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"I am not making this up" is a succinct way to say "this was a really stupid string for the book to contain".

Tptacek could have chosen to say that differently, but it does add value as written. I have no idea what ASN.1 is; simply telling me that the book contains that string doesn't mean anything to me. Telling me that it was a stupid thing to say doesn't teach me about ASN.1 or crypto, but it does teach me about the book.

Sure, but there's a difference between "this book is really bad, it contains errors and wrong advice, I would advise against it and avoid it" and "goddamn this is literally the stupidest book that has ever been written". They convey the same amount of information, but the author's feelings are not hurt equally.

This book doesn't come within an astronomical unit of being the worst book on cryptography I've read; _Applied Cryptography_ is far worse. Which is why I didn't write anything like "goddamn this is literally the stupidest book that has ever been written".

Sorry, I have a habit of not clarifying enough. I'm not saying you said that, I'm just pointing out that one can say the same thing more innocuously if one is a bit more dry/factual.

Being totally dry/factual could mean that people don't read it and goes all TL;DR.

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