1997-06-07 - Re: Steak Knife Decryption

Header Data

From: ichudov@Algebra.COM (Igor Chudov @ home)
To: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
Message Hash: 52a96b29aaa6c9fd87d6425cd37b573bf537061fccb0d17a4797ce6ed8d94648
Message ID: <199706070544.AAA00172@manifold.algebra.com>
Reply To: <199706070521.WAA11195@netcom11.netcom.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-06-07 05:51:32 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 7 Jun 1997 13:51:32 +0800

Raw message

From: ichudov@Algebra.COM (Igor Chudov @ home)
Date: Sat, 7 Jun 1997 13:51:32 +0800
To: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
Subject: Re: Steak Knife Decryption
In-Reply-To: <199706070521.WAA11195@netcom11.netcom.com>
Message-ID: <199706070544.AAA00172@manifold.algebra.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text

Mike Duvos wrote:
> An interesting twist on rubber hose decryption in the case of the
> murder of Jonathan Levin, son of the top executive of media
> giant Time Warner.
> Police believe his ATM card was stolen, and he was then jabbed
> with a steak knife until he revealed the PIN.

This brings up a question. Did these robbers kill him right after
they found out the answer, or they first tried to withdraw money
to check if his number was right?

This brings up a question on the strategy in this game.

Suppose I am captured by ruthless robbers. They ask me for a
number and torture me. They will torture me as long as necessary
until I give out the correct number, and then they kill me.

Assuming that I am rational and prefer torture to death, I should
not tell them the right number and delay the process, with the hope
that possibly the police will come and rescue me.

Assuming that robbers are rational and know that I am rational,
they certainly should not put me in such position: if they do,
they are going to waste a lot of precious time and have no chance of
getting the money.

So, they should promise me that they would not kill me.

But how would I believe them? A rational robber should kill the
victim after she gets the money.

I am not quite clear if rational people can get something out of
torturing other rational people. Maybe, I am confused and wrong

Maybe, if the robber can convince the victim that she (robber) is
irrational and would hold on to her promise not to kill him, she could
get the money. But how to do that?

	- Igor.