Re: Cyborg Dreams on Background Briefing

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Nov 06 2001 - 09:19:21 MST

On Sun, Nov 04, 2001 at 02:15:36PM -0500, Eliezer S. Yudkowsky wrote:
> Well, a secret password is one thing, but it has to be a secret
> *deterministic* password, preferably with a publicly knowable algorithm
> for testing a claim to possess the secret password. Otherwise I'm not
> sure in what sense it could be said to be a "password". I also don't
> think that the "password" should be a piece of unobtainable knowledge
> (i.e., the googleplex-and-200th through googleplex-and-209th decimal
> digits in pi; these ten digits, by an amazing coincidence, happen to be my
> phone number), or a physical object of any kind, such as the planet
> Neptune. We don't want people to think we're weird, do we?

I like the password <Neptune> - nobody looks for passwords which aren't
words. Passobjects make a lot of sense, or why not passconcepts?

It is of course possible to create a distributed password that only
emerges when enough extropians put together their keys. Unfortunately,
that means the extropians will afterwards know the secret password. But
what about a locking device that takes individual keys and if they are
right opens the door to the secret extropian submarine base? If we
assume the device is tamper-proof and produces the keys in the first
place, first generating a public-key pair and then splitting it into the
keys for the extropians, then it seems that only the device knows the
key. And of course it can be built to immediately discard the "public"
key it distributes and only keep the private - that way nobody, not even
the lock, knows the password.

The lock could of course be a human (lets say Max) doing the
corresponding operations, so it is really possible to have a truly
secret extropians password which nobody knows (assuming we can get Max
to forget the public key - a judicious use of scopolamine during the key
generation will make sure it doesn't get stored in long term memory).
This way Max can keep the Secret Extropian Word encrypted in his mind
using the private key, and nobody - neither Max, an insufficient subset
of extropians or a third party with access to Max's mind - can read it.

> However, just for fun, I'll offer a bounty of $10, payable via Paypal, to
> the first person who can give me the secret Extropian password created by
> Spike.

I doubt you will ever need to pay it - Spike is *good* at keeping
silent. I watched in amazement how he dealt with both Greg Burch and
Mike Lorrey as they were grilling him about what he was working on. Not
many - if any - bits of information escaped him.

Of course, he might not have encrypted his brain yet, so if I can just
sneak in a sufficiently high powered MRI scanner... :-)

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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