Subject: Re: Who's running your business?
From: kmself@ix.netcom.com
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 10:46:32 -0700
Wed, 31 May 2000 10:46:32 -0700
On Wed, May 31, 2000 at 09:26:40AM -0700, Crispin Cowan wrote:
> "Kevin S. Van Horn" wrote:
> 
> > The purpose of doing a correctness proof generally isn't so that you can have
> > a nice stamp of approval on your code.  Correctness proofs are most useful
> > when your code is, in fact, not correct...
> 
> One of the better one-liners from presentations at this year's Oakland
> IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy:
> 
>      "it is easier to prove a statement when it is true :-)" -- Jonathan
>      Shapiro

Good quote, but not strictly accurate.  Proof by contradiction is a very
popular and powerful method.  Certain statements (Fermat's Hypothesis
comes to mind) which may be true (and Fermat was eventually borne out)
are much more readilly proven if a counterexample can be shown.  The
proof in the case of Fermat was decidedly non-trivial, and is far to
small to be included in the space remaining in this message <g>.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>         http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
  Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.                       http://www.opensales.org
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