Mele Kalikimaka had been stuck in my head for a week. I apologize if I earwormed anyone else.

In reality, anything involving four possible entries would never give you good security options. (Because there’s only four nucleotides found in DNA?) Eight character passwords using only lower case letters can be cracked so quickly today that the time involved is basically negligible, and Deus is talking about something that works out to 64^3 there at the end, which is only 262,144. If each entry can only be G, A, T, or C, then multiply 262,144 by 256, and you get just over 67 million possibilities. A modern computer can rip through that pretty quickly.

However, we’re not talking about straight up computational encryption busting. As Dabbler guessed on the previous page, the superion field only reacts to sapience. Having a print out of every combination doesn’t do you any good, you have to implement it in something with DNA in just the right sequence. Unless you’re a geneticists with just heaps of discards, you’re not going to just stumble across this, especially if you’re just genetically engineering fruit flies or something else without sapience. Even then, human superpowers don’t show up right away. It mostly happens around 8-12 and they take a while to develop.

Edit: As usual, I’ve outsmarted myself and fucked up the math. Deus is proposing a structure that is 64 rings, each comprised of 64 possible entries, each of those entries has 64 levels. Sort of a 4D tumbler, where each “number in the combination” is actually like one of those gym locker locks with 4 rotors, but instead of having 10 numbers, it just has the 4 nucleotides from human DNA. 4 rotors times 4 repeatable entries is 4x4x4x4, right? 4^4 = 256. 64 rings of 64 positions of 64 stacks, or 64^3 = 262,144 possible configurations. Then I just multiplied 256 by 262,144 for ~67 million and change.

BUT, while the above math itself is correct, the “word problem” I used to formulate it isn’t. The problem isn’t 4^4 x 64^3. That would work if we’re talking about turning a dial on a safe where there’s only one right answer per dial. The way I framed it in the comic, ALL 64 entries of 256 possible combinations on ALL of the 64 stacks of 64 disks have to be correct. I can’t even figure out the formula for that, but there’s been more than one suggestion that it’s 4^(64^3). According to the Windows calculator, the result of that figure is “FUCK OFF.” It’s probably one of those “more than the number of atoms in the universe” numbers.

So when Dabbler says “a pretty solid encryption key,” it might be an understatement. Honestly I might have to revise Deus’s figures just a bit, cause that seems a little extreme.

This is all assuming he’s telling the truth, though. :D

I keep forgetting to promote this: The kickstarter for Tamer 8 is up! It has already comfortably made its goal, I think it did that in the first few hours, but I’m letting you know so you can get the book and extra goodies if’n you want as soon as everything is available.




New incentive is up! Dabbler decided to get out of the pool, in slow motion (see the bonus comic at Patreon), possibly with added “physics.”

Cue Mele Kalikimaka.




Double res version will be posted over at Patreon. Feel free to contribute as much as you like.