You Should Thank Plato for Encryption

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 24 2014 3:00 PM

You Should Thank Plato for Encryption

Even if you don't know much about math, you're probably vaguely aware that it underlies everything. But where did it all come from? If only you could review the history of the ancient Greeks' contributions to math in under two minutes.

Brought to animated life by 12foot6 and Phoebe Halstead, and voiced by James Grime of Numberphile, this video from the Royal Institution blitzes through the evolution of the proof and modern math in the two minutes before your attention wanes. From Pythagoras to Plato, Archimedes, and Euclid, the video shows how the concept of a proof is crucial to modern logic, engineering, and Internet encryption. What did you do today?

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

  Slate Plus
Slate Archives
Nov. 26 2014 12:36 PM Slate Voice: “If It Happened There,” Thanksgiving Edition Josh Keating reads his piece on America’s annual festival pilgrimage.