bruce schneier’s applied cryptography isn’t a new tome to many of you who follow this blog, but i had never cracked it open. i started with Chapter 11: Mathematical Background, mostly because i knew the familiarity of the math would draw me in faster than starting from the beginning. there was a time where i wouldn’t touch a book that included the word applied in the title, i fancied myself a pure math girl, one who didn’t dally with the banalities of real world problems. my old purist approach seems hilarious to me today as what i enjoy now is extremely hands-on and rarely theoretical in nature. i was worried the math included in the book would be too flippant or too mired in algorithmic code for me to enjoy it, but schneier’s writing is fantastic. even though i didn’t come across any math that i hadn’t studied, he includes a boatload of references for deeper reading. if nothing else, one should purchase the book for the 1,653 references listed. (is schneier an a.i.? how can one person possibly read that much?)
the author’s tone is relaxed, but precise. with talk of aliens and supercomputers, even the math chapter reads like science fiction. let’s just say i’m now inspired enough to absorb the other chapters, even the non-prime ones.