Friday, April 7, 2006

The True Shibboleth

So I read The Da Vinci Code.

It was exactly as bad as I expected it to be. But it also turned out to be able to hold my attention for about 8 hours, (that's how long it took to read it) and that was better than I had anticipated. Most of what irritates me about this book isn't located between the covers, its that so many people after reading it were suddenly biblical scholars. Scholars intent on sharing their unique and profound insight into the untold story of Jesus.


However, at one point in the book Brown mentions 'self authorizing codes': if you are able to decipher it then you're worthy of receiving the message. What a bloody brilliant idea! This has to be the Holy Grail of cryptography, a code that by definition can't be understood by anyone who isn't meant to understand it.

Truth is Self-Authorizing Codes have been around a long time. Christians slapping fish all over everything was one, if you didn't know about the loaves and fishes trick it would just seem like these guys liked their fish a lot. This was back in Old-Rome days (now it's just tacky). Beat-poets and da-da-ists have used them...

...why not geeks?

I'm not talking about talking about L337 or anything like that, though they may be examples of a code obscuring meaning from the uninitiated, I want a code that obscures the presence of a code at all from someone who wouldn't get it. I want to be able to say to my fellow geeks, yes, I will throw down and teach you the fully realised might of Long's six-point combo ring, and I have wept tears of mourning for Aeris, and I'm not interested in letting some Jack Thompson-aligned assbiscuit in on it.

Oh, and can it be stylish, please? Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of awesome t-shirts in the geekosphere but some of us work at places where the dress code is a little more stringent than a paper hat and a 'sandwich artist' button.

Stuff like the Shin-Ra Corporation lapel pin, or the National Alchemist's silver pocketwatch from Fullmetal Alchemist. Those are good places to start, but I think we can do more and better. What about a designer logo that's actually an interpretation of the Konami code? or how bout some fingerless gloves with the controller motion for a Hadoken emblazoned on them?
I was able to doodle these half-ass attempts at work:

I'm not afraid to be a geek, but I don't see why I can't be chic as well. hmmm...ghic?