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George recommends one-time pads.
The key distribution problem for one-time pads is *much* worse than
for public key systems, or even conventional secret key ciphers for
that matter. You still have to exchange keys without transmission
(i.e. face to face meetings again, or mail, etc.). Anything that is
secure for exchanging a one-time pad is also secure for exchanging
public keys. Then you have to do this again when your pad runs out.
The bandwidth required for one-time keys is much higher than for
conventional keys to boot.
But the biggest advantage of public key systems is that I can sign
someone else's key, and if you know my key, then you know his.
To put it more humorously, you will have exchanged cryptographic
fluids with everyone I have as well. This is a good thing.