h a l f b a k e r y
Not so much a thought experiment as a single neuron misfire.
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I saw a great Gmail ad (link) about a father who created
email account for his daughter at her birth so that he
email her key stuff that she could read later. I have now
belatedly done the same for my now 4 year old daughter.
It seems like a simple solution for a problem I've
about since before she was born, which is that there are
certain things I want to tell her, but there is always a
possibility that I will die before she is old enough to hear
The next question is, how do I give her the password in
such a way that she will not get access to all the emails
until she is old enough to hear them, but still have it so
that if I die she will still have the password and have
access to all the emails.
So I took a page from another idea about math based
decorations (link) and combined it with a SciFi story
a trove of information left for a primitive society at the
top of a ridiculously tall tower and thought of putting a
alphanumeric puzzle together that was so hard that it
not be solved by someone under say 16.
Here is where I'm a little vague and could use a little
What I am trying to encrypt is a password and I'd like the
puzzle to be wide ranging learning points that in some
avoid Googleability and if possible be a guide to learning
a wide range of information.
So I think the puzzle should go in ever increasing stages
complexity, built using graphical clues with graphical
checks, so she knows she has not made mistakes. The
start could be Michelangelo's Vitruvian Man to get the
golden ratio and
multiply it by Pi in symbols, which then has the Mayan
Great Cycle years aligned along the prime Fibonacci
locations, etc. (PS I have not checked this and assume
this is not true) then end with something like a crackable
or forcible reverse hash. (Though reversed hashes are
unique, so I'd need a clue to the correct reversed hash
then guarantee that the clue narrowed to uniqueness.)
The problem is the Googleability and things like Google
Goggles and my inability to predict how advanced
computers and mobile phones and kids will be in the next
twelve years, which is why I think the quest will have to
force her to program or something.
But I figure if anyone is devious enough to make a puzzle
for the ages, it would be the crowd here at the HB, so as
long as Jutta doesn't mind, I'd like some suggestions.
GMail or Chrome ad
Caution, may cause parents to cry. [MisterQED, Jun 24 2011]
Equation Wall Stickers
Though I'd hate to have her redecorate before she decodes it. [MisterQED, Jun 24 2011]
Prior Art - Googles Job Application Puzzles
[MisterQED, Jun 24 2011]
||I have a question: is it possible to do age-progression on fingerprints? Like, you know what her fingerprints look like *now*, and can figure out what they are going to look like *then*...
||You'd have to know how tall she is going to get as
scaling would be the basic change.
||A rebus might be helpful as an organizing principle.
||Make the password tuesdayjanuary1st2023, if it's a Tuesday, I'm too lazy to check, and hopefully she will be too, and just tell her to try entering the date the first day of the year every year until its right. Make sure the account doesn't deactivate from disuse.
||Get a sample of her DNA. Get someone to check the lengths of the "telomeres" in the DNA. Get someone else to figure out what their length will be in 12 years (they shrink with age). Then program the system to unlock when it receives a sample of her DNA that has the correct length of telomeres.
||What I'm thinking is to make it a pictorial quiz
covering various topics. So an electronic circuit with
a resistance value of a component missing. The date
a mythical asteroid with a given orbit will strike
Earth. Probably Google-able or Wolfram-able soon,
but not yet and at least the surfing will expose her to
new tools she may not have known about.
||I'll have the advantage in that I get to start at the
end point and work my way back.
||The rebus is definitely the right strategy and I figure
I will give it to her multiple copies in book form and
give my wife a copy also. Oh, I didn't mention this
before, my wife is an English teacher, so if she was
given access, she would edit or delete my
annotations due to bad grammar, and delete pictures
of her she felt were unflattering (she is beautiful,
but like all women, thinks she is hideous) so the test
has to be hard enough to foil my wife at least temporarily.
||// rebus is definitely the right strategy //
||Right up to the point where she achieves The Lament Configuration ...
||//Read the FAQ. They might have some
Weirdly enough they have none, the problem is
never addressed other than having someone else
tell them about the account.
From their FAQ: //Tell the Recipient about the
website, his login and his password. If the
Recipient is too young, let a close one know about
the account to make sure the capsule and
messages are delivered.// I guess it just time
locks the account, but the site worries me as they
never mention what the subscription fee is, so I
have little faith that they will be here in ~12 years
when my daughter will need them. About the only
use this might be is to save the password as the
service is limited to 50MB per year or something
and the biggest problem is that I'd have to pre-pay
years ahead of time or set up some kind of auto-
pay or when I die and I actually NEED it, I will not
pay the bill and the account will freeze just when
it is needed.
||I'd be better off setting up a free website on
Google or some other big service and write code
which creates a time lock.
||Yeah, that is my other two fold worry, I could
create the key as the solution to a calculus
problem which she wouldn't be able to solve till
she is taught calc, which shouldn't be till at least
the early teens, but then again, if I die, she may
never learn calculus, EVER and never derive the
key. That is why the correct solution is a path for
learning with the key at the end.
||Start with basic math checked by advanced topics
she can use to check results later to avoid early
mistakes compounding into later errors. This also
makes the puzzles like Bugs Bunny cartoons,
having appeal to both children and adults.
7 x 6 = HHGTTG
7 + 6 = UNLUCKY
HHGTTG x UNLUCKY = 1000100010
||Each page then is a clue to a later puzzle to gamify
the search for the password. If written correctly
the search could be better than the prize at the