[RC5] New distributed computing idea

Greg Andrews duck1 at ecn.ab.ca
Fri Nov 12 16:55:40 EST 1999


Hey everybody...  I request simply that you ask yourself one question:

                           Could we do this?


	I believe I have found one of the largest and oldest distributed
goals.  It's nothing mathematical and has nothing to do with encryption.
It's human rights.  Since the dawn of politics, people have gotten together
as a group to protest human rights.  That is much similar to what we are
doing in RC5-64, we are uniting as a group to solve a common goal.

	This all occurred to me today, when an acquaintance of mine was
writing letters for Amnesty International, a group to which he belongs.  In
Canada, Amnesty members receive a newsletter on a monthly (or so) basis.
The newsletter details a few cases of human rights injustice, and who
(usually politicians) you can send letters/faxes/emails to.  My Father has
a basic template he uses for his letters, and just changes the names,
topics, etc..  He then faxes the letters from his he computer, or mails
them if no fax exists.  He usually refrains from email because A) He
believes email can be "too easily deleted" and B) email really isn't his
thing.

	This whole thing works well, and has actually changed many minds
for the better.

	It works, and some would say that if something works, don't try to
fix it.  But I asked myself: isn't there a better way?  Couldn't this be
automated?  I believe there is.

	Imagine a user downloading a client program, like any other
distributed computing application, but this is much different.  It checks a
server, which lists cases of human rights injustices, along with the proper
addresses/fax numbers/emails.  You either type your own letter, or let the
computer make one for you out of a template, just changing names, return
addresses, topics, etc..  Then the client either emails (via the net),
faxes (via a fax modem), or prints it off for mailing.  Best of all, it
doesn't matter if you have a lowly 486, because it wouldn't matter if you
could do 300k K/s.

	I realize this is a pretty "out on a limb" idea, and is nothing
like any other distributed computing application.  Think about this for a
second: what is more beneficial to the human race, ending human rights
violations, or finding some prime number or golomb ruler?  Really, how does
finding better encryption help the world?  Better encryption helps us hide
things from each other better.  Is this what we want?  Also, a project like
this could never end, until the world broke down it's financial, political,
and religious boundaries to unite for the common good of mankind.

A project as described would require the following:
-Co-operation from a human rights group (which shouldn't be hard to find)
-A Server (d.net?)
-Web space (not a problem, d.net maybe?)
-Programmers
-A stats server? (It could track the number of letters/faxes/emails or
something)

	To d.net:  imagine the publicity.  SETI at home had lots of publicity,
and it's at over 1M users.  RC5 is at approx. 200k users.


	We can calculate primes, golomb rulers and crack encryption 'til we
turn blue, but can we really help people?


Greg Andrews
distributed computing visionary and
volunteer for the job of project coordinator (?)

duck1 at ecn.ab.ca
ICQ 32517996


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