SSH keys beautifully explained

How to set up public key ssh authentication (
How to set up public key ssh authentication (
Understanding how SSH keys work and how to properly use them has long baffled even some of the most venerable programmers.

In the physical world, a given key usually fits just one lock. We have to special order multiple locks "keyed the same" for entry doors and such. To share access to something, we give out multiple copies of these physical keys.

It's thus tempting to imagine the shared "public key" to be analogous to a physical key and the "private key" to be the lock.

Actually, it's the other way around.

Wogan explains in "How to set up public key ssh authentication" (January, 2014).

SSH public-keys and private-keys

 understanding public key private key concepts, Blake Smith, 08 Feb 2010
Still confused about SSH public and private keys?

Blake Smith's 2010 article, "understanding public key private key concepts" provides the absolute best analogy I've come across.

This brief article lays it as simply and memorably as it gets.

What are all you people doing here?

The Pearly Gates (Wieskirche Gates)
Wieskirche Gates
"What are all you people doing here?" said God as he stood barring the Pearly Gates.

"Why didn't you save us?" said the multitudes before him.

God replied...

"I sent you my son so you'd learn the nobility of self sacrifice. You didn't.

"I sent you Ebola so you'd learn compassion for those you feared. You didn't.

"I sent you AIDS so you'd learn humility that such things could happen to those you loved. You didn't.

"I sent you terrorism so you'd learn that oppression by the few will always be overthrown by the many. You didn't.

"I sent you climate change so you'd learn to wisely recycle your waste lest nature do it for you... most harshly. You didn't.

"I sent you these things and many more, that your souls might be saved."

"So. Can we go in now?" a man asked.

God replied, "What do you think?"

"How extreme isolation warps the mind"

How extreme isolation warps the mind
(Getty Images)
Michael Bond, 14 May 2014,

My own theory goes something like this...

All that we perceive is the result of our imagination.

All raw sensory input is interpreted by our imagination.

If there is little or no sensory input, such as while sleeping or in extreme isolation, our imagination proceeds to rummage around through our memories for "input" to re-interpret.

This extrapolating and recombining and juxtapositioning is the process by which we solve problems and think creatively. The process by which we "imagine."

Economics 101: Something from nothing

Keynesian money multiplier effects

I've learned that my post back in January 2014 (below) was greatly inaccurate though the result is still essentially the same. -- docsalvage, June 2014
See the Wikipedia article...

Money Supply - Fractional Reserve Banking - example

On Income Inequality ...

On Income Inequality: A French Economist Vs. An American Capitalist
by MARILYN GEEWAX, May 11, 2014 5:40 AM ET
Strangely enough, I think they're both right... In the same way each of the proverbial blind-men is right in their description of the elephant they only know by touch.

The healthiest possible economy occurs when 100% of the population feels maximum incentive to risk innovation in the pursuit of happiness (i.e. success).

Because the motivaters of the 1% are mostly in opposition to those of the 99%, maximum prosperity can only be achieved at some point of equilibrium between them. We've been WAY out of equilibrium for about 10-20 years.