[seqfan] Re: Meanwhile, something fringe...

Antti Karttunen antti.karttunen at gmail.com
Mon Nov 23 01:38:36 CET 2009

On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 5:42 PM, <seqfan-request at list.seqfan.eu> wrote:

> Message: 2
> Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2009 16:04:36 -0500 (EST)
> From: William Keith <wjk26 at drexel.edu>
> Subject: [seqfan] Re: Meanwhile, something fringe...
> To: Sequence Fanatics Discussion list <seqfan at list.seqfan.eu>
> Message-ID: <18733922.1258837476718.JavaMail.wjk26 at drexel.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> I would argue strongly against the inclusion of sequences or number
> patterns from numerological sources.

I think you took my suggestion a bit too literally. And anyways, I wrote
"although I think we should definitely refrain from gematric sequences."
(gematria = numerology).
What I had in mind, was more like discarding all the dubious semantics
of that kind of material, and looking whether there's anything inspiring
in the mathematical structures themselves. For example, from Pythagoreans'
Holy Tetractys you get triangular numbers A000217 by discarding all the
interpretations and extrapolating it to the infinity.


Antti Karttunen

>  The OEIS exists to bring at least some rigor to the human tendency to see
> patterns in short sequences; mystical and crank mathematics, Pythagorean not
> excepted, is nothing more than this pareidolia given the status of serious
> math.
> Right now, OEIS word searches give:
> "numerology": 5 hits, of which 3 are from a journal article title talking
> about heuristics for Monster, 1 from a book on Pythagoras, and only 1 of
> which is a short sequence originating in numerology.
> "Kabbalah": two hits on quite trivial sequences, from the title of a book
> in which they appear.
> "Astrology": 1 hit from the title of a Doron Zeilberger article with
> historical context.
> "Bible": 1 hit, a count of the letters in the n-th word of the KJV.
>  Perhaps useful for puzzle-solving.
> The last thing we need is for an academic reference to become polluted with
> random sequences giving false positives on searches after being uploaded
> because some crank thought they spelled out the name of next century's God.
> William Keith

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