Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Want to Know The Secret to Remembering Passwords? Ask a Magician

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2017

IMAGINE WE’RE at a cafe. I hand you a pencil and a pad of paper. I ask you to write your laptop’s password on the pad, rip off the sheet, fold it up and keep it safe in your pocket while I go place our orders for caffeine-laced milkshakes.

Later, I ask you to hand me your laptop. I turn it on, look dreamily into the distance, slowly type in your password and comment admiringly on your late-night browsing choices.

“That,” I say with a smile, “is why security experts tell you never to write down your password.”

The overarching principle of magic is that magicians are willing to go to more trouble to pull off a trick than any spectator would think the trick is worth. We cripple our hands with years of practice just to make a dime disappear.

I could apply this too-much-trouble principle to my passwords by simply memorizing them all. That’s not as impossible as it sounds. Memory training is one of magic’s strongest methods. If I can glance at a hand of cards or the serial number of a dollar bill and commit that info to memory in the blink of an eye, I have quite a potent tool.

Be seeing you


I am not a number. I am a free man!


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