Travelling Salesman (2012) Movie Script

I'd like to first
welcome everyone here tonight.
All of you joining us...
we can't hear you!
Okay, I'm sorry.
Please excuse us for a moment.
We're clearly having some
technical difficulties here.
Uh, we'll introduce
this evening's keynote speaker
In just a second.
No cell phones.
I know.
The battery.
Was that him?
What did he say?
40 minutes.
This doesn't feel right.
This is over two years.
Did he say why?
Perhaps we should
discuss the addendum
Before he arrives.
I wasn't 100% clear...
It was strongly suggested.
It wasn't 100% clear
If this was applicable.
It certainly wasn't
at the start.
And, now that we're here...
it was strongly suggested.
And now that
we're somehow here,
It would seem irresponsible
to everyone involved
To not have the discussion.
Right, that's...
exactly what I'm saying.
Who's the author
of the addendum?
I imagine it was a compositor.
Right, so...
- wasn't me.
- Or me.
I'm sorry?
The addendum.
What about it?
We think it should be
So? Discuss it.
Why was it included?
I was asked to include
applied suppositions.
- When?
- Nine months ago.
Why am I being interrogated?
Come on.
It was always agreed on,
from the start,
That everything
in the final report
Would be discussed
and agreed upon by all of us,
That's right.
- as... As I was saying...
- Was it von neu...
I'm sorry to interrupt.
Was it von Neumann who said
that in mathematics
We don't understand things,
we simply get used to them?
What does that mean?
Well, uh...
i suppose what it means
Is that the implication
stated within the addendum
Seemed to be a slight stretch
For an algorithmic
Wouldn't you say, Jim?
I can't believe the English
Still haven't taught you
proper manners.
Guys, let's stay on the topic.
I'm not entirely sure
what that means, but, uh...
- oh, I'm sure you wouldn't.
- It's apparent,
However superficially, that
you've exceeded your authority.
Perhaps we should hang on
for a minute...
This is not a democracy...
actually, authority's
even the wrong word,
Because that has implications,
And in this case,
there are none.
- You had none.
- Or a lecture hall, son.
There's no point
in questioning...
I'm not a child.
No, you most certainly are not.
You used the word "superficial"
a moment ago,
And if that's where
you'd like to leave it,
Then the answer
is quite simple.
Three words:
Knowledge is power.
Yes, it is.
His brief career
has undoubtedly touched,
and motivated all of us
In some capacity.
And these brief introductions
Always, on some level,
seem to fall short
Of true justice.
But, nevertheless, here goes.
Our honored guest was born
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
Son of a banker
and a homemaker,
A graduate of the university
of Pennsylvania,
Summa cum laude,
Before receiving his PhD
in mathematics
From Princeton.
Based on his thesis work
on Riemann's hypothesis,
He was an invited fellow
At the institute
for advanced study
As well as at mit,
Where his work
on complexity theory
Earned him the abel prize.
He is presently the rouse ball
professor of mathematics
In the department
of pure mathematics
And mathematical statistics
at Cambridge university
And a fellow
at trinity college.
In 2008...
he was awarded the greatest
honor in our profession
When he was presented
with the fields medal
For his proof
of the nonexistence
Of one-Way functions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is with great honor
that I now present to you
Dr. Timothy Horton.
Has he seen this?
Which part?
The addendum.
What does it matter?
The implications
are fairly self-Evident, right?
I mean, perhaps
not through and through,
But let's be clear.
This endeavor
would not have received
The level of funding
and classification
If its implications
were not self-Evident.
I agree
they're self-Evident,
But I still feel
they need to be aired,
And I guess, mulled over.
I don't know,
I feel uncomfortable
To just sit here
with assumptions.
We all know this is far too big
To assume anything.
Why is it self-Evident?
Pardon me?
Why is it self-Evident?
Well, I mean...
you don't work
your entire academic life
In the fields of theoretical
computer science
And complexity theory
without understanding the...
The massive implications
of doing something like this.
Well, I guess, uh,
I guess I feel
There are two things wrong
with what you just said.
Um, first of all, we were
told from... Promised, actually,
That any of the applied
mathematical results
Of our findings
would be our own
And they would not
be classified.
They'd be government
purpose rights,
But that's it, right?
He changed that
somewhere along the way.
Second of all, to assume
that any of us as mathematicians
Can sufficiently gauge
the real-World implications
Of this project, it's...
It's hubris.
I mean, it's... It's...
It's just hubris.
How do you ever get a date
with such an academic mind?
I'm not sure I understand
what you're suggesting.
I simply dazzle them
with my card tricks.
I mean, come on, guys,
this is...
I feel like this is the argument
that evolutionary scientists
Have over steak dinner
and a glass of wine, right?
It's... One solves
one problem,
And the other one
looks back and says,
what was before that?"
And then,
"well, what was before that?
What was before that?"
I mean...
how do we get our minds
around something like that?
Why don't you read my addendum?
I did,
and I find your assumptions
To be inadequate,
among other things.
I don't think anyone
is saying here
That we can accurately forecast
The implications
of our research
50 years from now,
If I can understand
what you're trying to say.
Just like oppenheimer and Fermi
Couldn't possibly
predict the consequences
Of the los Alamos research.
This also begs the question
of responsibility as well.
How could we
possibly discuss that?
At los Alamos, they didn't...
This... is not los Alamos.
What did you say?
How's your daughter doing?
She talking yet?
As much as I do appreciate
the smalltalk, Horton,
It feels awkwardly out of place
Given your little
los Alamos project.
- Manhattan.
- What's that?
Freakin' brits.
It was the Manhattan project.
Yeah, yeah,
this is all S.C.I. Classified.
So, you know, if you
divulge anything, the NSA...
I think that's who
we've got over there...
They'll, uh,
they'll assassinate you.
Probably torture you first.
Oh, very charming.
Guess I should put away
my spy camera then.
"But, uh, but,
"Mr. President,
he'll see everything.
He'll see the big board!"
Precisely the idea.
Where the bloody hell
is los Alamos, anyway?
Ah, it's new Mexico.
The desert.
Hmm. What's it like
to live in the desert?
- I do wonder.
- How should I know?
I'm from south Philly.
Either way, this is certainly
not los Alamos.
Wait, what'd you say?
Hmm? What,
"this is certainly not los..."
No, no, no.
Before that.
Oh. I do wonder
what it's like
- To, you know, live in a...
- Right, right.
Live in a desert.
Hugh, what are some
Of a desert?
It's hot.
Right, yeah, and what else?
No water.
No rain.
Cactuses or... Cactus.
- Sand.
- Sure.
Millions of grains of sand.
What if I, uh,
I took something,
Like a-A quid coin, okay?
And I buried it in the sand.
It's buried,
you have no idea where it is,
And I ask you to find it.
How long would that take you?
Years, right?
I mean, millions of years,
If the desert were big enough.
What if I melted the sand?
Took all the sand in the desert
and melted it.
The whole desert
becomes one big sheet of glass.
So now, finding the coin
is easy, right?
You just...
You see it floating there.
Change the sand to glass,
And finding the coin
is trivial.
Hugh, I think you're
gonna need to leave now.
Oh, yes.
No, seriously, I think
you really need to leave.
What do you think?
What do you think?
I'm sorry?
Come on.
Oh, I, uh, think we should
Wait for him to arrive
before that's discussed.
Perhaps a consensus amongst us
Would be helpful
when he does arrive.
Well, I think it's fairly clear
What he'll say our
responsibility is: Nothing.
Our talents were used
on the chalkboards
In the classrooms,
And ultimately composed here.
And that may be where
they'd like to leave things,
But if history
has an precedent,
We're at the forefront
of a new technocratic reality.
Just like oppenheimer.
We really should be thinking
about mathematicians
As politicians.
But those guys
had no precedent.
And, quite frankly,
after seeing
What oppenheimer
endured after trinity,
I'm not sure any of us
is prepared for that.
Regardless, it's reality.
We've all thought about it,
I mean...
I'm gonna say that I object
to these comparisons.
- Why?
- It's just uncomfortable.
I understand that, but why?
Perhaps it's heartburn,
but who knows?
Come on.
Because, at the penultimate
achievement of his career,
The only thing oppenheimer
could remember
Was the bhagavad gita:
"Now I am become death,
the destroyer of worlds."
I don't know
who's more naive...
The one who believes ignoring
the problem is righteous,
Or the one who believes
this discovery
Is equivalent
to the atomic bomb.
I think you miss my point.
Whereas their work
was built around
Threat, fear,
and ultimately destruction.
Her work was one of discovery
and knowledge... That's it.
You can't overlook the fact
that their research
Blazed the way
for numerous scientific
And medical achievements that
have saved countless lives...
- I understand that.
- And facilitated the growth
Of the global economy
as we know it.
Nuclear power provides
20% of the U.S.'S
And 30% of the eu's
electrical power.
I understand that,
but the aims of their project...
They knew what
their objective was.
It was destructive.
I mean, who are we
kidding here?
No, wrong. It was political,
just as this is.
I'm sorry,
you just said a moment ago
That there was no possible way
They could understand
the consequences
Of what they were doing.
Now you say their ultimate aim
was destructive?
No... no.
There is a massive difference
Between understanding
what you have to do
And not knowing how history
will view your achievements...
Or maybe failure.
If you recall,
there was widespread fear
At los Alamos that an
uncontrolled nuclear explosion
Could set the atmosphere
on fire,
Ending life on earth.
We're talking about
an atomic, fissile
Particle chain reaction here,
Certainly, these men
knew that the device
They were building
was destructive.
But how could they possibly
have understood
How their endeavor
would affect the future?
Like if it would result
in international, global...
I don't know...
Cosmic horror?
If society somehow survived
such a catastrophe,
They'd most likely be viewed,
Whether through propaganda
or not, as villains,
Worse than Hitler.
Well, the truth, I think,
lies somewhere in between.
Why don't we shift gears
before he arrives
And discuss if there
are any issues within the body
Of the findings.
I know we applied
our own expertise
To portions of the report
that fit our field,
Often independently
and while our work
Was rigorously examined
throughout the process.
I guess, are there
any questions?
Or issues with anyone's work?
Ultimately, everything
was functional.
But no one has any questions,
I had a hard time
validating your proof, doctor.
Computationally, on the surface,
it appeared correct.
It was quite elegant, really.
But, upon closer examination,
a potential error...
I think we all know
it's airtight.
I mean, we made our
nondeterministic processor.
You can hold it in your hand.
It's simply a physical
representation of the algorithm.
To be blunt,
I'm still not convinced
That your final
computation class
Is computable in linear time.
What, are you nervous?
It's right.
We were more than methodical,
rigorous, even.
Review upon review...
It's right.
I agree... The processor
wouldn't compute
What it's computing
if p wasn't equal to np.
That's right.
Let me put it another way.
The mind's flexibility...
Or maybe I should
say performance...
Is dramatically hindered
the more mileage you put on it.
I mean, Christ,
it's basically the theme
- Of hardy's biography.
- Jim...
p=np is the most significant
In theoretical computer science
And mathematical
complexity theory.
Nearly every area of knowledge
is based on the idea
That brute-Force search
is hard, okay?
That it takes a long time.
We just showed that it's easy.
Everything changes.
This could pave the way
for... It's...
When we prove that p=np,
It has to be done right.
Pick a card.
Come on, pick a card.
Remember that
and put it back in the deck.
Okay, now, if I were
a lousy magician, I would...
You are a lousy magician.
The best way to find your card
Would be to go through each
and ask you,
"Is this your card?"
No. And so on.
And this would take forever,
of course.
Imagine a deck
with a million cards.
I couldn't possibly.
Right. Now...
If I had this problem with
our nondeterministic oracle,
I would simply
give it the deck,
And I would say,
"which is the right card?"
Employ a little nondeterministic
what do the French say?
Quite a visual presentation.
So, if I can get this straight,
In your explanation,
that I'm pretty sure I saw
Somewhere between
the 10th and 11th grade,
The nondeterministic step
to simplify p=np
And, ultimately, the world,
works in linear time
Because the cards say so?
You're simply suggesting
that your algorithm
Is fundamental?
I'm simply suggesting
that it's magic.
Thank you.
That's very kind of you.
And thank you, Dr. Acuri,
For that overwhelmingly kind
I'm, um, very humbled
and honored
To be in front of you
this evening.
Um, not just because I'm a room
Full of brilliant
Which, of course, I am.
But because, not too long ago,
I was, in fact,
denied admission
To this very university.
Uh, not enough extracurriculars,
I suppose.
this symposium's focus
is on the future of mathematics,
And I've been asked
to succinctly address that topic
With you here tonight.
It's difficult, of course,
to contextualize
Something so vague and broad
As the future of mathematics.
If the past is any indication
of what is yet to come,
Um, that answer
could very well be anything.
But I don't think many of you
would find that summary
Very adequate, so I will
attempt to do better.
Let's, uh, let's begin
by taking stock
Of where we are presently.
The extraordinary application
of mathematics
Has allowed us luxuries
and necessities
Such as mobile phones,
Gps navigation,
automatic dish... Dishwashers.
It's allowed us computer games,
portable televisions,
Compact disc players.
It's allowed us
Organic food distribution,
calculator wristwatches.
It's allowed radio control,
lasik eye surgery,
Laser brain redaction,
noninvasive arthroscopy.
It's allowed g5s, c-4,
And weapons-Grade u-235.
It's allowed artificial hearts
And heartless
artificial intelligence.
It's allowed blackberries...
I hope they're all silent...
iPhones and all the other
portable devices
That enslave us to the man,
Keep us chained
to the ever-Growing
Corporate contingency
of this world.
It's allowed facebook, MySpace,
And all the other
pervasive web apps
That enable cutthroat enablers
And expedite
the greedy infiltration
And perversion of our youth.
In short, it's allowed
the good, the bad,
And everything else.
thank you for waiting.
I'm sorry to be late.
Before I forget, would you
just pass those around?
They're from the president.
Has everyone eaten?
Everyone's well?
I think that today is
a culmination of many things,
Many emotions.
And I'm... I'm here
to say thank you and...
I guess to provide
maybe a little closure
To a process that I'm sure
has seemed quite endless.
Now, I don't want to drag
this out and make it too long,
But I've been instructed...
Well, actually,
pretty much ordered...
To make sure you guys leave here
happy and fulfilled.
How's that go?
Hall hath no fury
like a mathematician scorned?
All right, now...
it has been over a year
Since we were all
in the same room.
Does anyone have any questions
that, hopefully, I can answer?
All right, well,
I've got a brief agenda
That I want to run through,
So let's just pass these
around, all right?
First item is the order
of compensation.
$10 million annuities
have been established
In each of your names.
All you need to do
is check the appropriate box
Next to the payment method.
Direct deposit?
Pardon me?
Will this be direct deposit?
However your research
stipends were paid,
This will be the same.
Does that work?
Now, including
your annual stipends,
Has anyone had any issues
at all
With their payments thus far?
I hope not.
All right, well,
your stipends will continue
For another six months
for any supplemental research
That may be needed.
But hopefully not.
And that brings your total
funding to approximately...
Well, not approximately...
To exactly $22 million
U.S. Dollars,
And the annuity will ultimately
pay out more than that.
Not bad for a few years'
research, is it?
Gentlemen, before we go
to the next item,
I want to express to you
the level of gratitude
The president and the country
Owe you.
This is no small moment
in history.
Next is the non-Disclosure
I know we have visited
and revisited this issue
Many times over
the last few years.
It's a very critical one.
The second document reiterates
the legal ramifications
If any information
is published or broadcast
Without the dod
or NSA's consent,
Which basically means never.
I know this project itself
is classified.
Is there any intention
of ultimately releasing
The findings to the community?
We all have a lot of colleagues
Whose applied research
could benefit from this.
I mean, I'm talking about
methods to cure cancer,
Establish a causal connection
to Parkinson's, Alzheimer's...
Right, right,
we understand that,
And I want to assure you
that the government
Will be very thoughtful
to those issues.
And we'll probably take those
on a case-By-Case basis,
But for right now,
I will have to say no.
It will remain as a classified
national security asset.
I'm sorry, that's not
what we signed up for.
Well, from the outset,
I don't think anyone
could have predicted
The extent of your
And with the sensitivity
of the findings,
It is in our country's
best interests
To make sure
they remain safeguarded.
So if we were
to publish anything
In, say, a trade journal...
You could be...
And, of course, it would
Depend on what was discussed...
But you could be in violation
Of the program's nda,
and as a result,
You could be arrested
for treason.
Now, your security clearances
will be terminated,
I believe within the same
six-Month time frame.
After that, you'll
no longer have access
To the communications channel
or the secured network
That you've all used
to coordinate with each other.
Well, I understand that
you must give this same spiel
To any variety of...
Of, uh...
I don't really know
who you give this spiel to.
But doesn't it seem
somewhat ironic,
Given your present audience?
I'm sorry.
I don't follow you.
I think what Jim means is that,
If there were
a secured network,
Like, uh, siprnet or jwics,
that we wanted access to,
Well, um...
we'd just hack in and take it.
Well, I am sorry
to disappoint you,
But the defense system
that you just referenced
Is not part of any network
that you have access to.
Well, we're sorry
to disappoint you,
But just the fact that those
systems are on any network
Means they're vulnerable.
Where was it, doctor,
that we developed
The system
to infiltrate siprnet?
- Uh, Princeton?
- Sure, yeah.
And that was before we had
our nondeterministic process.
- Gentlemen...
- It was practically
- My doctoral thesis.
- Yes, of course.
Congratulations, gentlemen.
You have just admitted
to seven felony counts
And a level of treason
that would land you at supermax.
So you're saying I should
delete those secret files
Off my hard drive?
I'm saying that if you
took this process
A bit more seriously,
We could get out of here
that much sooner.
I just want to remind you, sir,
That this is not
your typical sewing circle.
Now, that's all I had
as far as an agenda.
Before I take my leave,
does anyone have any more
Legitimate concerns
that I can address?
Well, we were actually
having a bit of a discussion
About the inclusion
of the addendum.
Some of us
were under the impression
That, in fact, documenting
any of the system's applications
Was, uh, I guess
not in the spirit
Of this project's
original intentions.
Sure. I asked Jim
to include the supplement
Because I was asked
by my superiors at the dod
For a brief summary of what
their $1/4 billion investment
Bought them.
You are, after all,
being funded
By the united states taxpayers.
Does that answer your question?
- Well...
- That response... Sorry...
That response
is overwhelmingly inadequate.
Well, I guess I have
to apologize for that.
Okay, well,
let me put it another way.
You have plenty
of mathematicians at the NSA,
Presumably with some
baseline level intelligence.
You had to have known
what this project would mean.
So, um, well,
why do you need it stated
In this document, I guess,
and... And why
Does it only seem to list
The more destructive
- Scapegoats.
- That's absurd.
This endeavor's had nothing
but the strictest security,
And with the exception
of a very, very small group
Of people, no one even knows
of your involvement.
So whatever applications
your system may provide for,
You will always remain
entirely anonymous.
I felt earlier that possibly
including these findings
In our publication
was almost a responsibility,
As mathematicians.
But now, as I sit here,
that logic slowly evaporates,
And I'm left with the idea
that if something terrible
Should ever happen, you'd
conveniently be able to say,
It wasn't our idea."
has nothing to do with it.
Has the increased level
of Chinese hacking attacks
Had anything to do
with your sudden interest
In our system's applications?
I wouldn't really know.
But I assume we all understand,
And I am not afraid to admit,
The new cold war has begun.
A room of the four
smartest men on the planet,
And yet not one of you
has indicated any understanding
Of the world's reality.
Future conflicts
will not be waged
By racing to Jupiter
or splitting atoms
Or building nuclear devices
faster than the other.
This is far more subtle.
It's a penny here,
a penny there.
An unresponsive power grid,
a subverted stock exchange.
The cumulative effect
spirals the world economy,
And when the dust settles,
The world's divvied up,
smaller now,
Like vultures
to a fat, meaty carcass.
Maybe we're still a superpower.
Maybe we're not.
But make no mistake, gentlemen.
The Carthaginians knock
at the gate of America.
You're implying
that ghostnet's becoming
A more significant threat.
Look, obviously I'm not
at liberty to discuss that,
But suffice it to say
the Chinese
Are a constant
source of scrutiny
From our security community.
I think that answers
the question pretty clearly.
- In what way?
- In what way?
Come on, with accelerated
key search and decryption,
The entire world
is at your fingertips.
There is literally nothing
you couldn't see.
Until they encode things
Or develop a different
architecture for coming at us.
But you still have
how many months or years
Of absolute, unguarded access
to anything you'd want.
Financial information,
technical information,
Military data,
coded national secrets.
- It's the equivalent of...
- Billions.
No, quickly in my head,
I'd have to say
Trillions of dollars
worth of information.
- Gentlemen...
- I'm not sure a value
Can really be put on that level
of information.
True, but we can roughly
quantify things here.
I mean, let's think.
Chinese gdp is around
$3.2 trillion U.S. Dollars.
Any cryptosystem
that uses pspace algorithms,
Which is essentially
their entire infrastructure,
Could easily be accessed.
Well, that may work for a
particular aspect of a network,
Say, a financial institution's
But other systems use
a different crypto algorithm.
- Come on.
- You can't crack it,
Because it's
a different problem.
That's utterly ridiculous.
We're not even talking
cutting-Edge theory here.
Gary Johnson, guys in the '70s
Showed that, fundamentally,
All these complex
mathematical problems...
Knapsack, sat, whatever...
They're all the same problem.
- Solve one, solve all.
- That's what this is.
That's what np-Complete
Modern cryptography
is based on the, I guess,
Now-Outdated reality
that some problems
Are just too computationally
expensive to brute force, right?
They just take too long
to try every answer.
So introduce
the nondeterministic processor
And problems that once
took millions of years to solve,
Solved in minutes.
I appreciate the lecture,
And I do understand
the fundamentals,
But my guys'
theoretical research
Points to the fact
that separate networks,
Separate anything,
requires separate grids
With distinct
computational problems.
Oh, your guys?
Yes, rand.
It all boils down
to the nondeterministic oracle.
With it, with the processor,
All problems in p and np space
Can be computed
in reasonable time.
Key searches, factoring,
discrete logs...
You can break any cryptosystem
in the world
If you have the will
and, I guess,
The software program to do so.
Not even a Chinese
hybrid cryptosystem
Could prevent
or even acknowledge an attack.
Anyways, in my opinion,
this works more as a weapon,
I guess, by subtraction
or destruction,
Much in the same way
as a conventional weapon,
As opposed to, say,
some sort of, I don't know,
- Intergovernmental larceny.
- Meaning?
Meaning that it's impractical
to embezzle Chinese money
To, say, fund a federal
education bill, okay?
If you want more money,
just print more.
And at this level,
it'll have little effect
On their economy.
And, if you're somehow
You've essentially
declared war on a superpower,
And all you have to show for it
Are a few cleaner schools.
Well, it could be worse.
Really, the only way I see it
Would be to systematically
attack the asset.
Basically, cripple it,
take it out.
I have to say, it's much
easier to discuss application
When it's contextualized
like this.
So say you're about to launch
a cyber-Attack on china,
What would logically
be your first target?
Power plants.
Why would you do that?
Kill the power,
stifle the defensive grid.
The country would be
most vulnerable.
Yeah, but if you cut the power,
Then nothing's connected...
How can you hack
A network that's not online?
No, I think if you want
to use this as a weapon,
First, you crush their
entire communications system.
Basically act
as the country's brain.
You can receive and transmit
anything you like.
Mass hysteria, paranoia.
Almost like
a water-Based toxin.
You could tear the country
I know china
is a lodestone here,
But I believe
it would be totally naive
To ignore our allies...
Israel, Russia, England.
If history has taught us
anything, it's that
Allegiances are made
for self-Gain.
There is literally
no one you can trust.
I'm sure the trust issue
will go over well
With our allies
as we explain to them
Why we completely hacked
their communication network.
That's why we don't get caught.
Right. Look...
this is a foreign policy
None of us are prepared for,
and frankly,
We're all out of our element.
I don't know how much
that's true.
Still, as much as I thought
our project's implications
Should be discussed, the sudden
inclusion of the addendum
Is a clear breach
of the original agreement.
Listen, deception
or anything along those lines
Was never part of our goal,
and not that it matters to you,
But this issue
is not as black and white
As you're making it sound.
Three weeks after the original
arrangement was discussed,
Ghostnet penetrated
a secure norad defense system,
The contents of which
contain top-Secret nuclear data,
Including the longitudinal
Of every major missile battery
on the east coast.
Four months after that,
U.S. Army call sign
database was hit.
That's information contained
on such a need-To-Know basis
That it's generally accepted
that the president
Doesn't need to know.
Well, maybe you
should have hired us
To secure
those particular systems.
In a way, we did.
My superiors and I find
a certain nobility
In your accomplishments.
Motives aside, you were
hired to do something
That godel, von Neumann,
Everyone deemed impossible.
Yet you did it
for your country.
Nobody's denying
that there's something noble
About the true pursuit
of knowledge
Or national pride, whatever.
But right now, I have
the sinking feeling
That all that's being lost.
I merely did as asked.
Yeah, so did the guards
at Auschwitz.
You can go to hell
for saying that.
Godwin's law strikes again.
And in terms of
any contractual obligation
For present or future work,
as far as I'm concerned,
The inclusion of this addendum
is a clear breach of contract.
Well, I guess, in that case,
the U.S. Government
Can just rip up your paychecks
and cancel the annuities.
What are you gonna do, sue us?
Come on, this is not a burden.
You serve at the pleasure
of the president.
This is your patriotic duty,
done immaculately well,
In an increasingly aggressive
world, okay?
You... You speak to us
like we're lockheed
And we just developed
some fancy drone airplane
That may or may not ever work.
In a way, yes.
We look at your system
as a national asset.
You are so stupid.
Don't you condescend to me.
I am not here to be ridiculed.
- Cooler heads, guys.
- No, you're here to...
To make sure we're happy.
You're a tire salesman.
I will entertain
a civil discussion, yes,
But I'm not going to sit here
and be attacked.
- Yes, you will.
- Excuse me?
It's your job to sit here.
You've been ordered to.
Though power may lie here,
Ultimately, it's the four of us
That must accept this fate,
not force-Fed.
Truly, if this
is a patriotic duty,
As you're suggesting,
We could quite simply
conquer, destroy,
Eradicate, and any other
destructive verb
You can think of,
without reprisal,
Without mercy,
without consequence.
Surely some duty ought
to be paid to that reality.
That's only the beginning.
There's a war
being waged in cyberspace,
Whether anyone
wants to admit it or not.
And for reasons
of economies of scale,
The united states and its allies
are dramatically behind.
Each week, the NSA estimates
that 233 computers
In the district
are compromised,
Many of them
in classified facilities.
There is such an awareness
of cyber espionage
That the majority
of NSA correspondences
Have reverted to handwritten
pieces of paper
That are either
burned after reading
Or locked away.
Do you have any idea
The quantity of top-Secret
correspondences that
Are hand-Delivered
by trusted couriers each year?
It's staggering.
This is the future
of the world.
This is now.
This is bigger
than your secrets.
As an American, I don't know
how anyone could say that.
As a mathematician,
it's my conscience to say that.
Then why don't you break it
down for me a little slower,
So I can understand.
Hardy called mathematics
the language of the gods
Because it, uh, it unlocks
and categorizes things
That the mind
can't possibly understand.
I-I don't expect you to
at this point.
But there are certain
foundational proofs, okay,
That lead
to more powerful conclusions.
To lock this away so you
can spy on somebody is criminal.
Oh, that is so ignorant
and condescending
It makes me want to spit.
This was the most important
unsolved problem
In computer science.
To think you were the only
mathematicians in the world
Focusing your efforts on this
is naive.
You're pawns, automatons.
We funded you.
We brought you together.
You were denied nothing.
Thought was fostered,
And, ultimately,
a solution was achieved.
You were a piece of the puzzle.
A cog.
Separately, you're nothing.
You were the people
we mocked growing up.
But collectively,
you have altered world history
And put the proper power
in the proper hands.
But don't forget your origin.
You were made.
A soldered link
in a greater chain reaction.
9, 10, 11, 12,
13, 14, 15,
16, 17, 18, 19...
come in.
22, 23...
Dr. Horton.
Come on.
Uh, it's a nice effort,
But let's focus more
on simplifying the algorithms
Before drawing the conclusions.
You know, I can take care
of those inquiries for you.
Yeah, well...
you know, I hate the ivory tower
we've got here.
I don't think Dr. Hawking's
had a conversation
With a student in,
like, 25 years.
Well, I think the voice machine
Might have been
a slight impediment.
Though it is a hit
At the staff meetings.
Did you know, I found out
that when Isaac Newton
Was a fellow at trinity,
He was in the office
right next door?
- Really?
- Yes.
Hugh, what would you think
If there were an algorithm
that could prove itself,
Like an automated proof solver.
In other words, every time
it found a solution,
It also found another problem...
A new problem.
It would solve one
and then the next,
And then the next and...
it could iterate ad infinitum.
- What would I think?
- Yeah.
since I'm assuming
you're talking about something
Well beyond
the Pythagorean theorem here,
I would say it's, uh,
A system that
provides solutions
Without ever concluding.
You know, always posing
the question, "what's next?"
Almost like a computer worm.
Yes, but bigger, you know?
I'm thinking more generalized.
Like, uh...
well, it'll solve any problem,
Not just problems
it knows about.
Anything it encounters.
That's impossible.
I mean, that's
practically impossible,
Even in an applied sense.
Solving one problem
would just take forever.
It's np-Complete.
Well, let's pretend that, uh,
It doesn't take forever.
P and np don't matter.
Finding solutions is fast.
The only thing that powerful
Would, uh, be the sun.
Yeah, but let's keep it
more terrestrial,
Like, uh, Prometheus
or Newton's cradle, okay?
The only solution is that
There can't possibly be
any more solutions.
Like a chain reaction?
I mean...
what would you think?
I don't know.
Thank you.
I, uh, had dinner
a week or so ago
With the president
and the defense secretary.
Naturally, they're very excited
About your work here,
and blah, blah, blah.
Then I was able to slide
something past him.
There's a farmer in
the provence region of France
Who has an extraordinarily
intelligent horse.
He can actually give it
arithmetic problems,
And it will tap out
the answer with its hoof.
So we called in experts
and researchers
To look at the horse,
And they were fascinated
by him.
As they tested him,
they found out
That it could answer algebra,
Euclidian geometry, calculus,
And even group theory.
But when they
put a problem down
That had Cartesian
coordinates in it,
The horse just stood there,
Dumbly, like any other horse.
And I thought,
"that's pretty strange,
Considering how intelligent
the horse is."
So then they called in
one more expert,
Who examined the horse,
and he figured out
What the problem was.
So I turned to the president,
and I said,
"Do you know
what the diagnosis was?"
Sure! It couldn't understand
Cartesian coordinates
Because that'd be putting
"Descartes" before the horse.
Sorry, was that supposed
to be rhetorical?
We're all very impressed.
You know, it's exhausting
Having someone like you
in the room,
Always with an answer.
If anything,
what you said brings to mind
Some issues of morality here,
since the discussion
Has shifted to, I guess,
a more applied arena.
How does what I said
bring you anywhere near there?
- Who cares?
- No, I'm saying this
Is something I don't think
we've discussed.
It doesn't directly deal with
our system's applications
As much as, you know...
playing god?
Well, I mean, come on.
More like sabotage, theft,
Public secrets, espionage.
The question just begs
to be asked:
Just because you can
do something,
Does it mean you should?
Hypothetically, why not?
What's to stop someone?
I don't think anyone's
in the business
Of casually siphoning money
or secrets.
There has to be some motive.
Well, here's an easy one:
National security.
Well, clearly, but if
there's no way to monitor
What you're doing,
are we just supposed to trust
That you won't be...
I-I don't know,
Invading privacy or...
What, in our
infinite spare time?
Well, how about
the patriot act?
Warrantless phone taps?
I mean, come on, this is not
that much of a stretch.
Has anyone in this room
used the system
To do anything untoward?
- Anyone?
- What's your point?
His point is that just
because you can do something,
Does not mean you will.
No, my point is merely
that nobody in this room
Has ever tried
to apply the system.
The four of you
have enough self-Control
To not push
the big, red button.
The reality is that
just because the government
Is capable of doing something
Does not mean it executes it.
250,000 residents
of two Japanese cities
Might have a different version
of history for you.
Oh, suddenly, the idealist.
You know, it's so hard
to keep up with you.
- I'm not sure whether...
- You know, I'm not sure
What I am,
but I do know that this
Antagonistic attitude,
which I'm sure
Terrifies and oppresses
all your little subordinates
Back at the office,
in this venue,
It's really uninteresting,
And I'm not sure where
you get the idea
That anyone born after 1950
Is interested in something
that happened 65 years ago,
As if that's still
a relevant topic...
Right, like learning
something from history
- I such a horrible idea?
- And everyone in my world
Is really interested
in taking diplomacy lessons
From a math-Rat.
And no one outside your world
Has anything intelligent to add
To a global policy discussion.
If they're not qualified, no.
It boils down to the fact
That the system's ours now.
We own it...
We own it because
We believe it can protect
our citizens.
We own it because we believe
it can help create
A more cohesive world order,
a more prosperous future
For our children
and our children's children.
Gentlemen, I think we need
to take a step back here...
Whose children are we talking
about, mine or yours?
We own it because
we believe, if needed,
Its application
can help restore peace,
Allocate money,
stop corruption, protect assets,
And ultimately secure
the world's transactions.
You're smirking.
Am I being funny?
Yeah, it's all so funny.
The instantaneous evaporation
of years of promises.
I mean, am I the only one
hearing him?
I put a lifetime's worth
of research into the fact
That this would always live
in my world and not yours.
Well, I am truly sorry
to disappoint you,
But in the four
intervening years
Since this was first discussed
in Chicago,
A few slight changes
have occurred globally:
The unprecedented economic
growth of communist china,
The radically resurgent
Russian interest
In nuclear proliferation,
north Korea,
Constant cyber warfare,
Military assets
being compromised
And American lives being lost
at the whim of a keystroke!
This is not the world
of Eisenhower!
This is not the world
of Machiavelli!
- There really is no point...
- Let them speak.
Hardy believed
that pure mathematics
Were, on the whole, distinctly
more useful than applied.
You see, what's actually useful
for mathematicians,
And by extension, mankind,
Are the foundational proofs
upon which
Complexity theory...
Mathematics... Is based.
This, sir,
I-Is an abomination.
Deceit, corruption.
- And hardy would...
- You are not hardy.
That's right.
He's better.
Oh, no.
No, no, no.
I didn't.
I'm sorry.
No, I-I...
I didn't.
No, no...
No! No! No!
Agh! No!
Have you a sign?
Have you a sign?
Right angles, horizontals,
and perpendiculars!
Binding yourself
under no less penalty than that
Of having your body
severed in twain.
No! No!
It's not an obligation!
Your bowels taken thence...
and your brain's bled
of all its knowledge.
No, no, that is not
what I'm saying.
A lot of questions
have been discussed today,
And many of the answers
have simply been inadequate.
Well, I apologize,
but I personally
Came down here
to provide some closure,
And on some level,
I'm feeling attacked.
Right, understood,
but this is really becoming
An issue
of responsibility here.
In other words, if our
nondeterministic processor
Is used unjustifiably,
there will be, in our community,
A substantial record,
or should I say indication,
That any or all of us
were responsible
For whatever mess...
Come on, what did you expect?
I expected protection.
Don't you think the world,
the mathematical community,
Will have some understanding
that our true intentions
Were for the good of science?
Maybe, but passive acceptance
of everything...
There's been
no passive acceptance!
He's been attacked
in an accusatory manner.
Please stop cutting me off!
I'm just trying to simply say
That this is not
black and white.
"Oh, they were doing it
for science.
"Well done, lads,
this post-Apocalyptic winter
Is just what
the doctor ordered."
Things became
more complicated today.
There have been
admissions made.
What admissions?
Gentlemen, please, we're
going round and round here.
It's understandable, after
the accomplishments you've made,
To feel apprehensive,
believe me.
I have been there before
with other projects.
- Like what?
- Excuse me?
You said
you've seen this before
With other projects...
Which ones?
- What?
- Well, as a member
Of a fairly well-Informed
I'm eager to learn
what other project was completed
Under your tenure,
One that changed the nature
of humanity.
One that renders
all cryptosystems inert,
Giving whomever it wants
unfettered access
To any secured information,
Something as fundamentally
important to its time and place
As the discovery of fire.
Oh, please,
I have been in the presence
Of dignitaries,
diplomats, kings,
Presidents, celebrities,
world-Class athletes.
But none of them
can hold a candle to the ego
That's present in a roomful
of fucking mathematicians!
You're clearly not
understanding our concerns.
you mathematicians create
Is gonna alter the course
of human history.
The level
of self-Absorption...
I was trying
to passively engage things,
But it's now alarming how little
you seem to understand
- What you have right here...
- Modern-Day shamans,
Peddling the extraordinary.
The world is not as complex
as you believe.
This divisiveness is not as deep
as your imagination...
Your oversimplification
is reckless!
And quite frankly, the total
tonnage of what I'm privy to
And you are not would wake
a corpse from its grave!
Well, we're all
pretty smart guys.
Why don't you enlighten us?
Because I don't really
care that much.
I'm not interested
in broadening the perspectives
- Of intelligentsia.
- You already said
That your hope for our system
was that it might
Create a more cohesive
world order.
What does that mean?
What are you looking for?
How 'bout some answers?
What do you want from me?
These meetings
Can often be unpleasant.
You have been paid.
Consider yourself debriefed.
Sit down.
I want a document drafted
Stating the proof p=np
belongs to the four of us.
You can have the design
for the processor,
Classify it if you want,
but the proof,
As originally promised,
is ours. Furthermore...
I'm not sure where you
get off instructing me
To the fucking toilet.
Furthermore, I want
the classified addendum
With any reference to our names
or applications removed.
This is not a negotiation.
Well, I suggest
you make it one.
What is any of that
going to do, hiding it?
Now, I, for one,
would prefer this technology
Be licensed
to the private sector.
Think about it...
It's the safest way
To avoid what we all fear,
which is basically
A monopoly...
Geopolitically, corporately.
I don't care.
License it to Intel.
License it to AMD, anyone.
The new
nondeterministic processor
Will blaze a trail
for the next generation
Of privatized
scientific advancement.
Think about it,
predicting protein structures
- As np-Complete.
- It won't happen.
- What won't?
- What you're suggesting.
- It won't happen.
- Why?
It's something we should've
seen a long time ago.
It's more valuable to them
if it's kept a secret.
It's better for all of us.
I'm sorry.
So where do we stand here?
Well, in response
to Dr. Horton's request,
I have neither
the authority nor interest
In altering the agreement,
And any deviation from that
would be construed...
Again, by my superiors...
As a breach of contract
And result in the forfeiture
of any future compensation.
So I guess the question
you have to ask yourselves is:
Where do you stand?
Whether any of us
could possibly understand
The consequences of this...
only time will tell.
As for me, I'm satisfied.
I'm in.
Give me the release.
Come on.
It's time.
I'm good.
How's it go again?
Boats against the current.
In 37 years
of mathematical rigor,
I've been struck
by one constant truth...
That the number is always
larger than my mind.
This is too complicated
for any of us to understand,
Even you, doctor.
I'm sorry, but I'm
washing my hands of it all.
Admittedly, we all
come up a bit short today.
None of us
can possibly understand
The ramifications
of this proof.
History has shown us
again and again that,
With every generation,
the implications of p versus np
Grow greater, so...
it's left to our imaginations
what this might mean
In 20 years, 50 years, 100.
But none of you...
I promise you this...
None of you
understands the true power
Of what our system can do.
Oh, for Christ's sake.
I'm so sick of your
condescending bullshit, okay?
This entire "I'm holier
than thou" attitude
I've had to sit through
for the past four years
Is nauseating.
We've been dealt with fairly.
We've agreed to the terms.
Suck it up, sign the paper,
and let's get out of here.
Doctor, you're outnumbered
and overruled.
Your objections are sporting
and have been noted,
But remember,
I'm not the enemy.
I have no choice...
I'm glad you see it that way.
But to inform you that
the proof in its current state
Is incomplete.
Oh, come on.
This is absurd.
What do you mean, incomplete?
I mean that it wasn't extended
To its fullest termination.
The documentation obscures
the final computation class.
The processor's oracle
lacks specificity.
I, uh,
omitted some details in...
This is idiotic!
There are three other men
at this table
That have pored over
every aspect...
It's been built!
We still have
the implementation,
The processor.
It's my design...
The classifications...
Is it your design?
- All of it?
- What?
I'm sorry, what exactly
are you implying?
My system has the power
to shut it down.
I'm sorry, what?
My system has the power...
to shut it...
That's impossible.
- No.
- Come on, doctor.
Complexity theory, chains.
This is quite a stretch.
Not quite.
Imagine it, crudely,
As an executable form of y2k.
Any bank security function
on any grid will fail.
Power networks,
Corporate data,
will all shut down, okay?
You see, every single system
has in common that it...
I'm sorry.
You don't believe me.
This is insane.
Excuse my language,
but you're a fuckin' moron.
- Watch it, now.
- Best-Case application,
Including the interface,
would allow a user
Limited access
to a single entity.
Of course.
It's like a military target.
You can't destroy everything,
just what's in the crosshairs.
It's more like a lock pick...
You can only pick
One lock at a time.
But to broaden it
to the scope you're talking
- Is simply absurd.
- No.
- Oh, no?
- This is almost pathetic.
No, and you know,
from an applied perspective,
It's not even that complicated.
You just need a bit more
Say you have a target, okay?
A bank, right?
We all know that
redundant security measures
Embedded within
the bank's framework,
When triggered,
immediately shut down, okay?
But picture
a simultaneous breach on, uh,
On the bank's
telecommunications grid.
All right?
It has the same limitations.
It shuts down.
Now we're in, right?
We have a completely
vulnerable target, yes?
To do what you're saying
would require hacking
An almost impossibly complex
array of targets.
Which, I'm sorry,
is just fucking insane!
Now, at this critical moment,
Imagine a different algorithm
is introduced,
Something that breaks
out of the reaction.
There's literally nothing
at this point
That could stop it
from accessing everything,
Crippling everything.
I mean, I swear to god,
The biggest weakness
of the world's grid,
I mean everything, is its
own embedded security measures.
He's bluffing.
There's no possible way
this system would work.
It's just not fucking possible!
Practically speaking,
we operate on separate grids
- From china or Russia or...
- Not to mention
Our power grid's
antiquated scada systems
Are completely independent
of the global grid.
- All the more susceptible.
- What did you say?
I said,
"all the more susceptible."
- You are unbelievable.
- John...
No. You think
you're such hot shit?
You're on the cover
of time magazine.
Your fuckin' fields medal.
It doesn't make you the king
Of every room you walk into.
- That's true.
- Think just because
Your picture's plastered
on the pages of textbooks
Means you have
the power to play...
What you're describing
is a hacking algorithm
On a scale like nothing
ever earthly devised.
In fact, the only thing
I can think of to replicate
The kind of power
you're talking about
Is the fucking sun, okay?
I won the wolf medal
and the abel prize...
This is bigger
than any one person.
What's your end game?
It's a fair question.
What do you hope to gain here?
Time. Just... Just...
Just a bit more time.
For what?
This ridiculous notion?
I think we've all
had enough here.
I'm not asking
that you believe me.
And it doesn't matter, does it?
I'm asking that you respect
what we've done.
Or what?
What are you gonna do?
I'm almost singlehandedly
For the biggest mathematical
contribution... Time!
An entire dimension
has been controlled.
- You can't lock it away!
- No, no, you see,
You're almost
solely responsible
For our significant
mathematical contribution.
you think you can do,
I now control...
You're nothing.
So I ask you again...
This threat of yours,
Whatever it is,
what are you going to do?
There's literally nothing
I can't do.
You are so full of shit.
Doctor, this is paranoia.
But if it comes down
to you or no one,
I'll do everything in my power
to make sure
This system never sees
the light of day.
Well, this is a disgusting
display, and why would you?
- Excuse me?
- Why would you risk everything?
- Because it's what's right!
- I mean, when you have
So much going for you.
International respect.
I mean, the fields medal.
I mean, wouldn't it be tragic
if something happened
To your brother Thomas
and his lovely wife Laura
In Temecula, California?
Or their two beautiful children,
Samuel and grace?
God forbid something happened
to your poor
uncle Steven in Poughkeepsie,
Or your parents,
Joseph and Marie.
247 mallard lane,
Westchester, Pennsylvania.
Marie doesn't get around as well
as she used to, does she?
And that split level
they live in
Makes getting out of it
in case of a fire
Pretty treacherous.
And that affair your father's
been having with his assistant
For 15 years...
would break your mother's heart,
wouldn't it?
you and your pathetic attempt.
I fucking own you.
In closing,
Mathematics has become
the engine of mankind,
The world's combustion chamber.
And I suppose, in a way,
it's always served this purpose.
But within it, we can document
the beauty of the waltz
Or catapult humanity
at all odds
Against the oppressive
forces of gravity.
Mathematics widens smiles,
it bridges cultural divides.
It transcends
geopolitical allegiances.
And it regulates frequencies
So our hospital's
life support machines
Forever go ba-Beep,
ba-Beep, ba-Beep.
In many ways,
mathematics has become
What I've always feared
and worked to limit...
In a world of plenty,
it no longer unites.
It divides us.
That's why I'm...
I'm different, you know?
It's, uh...
this has always
been a journey for me.
And like any great expedition,
It began with
a grand embarkation and...
terminates with
a soft, nervous compression.
I've gone from trumpeting
my findings on mountaintops
To fearfully realizing that...
there is no gift
if it is not shared.
Today, maybe more so than ever,
Mathematics is the teacher
and it's also the pupil.
But, to me, its
most important application...
it has the ability to take you
off the grid...
To take us off the grid.
To too many, it's mobile phones,
it's gps navigation,
It's dishwashers...
computer games,
portable televisions,
Compact disc players,
organic food distribution,
calculator wristwatches,
radio control,
Lasik eye surgery,
laser brain redaction,
Non-Invasive arthroscopy...
g5s, c-4,
and weapons-Grade u-235...
allowed artificial hearts
And heartless
artificial intelligence...
blackberries, iPhones,
facebook, MySpace...
allowed devastation,
And dehumanization.
But why stop now?
Why not take it farther?
I mean, uh...
look at the source.
The power of god
To create, to destroy...
to disappear.
Don't blink.
You may miss something.