Importance of cryptography
I really haven't thought much about cryptography untill now. Also about a security as a whole. I treated paranoia of some of my sysops friend as just another quirk of their unusual behaviour or whatever.
I just push it out of my mind unconsiously. It's not my job. I don't know it, I don't really want to worry about and event try to think about what bad could happen. It would stress me out, wouldn't it? I'm not a good Dr Doom.
However it's extremly naive and I can see that. I encountered this behaviour in different fields so many times - I wanted to be in my comfort zone. Luckilly, my different part of personality loves challenges and rationalism too much to have stable comfort zone.
Recently I read an article on hackernews about cryptography and it inspired me, to change my attitude, learn about cryptography and think about security of systems I build and maintain.
I started reading this book. I read first chapter and it sounded pretty sane and interesting too me. This book can be treated as a course material, there are even recomendations of how to divide in in 10, 12 or 6 weeks.
I enjoyed the text. It's pleasure to read. It's clear and well structured.
Excercises! Yes, this book offers nice excercises to practice your new acquired skills. I was surprised by the elaborate manual of writing report for excercise and at least a bit overhelmed by it and amount of excercises, because I'm naturally lazy and new too subject - so it's double hard. But I plan to take my time and do them, if not all, at least a representive half.
Thinking about methods to break securities and commit crimes without punishment and not feeling wrong about it (think like your enemy) could be really refreshing and insightful.
World isn't only books
The real test of thinking well in security domain would be building real system that would satisfy at least basic security demands.