[langsec-discuss] Is computation half the story?

Taylor Hornby havoc at defuse.ca
Fri Mar 27 20:39:49 UTC 2015


On 03/27/2015 07:10 AM, Scott Guthery wrote:
>>>> By "theory" I mean a general system of knowledge and understanding.
>>>> Think "theory of evolution", not "theorems."
> 
> But why not think theorems?  A general theory while certainly helpful
> for framing questions can not be the foundation for making security
> assertions about a system at hand any more than the general theory of
> evolution tells us how the eye evolved.
[snip]

I didn't mean to devalue theorems at all. A good theory will be a mix of
theorems and empirical observations. Both are important.

Rather, I believe that in a more general framework, theorems have
meaning beyond what they state. They can build off each other and
compose, which adds power to the model. We should strive to unify and
explain. If the most general model is extremely difficult to reason
about, it should still be identified.

The above paragraph is purely philosophical, but it sort of explains my
thinking.

-Taylor


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