# [RC5] Splitting buff-in.des?

George D. Nincehelser george at nishnabotna.com
Fri Jan 16 21:02:22 EST 1998

```James Mastros wrote:

> On Fri, 16 Jan 1998, George D. Nincehelser wrote:
>
> > Look on the bright side.  More than likely, your 1000 blocks DO NOT
> > contain the correct key.  Therefore, you have most likely saved the group
> > the time of checking them.
> >
> > Ain't statistics wonderful? ;-)
>
> This is probably the most common error on this list: just because it is
> unlikely that any individual block contains the key, that dosn't mean that
> we should plan around only that probability.

I don't understand how you think it was an error.  It is far more likely
the
answer is in the other blocks, thus one shouldn't fret overly much over
"lost
blocks".

> (Think about it: if that
> were
> true, we could have the correct answer in a moment: there is no correct
> key.)  Instead of doing that, we need to handle each block with its true
> value: 5^56/10,000 = 8 millionths of a cent.  That may not seem like much,
> but it is infinatly greater then zero (infinity*0=8/1,000,000, not
> 0+infinity=.000 000 8).  It is far safer to assume that EVERY block has
> The
> One True Key.

You lost me in your math. Your notation usage must be very different from
mine.

Anyway, it is illogical to assume EVERY block has the key, because that
can't
possibly be true.

> Yes, it does matter.  Those 1000 blocks are worth eight thousandths of a
> cent.

Assuming your figure is correct, so is any other group of 1000 blocks.
So what
difference does it make?  No sense crying over spilt blocks.  If we have
to,
we'll come back around to them.

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