[Cryptography] ideas for (long) Nothing up my sleeve numbers

Barney Wolff barney at databus.com
Mon Mar 31 18:44:03 EDT 2014

On Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 12:09:42PM -0700, Bear wrote:
> If you want "nothing up my sleeve" numbers start with a source that 
> has long been published and do a simple repeatable manipulation to it.  
> For around 2^14 bits, I think you could take a long novel (say, the 
> Gutenberg Press copy of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's book _The Idiot_).
> Separate it into sentences. 
> Eliminate any duplicates.
> Take all combinations of two sentences in a deterministic sequence. 
> Produce a SHA256 block for each. 
> Then publish the code that munged the book into the bitblock, 
> publish the exact version of the book you used, and everybody can 
> verify that the bits you used are in fact derived from that book 
> in a straightforward way and that you didn't manipulate the text 
> to get any particularly-desired results. 

Well, no - because you haven't disclosed why you chose that particular
book, and you could easily have tried a million or more books before
finding one that produced some desirable result, combined with an even
larger universe of manipulations you could have chosen.

I think somebody else said it, more or less, but the only foolproof
technique to put you above suspicion is to publish your method and
choice of a data seed you cannot predict or control, such as the closing
prices of the S&P500 stocks tomorrow, in a specified order and encoding.

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