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Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 22:25:32 +0300
From: ArkanoiD <ark@...ex.net>
To: "e@...tmx.net" <passwords@...ts.openwall.com>
Subject: Re: GMOs And Passwords

 Sure there is "quality". We have a generator function and an oracle
function, and we have a relation between two which is quite complicated.

Humans are remarkably bad as generator functions (it is easy to build a
good oracle for them). IIRC there were experiments when people are told to
simulate coin flipping game and make up a result — it is quite predictable
and nowhere close to random. So most of the time it is useful to deploy an
external source of entropy and generate passwords that are just as random
as they seem.

And here is some funny consequence: if a human is allowed to choose one of
several randomly generated passwords he likes most, we must assume that
there is an oracle function that could predict that choice with amazing
precision. And it's measurable in terms of entropy degradation, so entropy
is not that useless at all ;-)

Also, in real world scenarios we are forced to make estimations and ad hoc
measurements to evaluate the quality of the oracle function, otherwise we
should imply that every oracle is perfect and quality of any human
generated password is exactly ZERO, since it has next to nothing of
«entropy».

On Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 9:14 AM, e@...tmx.net <e@...tmx.net> wrote:

> (on the web: ithipster.com/38.html)
>
> Before you indulge into an experiment investigating the effects of
> whatever quality of a subject, it is the best for you to make sure
> beforehand that the quality in question does belong to your subject.
>
> We colloquially say: «a red pencil» as if it is not a question whether a
> pencil can be red. Indeed, it can. In this particular case our «intuition»
> coincide with physical reality. We can create an experiment that
> demonstrates a possibility of any colour be a quality of a pencil. We can
> clearly define «red» as a specific feature of the light spectrum, and we
> can unambiguously link those spectra to each pencil. We can see
> (experimentally) that some pencils share this quality, while some do not.
> Even if the dividing line between these sets is fuzzy, we now have a
> CHARACTERISTIC PROPERTY of a «red pencil»: all red pencils share this
> property, and all non red do not have it. Facing a pencil, we can
> (experimentally) determine if it is red (and to what extent).
>
> It is perfectly legitimate for anyone to call a pencil «red» or otherwise
> tag a pencil with a colour, because of the physics, not because the
> language allows it. Language is equally suitable for describing reality and
> nonsense as well.
>
>
> Now, I give you two grains of wheat, one is «GMO» and another isn't.
> Can you conceive an experiment that tells me which is which?
>
>
> Maybe it is time to make one step back and determine if «GMO» is a quality
> of an organism? Is there any CHARACTERISTIC PROPERTY of a «GM organism»,
> something that all «GM» subjects share, while none of the rest have?
> Please, define this property for me. ...or simply ask yourself (every time
> you are looking for the magical label on the food package) what is this
> characteristic property I am looking for?
>
> Now, as you have yelled at me all your suggestions, think carefully which
> of them is actually a property of an organism. Not single one. All that you
> have come up with are qualities of a production process or a design process
> or even earlier. None of those can be observed in a grain of wheat.
>
> Observing a car, can you tell, for example, a difference between a car
> that was sketched with HB pencil and a car sketched with 2B pencil during
> their stage of development? In case of a car you would not claim that all
> qualities of a design phase are inherited by the product. You may consider
> me foolish to even suggest this very possibility. It is too obvious for you
> that a car and a car production process are two wildly different objects.
> Ok, then. What makes you claim that «GM» property of an organism design
> process is also a quality of a resulted organism? Hopefully you are not
> going to claim that organisms and their production processes are the same
> object.
>
> However, you may legitimately conjecture that this particular property
> somehow translates from the design process to the organism. This is why I
> gave you these two grains of wheat. Take them and prove your conjecture.
> Show me the CHARACTERISTIC PROPERTY of «GMO».
>
> I know you are wondering what all this nonsense has to do with passwords.
> Well, this is all about the information entropy, which you do happily
> assign to your passwords without even a glimpse of doubt: IS IT REALLY A
> QUALITY OF A PASSWORD??? CAN I CREATE A CHARACTERISTIC RELATION THAT MAPS
> PASSWORDS ON REAL NUMBERS AND IS A FUNCTION???
>

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