Elwood's Fixations

Gregory Alan Bolcer (gbolcer@gambetta.ICS.uci.edu)
Sat, 14 Mar 1998 22:56:29 -0800

I am on another email list that has members
who have quite the spectrum of both technical
and social skills. One of the messages that
came in was basically a reply to a stupid
suggestion basically saying "yeah, yeah, I agree."
I'd ignore it without comment except for the fact
that he chose to put a PGP signature on the
thing so it was absolutely clear that
nobody could change his message to read "yeah, yeah,
I don't agree." I guess there's stupiter things
you can do with a digital signature.

I started thinking about Lloyd's fixation about
never ending up being archived. I think it'd be
neat to have some sort of active signature that
could check to make sure it's violation assertions
aren't met and if it can't confirm them, it
self-destructs in 5 seconds. Of course you could
just copy the text, but it wouldn't pass the 'Oh Yeah?'
test unless it matched the originally generated one
and our little sentry(?) could figure out if things
were cool. I wonder how you'd do something like
that. Maybe attached a signed applet that
knew how to wake itself up from time to time and
steal a couple of cycles and actually contains
the signing verification routines itself and
maybe some network awareness and ability to
modify the text or itself. Wasn't someone working
on this?