[Freedombox-discuss] "Why Johnny Still, Still Can’t Encrypt: Evaluating the Usability of a Modern PGP Client"

Ben Finney ben+debian at benfinney.id.au
Mon Nov 9 22:57:17 UTC 2015

fauno <fauno at kiwwwi.com.ar> writes:

> Petter Reinholdtsen <pere at hungry.com> writes:
> > I find this user testing report by Scott Ruoti, Jeff Andersen, Daniel
> > Zappala and Kent Seamons very interesting.  Check out
> > <URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1510.08555.pdf >.
> so... individual persons without a community helping them are unable to
> use X?, shocking :D

That's a broadly worded statement, with no specific predictions, so is
of virtually no use for guiding specific action. Just about any result
could be made to fit such a vague statement, so no, when you state it
like that, it's no shock.

It is very easy to say “yes, that seems obvious” about the results of
any study. Such a glib statement is of no value, and does not discount
the value of the study. The opposite outcome would also be met with
“yes, that seems obvious” by some people, so merely encountering such a
sentiment tells us nothing.

The point is not to simply assert such claims and act as though they're
true, because other people can assert contradictory claims and act as
though *those* are true. Assertion without hard scientific evidence
leads to conflicting policies with nothing but ideology to resolve them.

The hard work is to refine such claims so that they make specific
predictions, and then *test* those predictions against real people's
real behaviour, in a clinically-controlled trial, and discover whether
observations of actual people's actual behaviour matches the claim.

If we actually knew the result beyond any doubt before conducting the
experiment, there would be no point and your dismissal would have merit.
In the absence of such trial results, though, we *don't* know, and the
trial is worthwhile and its reporting has great value.

> http://www.dmytri.info/hackers-cant-solve-surveillance/

Another interesting article, thank you.

 \          “Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” —Donald |
  `\                                              Robert Perry Marquis |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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