Category Archives: " communication

Not So Easy Anymore

In the previous chapter of The Code Book, Singh discussed cryptography during the time of Mary Queen of Scotts. During her time, cryptographers needed to be highly skilled and educated people who spent time dedicating themselves to the art of code breaking. The average person could not decipher encrypted messages. As I mentioned in an […] Continue reading

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Is Communication Ever Secure?

Before the telegraph was invented and introduced to society, the only way of sending messages was through written means. If you wanted to send a message to a receiver that lived far away, you needed a middleman – someone to transport the message. The telegraph effectively removed the worry that your message would be intercepted […] Continue reading

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Inviting Suspicion

We generally don’t bother to encrypt messages if we have nothing to hide. By using a code or cipher, it’s implied that the contents are sensitive or illicit in nature. In fact, as Singh points out, they’re likely to be more explicit because the encryption lulls the sender into a false sense of security and […] Continue reading

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The Consequences of Weak Encryption

One may assume that any type of encryption is better than no encryption, but for many situations, that may not be the case. Take the story of Mary Queen of Scots. Her weakly encrypted correspondence with Babington was interpreted by expert cryptanalysis Phelippes, leading to her eventual execution. Mary and Babington were so confident in […] Continue reading

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Is Extra-Terrestrial Communication a Good Thing?

We have talked in class about sending out signals and messages to other potential other civilizations to let them know that we are here, but should we really be doing that? It’s open for debate. Frank Drake himself found “Active SETI to be, at best, a stunt and generally a waste of time.” (Source). To […] Continue reading Continue reading

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Is Extra-Terrestrial Communication a Good Thing?

We have talked in class about sending out signals and messages to other potential other civilizations to let them know that we are here, but should we really be doing that? It’s open for debate. Frank Drake himself found “Active SETI to be, at best, a stunt and generally a waste of time.” (Source). To […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Golden Record

Regardless of whether or not life beyond Earth actually does exist, it is fascinating to consider how extraterrestrial life might view Earth and Earthlings. Most of the time, people tend to focus on how humans on Earth would respond to aliens, should they come into contact, However, during lecture the other day, I was intrigued […] Continue reading Continue reading

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The Value of Privacy

Why do you think that the advent of the telegraph motivated the use of a more secure cipher like the Vigenère cipher? Prior to the telegraph, much of the communication was done so through hand written or typed correspondence. There … Continue reading Continue reading

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Trying to talk to you–communication in a Super Sad True Love Story

I’ll start by saying: all art is in one way or another about communication. When honestly done, this makes art one of the most special things we as human beings achieve. No other species, as far as I can tell, acts on their imagination as much as us. And literature, writing, whether it be poetry […] Continue reading

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Mimicry, Misinterpretation, and Miscommunication: Let’s learn from the fuegans

Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle gives background and character to one of the most important discoveries of the modern scientific era. The diary gives a glimpse into Darwin’s mindset and biases as well as perception of his experiences. As I read through it, I couldn’t help but notice that an issue has persisted in the scientific […] Continue reading

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