It's confession time. I did not know much, if anything, about cryptography when enrolling in this class. With this lack of a background, what we read in Singh and the content that we later discussed in class were extremely fascinating to me since I hadn't had much previous exposure to the topic.
One topic that we discussed further in class was the resources that are needed in a society in order for cryptography to be present and flourish. As societies advance mathematically, statistically, and linguistically, skills in those areas tend to be ingrained in the population of that society. As we sat down in class on the first day, we were able to figure out the cypher alphabet and then decode a message. If you had put that same coded message in front of kids our age 600 years ago, there's not a doubt in my mind that they would struggle with it much more than we did.
While we automatically have a leg up due to our advanced society, another resource would have allowed someone our age to decode the message 600 years ago. This resource is of course the funds that would have provided an education to make up for the lack of societal knowledge. I thought it was really interesting to note how money could give you what would be more readily available in the future, just like most other commodities.