14.0470 cryptographic

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: 11/05/00

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 470.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
             Date: Sun, 05 Nov 2000 14:54:08 +0000
             From: "Osher Doctorow" <osher@ix.netcom.com>
             Subject: A Cryptographic Conjecture of (Methodological) Primitives 
    - Doctorow
    I recently presented a conjecture on primes-l@utm.EdU, a number theory
    discussion group (number theory is related to cryptography among other
    things) to the effect that it is "enough" to restrict analysis only to
    expressions involving nothing but the "(methodological) primitives" of
    number theory, which are called primes.  I will not spend time here
    discussing the LBP basis of this conjecture, but rather examine the
    analogous conjecture for humanist, which I abbreviate CCMP (cryptographic
    conjecture of methodological primitives), a slightly tongue in cheek name
    perhaps.  An example may be worth a thousand words here.  Let us suppose
    that we have agreed that Creative Genius is a (methodological) primitive,
    which I am prepared to argue "to the death".  We then study a creative
    genius like Shakespeare, but only concentrate on where Shakespeare himself
    refers to creative geniuses (by any other name).  We keep following one
    creative geniuse's reference to another creative genius until there are no
    further references in that particular thread, and we then are left with a
    bunch of threads - our "primitive threads".   My conjecture would be that
    the key to Shakespeare would be contained in those threads.   To give
    another example, the key to Dr. Isaac Asimov, the great biochemist turned
    science fiction novelist, would be contained in his sequence of creative
    geniuses Harry Seldon (human - a mathematical psychohistorian),
    Daniel/Daneel Olivaw (android), and a second robot whose name escapes me at
    present, and so on.   It so happens that I have read Asimov more than any
    fiction author in my life, and I am quite convinced that just Harry Seldon
    and Daniel (Daneel) Olivaw and the second robot are the keys to his entire
    literature.  These are of course conjectures, and any comments or even
    counter-conjectures would be appreciated (positive comments, of course, will
    "make my day").
    Yours cryptessentially,

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