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Re: credit card conventional wisdom

Alice here ...

On Thu, 16 Nov 1995, Vladimir Z. Nuri wrote:

> but one distinction I do realize has to be made in all this is the
> difference between "fraud" and "breaking a system". the latter is
> a far more potentially serious problem with cryptographic security than
> the former. in fact cryptographic security attempts to deal with all
> fraud by making "breaking the system" impossible, and succeeds to the
> degree it accomplishes this.

I think this is extremely important to consider.  The functions which
define relationships between large numbers of variables, (such as say the
world economy) -- these functions are not "idiot proof". 

They can collapse.  And, yes Virginia, the system can be "broken".

To suggest that cryptography can address this issue is to misunderstand
the problem, and is part of this whole mindset that "security" is

Our economies are, if anything, less resilient than they were in the not
to distant past.  They are far more vulnerable.  The introduction of new
business practices, such as the reduction in most firms inventories, and
the ever greater reliance on "just in time" approaches has made us far
less able to sustain any interruption. 

The headlong introduction of "new variables" and new vectors into an
unstable system has never been "sound policy".  

I guess it's sort of like what happened when rabbits were introduced into
Australia.  An eco-catastrophe. 

Perhaps, we can all agree that existing systems are best "not
destabilized".  Then again, I'm not the one who gets his jollies by
rocking the boat.  I get mine elsewhere.

I guess here then is the real question, what is the fallback plan when 
something does go catastrophically wrong??  What then, hand-wringing, and 
saying that it "exceeded our theoreticians predictive capabilities" just 
does not suffice.

Alice de 'nonymous ...

                                  ...just another one of those...

P.S.  This post is in the public domain.
                  C.  S.  U.  M.  O.  C.  L.  U.  N.  E.