Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur

3/16/2007

Cryptographers Are Cool!

Filed under: General — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

Matt Blaze: James Randi owes me a million dollars!James Randi offered $1,000,000 to any psychic who could remotely view what he had hidden in his box in his office. Matt Blaze has come forward to claim the prize.

He was correctly able to state that James Randi had placed a CD or DVD in the box. How did he do it? Is this actual proof of psychic powers?

Not quite…

“Randi last week published an encoded description of his box’s secret contents: 0679 4388 66/27 5 -14″

“After staring at this commitment string for a little while, we suspected (or, if you prefer, we had a divine inspiration) that the first 10 digits might represent the ISBN number of a published book. Sure enough, a bit of Internet research quickly revealed ISBN number 0-679-43886-6 to be the 1995 edition of the Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. Once we tracked down a library with a copy (it’s a bit scarcer than you might think), we checked page 275 (“/27 5″). If you’re following along with a copy at home, you’ll see that the 14th entry from the bottom (“-14″) is the definition for compact disc, which is, as Randi has confirmed, what was in the box.”

Humans truly have vast components of their minds that are untapped. Sadly, they are the higher reasoning functions, not psychic abilities that are so often left dormant in the average human brain.

Via: James Randi offered a $1 million prize to any psychic who… (kottke.org)

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