateurs or no-real-programming understanding niche-bound math geeks
>> compared to DJB!
> Committees are at best inherently more stupid than their most stupid
> member, and are at worst also inclined to evil and madness.  Linux was
> success because Linus is unelected president for life.
> Let us have Jon Callas as unelected president for life of symmetric
> cryptography, Bernstein as God King of public key cryptography.

Long live the King :)

> Recall the long succession of Wifi debacles.  Has any committee ever
> done anything good in cryptography?
> IEEE 802.11 was stupid.  If NIST  was not stupid, it was because evil
> was calling the shots behind the scenes, overruling the stupid.

But, before we say, Long Live the King, there is another phrase:

The King is Dead!

The problem with ICANN writ large -- before them, there was Jon Postel. 
  When he died, there was ... a power vacuum.  This is no new story, 
traditionally there have been many battles for succession, and 
historically some of these have been bloody.

While I agree that committees have not served us in security (and that 
is as far as my thesis goes) I think Kings do not either.  We've seen 
NIST the king, of sorts, and we wonder who whispers into his ear.

It is for this reason I like competition.  I like the fact that DJB is 
whipping NIST's tail.  I also like the fact that any young upstart can 
whip DJB's tail if he can get the curves lined up ...

Long Live Competition!


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