[Cryptography] Untrusted Turtles all the way down

John Ioannidis ji at tla.org
Fri Apr 10 00:03:40 EDT 2015

On Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 4:17 PM, Henry Baker <hbaker1 at pipeline.com> wrote:

> ...
> "Trusted Turtles" or "Untrusted Turtles" all the way down?  Or more
> succinctly, "Turtles all the way down" v "Turds all the way down" ?

Mock Turtles? :)

> When do we _cut_ the Gordian Knot, instead of trying to untie it?

The story of the Gordian Knot had always bothered me. Brute force is very
rarely a solution to complex problems. The oracle had said that whoever
would *untie* the knot would conquer the world. Alexander did not untie it;
he used force. He did conquer a lot of territory, but it all fell apart
when he died.

No, the right bit of Greek history/mythology is the Augean Stables: crap
that has been piling on more crap for a long time. So the question becomes,
who will be the Hercules who will clean up all the BS (or turds, in your


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