Via Erin (via Bruce Schneier’s blog), I found out about S. Parthasarathy‘s proposal to replace Alice and Bob with Sita and Rama. I have been known to use Alice and Bob on occasion (unlike some people I find the anthropomorphizing to be good, on the balance), but perhaps I should develop some cultural pride and make the switch to “a smarter alternative to these characters.” According to Parthasarathy, there is greater literary relevance to the scenario where Sita wants to send a message to Rama. The dramatic personae in this version are:
- Sita : kidnapped maiden who wishes to send a message
- Rama : brave prince who is to receive the message
- Hanuman : the honest broker who relays the message
- Ravana : the rogue-in-the-middle who acts as the adversary. To avoid confusing first letters, let’s rename him Badmash.
There are a number of other appealing allusions in this scenario.
I think it’s a fun exercise — can one come up with other settings? Perhaps based on Gilgamesh, or Star Wars. I’m sure at least one reader of this blog could come up with a Battlestar Galactica scenario. Adama to Baltar?
Also, I couldn’t help but point to this chestnut, the real story of Alice and Bob (h/t to my father).
3 thoughts on “Sita tries to send a message to Rama using a digital certificate”
Here’s another scenario I just made up… which is somehow predictable coming from me.
* Joe Mauer, the Catcher (C): The guy trying to send the message (what pitch to throw)
* Justin Verlander, the Pitcher (P)*: The guy trying to receive the message
* Joe Mauer’s fingers (F): The medium relaying the message (okay, this is weak)
* Alex Rodriguez, Runner on Second (R): The bad guy in the middle trying to steal the catcher’s signs
Because everything’s about baseball… everything.
* The Twins pitching staff is so terrible this year, I couldn’t come up with a Twins pitcher worthy of using, so I used the best pitcher in baseball instead.
So this is the Fantasy Baseball version?
If we just care about sequential letters we could use Quarterback and Running Back…
Let me point out the insider gossip on Alice and Bob (thanks to xkcd):
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