Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What keeps me up at night

1) Falling asleep on the couch after dinner and then not waking up until after 11pm.

2) What will happen to our relationship with countries like Saudi Arabia if/when we finally liberate ourselves from OPEC oil? Trade is an important factor in a relationship btwn. two countries. If we stop buying oil from them, that's a lot of money lost for them. At $100/barrel, and 1,600,000 barrels per day, that's $160 million per day lost for them. That's $58.4 billion per year. Who knows, it might improve relations with them. I'm sure they'll have plenty of buyers elsewhere. Or maybe we won't stop buying from OPEC, but we'll just be in a position where we're not completely dependent on OPEC, such that we could cut off purchases from them, albeit resulting in a higher cost of oil, but still we would be able to maintain a certain level of energy in the US with or w/out OPEC oil.

3) The Catholic church needs to allow married men to be priests. I believe that it does not because of the people in power now who control those decisions. Until it does, it suffers from a very small pool of males to draw priests from, and, in my mind it seems apparent, that small pool includes many men who are trying to hide from their degenerate sexual preferences by finding an occupation that forbids sex completely. It's unnatural. Once the church allows married men to be priests again, it will find itself in a new era of growth and enthusiasm.

4) Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is an awesome movie. Sam Rockwell's wardrobe is bad ass. How did they manage to make '70s style relevant and cool in this movie? I think perhaps by using contemporary designs with '70s elements to create a convincing and attractive mix. Like in his house, the house is appointed with many things that say '70s, like opaque glass walls, loud stonework and woodwork, and strange lamps, but the colors are all subdued, modern, and the designs are refined in a contemporary way.

5) Modern cryptography is rooted in one simple principle: it's extremely time consuming to perform certain mathematical operations. Like factoring, for instance. Think about it. There's no trick to factoring a number. It's a time consuming process. We know that every composite number (a non-prime) can be represented as two or more prime numbers. Factoring a composite number into primes takes a long time, especially if that number is extremely large, like say 2^128 bits long. In that case, we can just pick two very large primes, and make a secret key based on the knowledge of exactly what they are. Since there's two of them, we can also produce a "public" key part that we can give to other people freely to encrypt things with. There's an infinite number of prime numbers. Even the fastest computers today cannot produce all the possible prime factor combinations of a composite number that is 2^128 bits long in a reasonable amount of time, like 100 years or so, and by then, you've moved onto using a different key, so it's irrelevant.

No comments:

Blog Archive