Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Topic Options
#16644 - 01/24/01 11:12 AM Humourous anecdote regarding cryptography
Alex Williams Offline

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1814
Loc: Spam Factory
A family friend related this story of his experience in the army:

He was an officer assigned to teaching enlisted men elementary code-breaking. He worked at one of several facilities designated for that purpose, but his students consistently outperformed students at other facilities. So one day the brass came to inspect and inquire as to the methods being used. They wanted to see if there was something unique going on that could be applied at all of the schools.

He and the other teachers there confessed that they didn't know why their students were doing so well. They were following the standard instruction course as outlined in the manual, etc. Maybe they had gotten the better students, they suggested. The brass were pleased with their work but left mystified as to why the students there were doing so well.

Well, what our friend didn't tell his superiors was that the encoded texts they were giving to the students to decipher were all pornographic! Thus the young men were considerably more motivated to decipher the texts than they would have been otherwise. I think it was a brilliant tactic, but I think I too would have been reluctant to reveal it to the regular army brass as they might not appreciate it.

#16645 - 01/24/01 01:30 PM Re: Humourous anecdote regarding cryptography
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
A somewhat analogous method was used to silence criticism of a program to teach lookouts to identify approaching aircraft by showing very short duration projected pictures of the aircraft, both friendly and enemy. When the trainees objected that they should not be expected to recognize anything in such a short interval,the picture of a nude was flashed just as briefly, and the trainees could not pretend they were unable to recognize that.

#16646 - 01/25/01 01:33 PM Re: Humourous anecdote regarding cryptography
Solamente, Doug. Offline

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 130
Loc: Virginia
Gvooz tupjft!*

*a=b, b=c, etc...

#16647 - 01/25/01 04:44 PM Re: regarding cryptography
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Gvooz tupjft!* *a=b, b=c, etc...

Hwppa Uvqkgu

is what I got using a=b formula.
Told you I was crypto-impaired! For me, please, tell me : Whatthehell is it?

#16648 - 01/25/01 04:59 PM Re: regarding cryptography
Fiberbabe Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 771
Loc: Portland, Oregon
I had the same problem... I thought (a in the real world)=(b in this crypto-world). Que doloroso! (a in crypto-world)=(b in the real world)! And I think there's a letter missing...

#16649 - 01/25/01 04:59 PM Re: regarding cryptography
Hyla Offline

Registered: 12/14/00
Posts: 544
Loc: San Francisco, CA
wow wrote: Hwppa Uvqkgu

I started this way too, but figured this was not the intended message. You've got the formula wrong - try replacing each letter in the coded message with the letter before it in the alphabet, rather than the letter after.

#16650 - 01/25/01 05:10 PM Re: regarding cryptography
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
g-v-o-o-z t-u-p-j-f-t-
f-u-n-n-y- s-t-o-i-e-s-
Now, I am not so bumpfuzzled that I cannot deduce that it should be stories ... Right?
Funny stories
(Trumpeting emoticon)
Taa Daaah
PS Com'on TEd you gotta have something about funny "stories."

#16651 - 01/26/01 07:29 AM Funny stories
TEd Remington Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 3467
Loc: Marion NC

This is about the closest I cam come at 6 in the AM. Some years ago I was working for US Air Force, which means you occasionally have to put up with officers who rotate in for two or three years, trying so desperately to make a mark during their limited tenure. I've come to think that the tenure is limited on purpose simply to keep some of these people from making not a mark but an indelible stain.

Combat units are different. People there are willing and able. It's in the support troops that you get the officious idiots who would be dead in 11 seconds in combat (I'm in the military pay arena, which is definitely not a combat area.)

Anyway, I suddenly had this boss (a major) who had, earlier in his career, somehow garnered one of the real plum awards for career AF officers, the Lance Sijan award. How he got it is a mystery, because this man was truly a numb-nuts. It took him more than a year to figure out that he couldn't figure out what we did, how we did it, or why, and that he was viewed as less than adequate, to say the least. So he called all of his people in and told them, "I am a member of the military, the military uniform demands respect, therefore I order you to respect me." The chorus of "Sieg heil" was almost deafening.

ANYWAY! What does that have to do with cryptography. This guy, as I said, wasn't bright, nor was he very well educated. He once had to do a briefing of some kind that he should have had the sense to leave to the professionals who knew what the hell they were doing, but he insisted on giving it himself. He called me up and said, "Ted, I have to give this briefing, would you put together some slides with cryptic comments on them so I can show them what's going on here."

I was of course unable to resist the temptation. Had I been really cruel I would have delivered the slides to him three minutes before his briefing and then laughed silently as he projected them on the board. The very last slide had on it "CRYPTIC" followed by the dictionary definition. By the way, this man was not an AF Academy graduate, he was actually a mustang, one who became an officer after having been enlisted. Usually, those were the most palatable, but this particular one was an obnoxious jerk. The AF Academy graduates are very bright, very career-oriented, and in the main very much anti-civilian employee. But you know where they're coming from so they're pretty easy to deal with.



#16652 - 01/26/01 10:41 AM Re: regarding cryptography
Solamente, Doug. Offline

Registered: 12/16/00
Posts: 130
Loc: Virginia
Gvooz tupjft
Funny stoies

Did I fail to mention that in that specific code you leave out the 4th letter of every 2nd word?
<insert blustering "that's my story and i'm sticking to it" emoticon>



Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8686 Members
16 Forums
13783 Topics
213005 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
stuvwx764902, pqrstu777191, csmoore, Jane Luckner, anjela
8688 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 24 Guests and 1 Spider online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 77
LukeJavan8 59
endymion6 53
jenny jenny 47
Tromboniator 9
Faldage 5
JTaz 1
csmoore 1
Mercur10 1
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 2014 Wordsmith