I'm reading Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.
I love this book.
If you haven't read it, you should.
I was impressed from the start, with its dry, truthful, unapologetic analysis.
I literally sat in dumb-struck awe when I read this though:
“Yes!” Robson says. “Welcome to Detachment 2701, Captain Waterhouse.”
”2701,” Waterhouse says.
Chattan and Robson look ever so mildly startled.
“We can't use 2701 because it is the product of two primes.”
”I beg your pardon?” Robson says.
One thing Waterhouse likes about these Brits is that when they don't know what the hell you are talking about, they are at least open to the possibility that it might be their fault. Robson has the look of a man who has come up through the ranks. A Yank of that type would already be scornful and blustery.
”Which ones?” Chattan says. That is encouraging; he at least knows what a prime number is.
“73 and 37,” Waterhouse says.
Seriously. I read that and I sat around for like 20 minutes wandering what it could possibly mean..
37 pops up again later too, in the combination to the safe.
I spent the whole of one night recently converting the first one million primes to base 37 to see if I could see anything interesting. I'm going to stick them in a database and do some statistical analysis on them some time soon.
Seriously, seriously, seriously. The answer is 37. I just need to find a way to prove it.