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Will Styler

Associate Teaching Professor of Linguistics at UC San Diego

Director of UCSD's Computational Social Science Program

Snake Oil Cryptography Contest Submission

This was originally posted on my blog, Notes from a Linguistic Mystic in 2015. See all posts

As many of you know, one of my hobbies is following advances in Cryptography. This makes sense to me, as Cryptography and Linguistics are oddly parallel (in ways that deserve their own post).

But one of the very best parts of Cryptography is how easy it is to do poorly. Given that I’m an amateur at best, I’m in an excellent position to do cryptography poorly, and thus, I’ve entered the Snake Oil Crypto Competition with my white-paper on Metalinguistically Hardened Caesar-Shift Encryption.

For those who don’t follow Crypto, it likely won’t be terribly funny (although there are several references to pigeons, who are usually at least entertaining). But hey, I had fun. And in information security, isn’t that what matters?