56 HomeYamamoto and the Secret Admirers
Neal Stephenson


The Logo
The logo of the Website is derived from the following passage from Cryptonomicon.

This has spawned a new category of messages in Randy's mailbox: unsolicited advice and criticism from crypto freaks worldwide. At the moment there are fourteen such messages in his in-box, eight of them from a person, or persons, identifying himself, or themselves, as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

It would be tempting to ignore these, but the problem is that a solid majority of people on the Secret Admirers mailing list are about ten times as smart as Randy. You can check the list anytime you want and find a mathematics professor in Russia slugging it out with another mathematics professor in India, kilobyte for kilobyte, over some stupefyingly arcane detail in prime number theory, while an eighteen-year-old, tube-fed math prodigy in Cambridge jumps in every few days with an even more stupefying explanation of why they are both wrong.

So when people like this send him mail, Randy tries to at least skim it. He is a little leery of the ones who identify themselves as Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, or with the number 56 (which is a code meaning Yamamoto). But just because they are political-verging-on-flaky doesn't mean they don't know their math.

Isoroku Yamamoto was a World War II Japanese Admiral who died due to bad cryptography that had been broken by American cryptanalysts.

The logo is a development of this idea.

 • The number 56 represents Admiral Yamamoto.
 • The red circle on a white background represents the flag of Japan.

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