[seqfan] Re: 4-12-28-60

Rick Shepherd rlshepherd2 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 23 21:37:20 CEST 2010

Well said!  Please see my ("RS:") specific OEIS meta-comments below.

On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 2:00 PM, Marc LeBrun <mlb at well.com> wrote:

> >="K. Viswanathan Iyer" <kvi at nitt.edu>
> > Is the sequence defined by the D(n)'s interesting?
> Yes.  After verifying it's correct please submit it.
> It seems ironic that those folks who pause to worry about whether their
> submissions are sufficiently interesting almost certainly should contribute
> them, whereas those without a reflex for self-restraint cause the
> headaches.
> RS: Some of us sometimes even have to wait until late hours when the
self-restraint often diminishes as the "inner critic" (which/who usually
anticipates the other critics) begins dozing.  This shouldn't be necessary
but in the meantime I'm sure many of us have been sitting on large lists of
accumulating potential contributions.

> The OEIS is a cultural treasure chest.  But not everything in it can be a
> dazzling jewel, precious beyond measure.  Donating the product of any
> sincere investigation increases its value.  It just shouldn't be debased by
> flooding it with worthless plastic counterfeits.
RS: Very much agreed.

> RS: On the other hand, even when the definitions seem somewhat contrived
> (as opposed to intentional nonsense), they may have value at any time in
> helping say what another ostensibly-similar sequence is NOT.

> Further, it's a mine for new treasures, such as when superseeker etc
> reveals
> unexpected connections between sequences.  So submissions that might "salt"
> the OEIS for future findings might turn out to be more valuable than they
> at
> first appear.
> RS: This is where I agree wholeheartedly.  Although others may espouse a
"rule of 2" where some type of connections between two or more ideas or
sequences must be seen upfront even to warrant a submission (and I do
appreciate the value of that point of view), not all people are equally able
or motivated to find such connections -- and the original submission may be
just enough incentive for a second person (even years later) to draw -- and
report! -- the desirable connections. [Perhaps a better Rule of 2 -- if any
such rule is needed -- would be if at least *two people* see value in
something, but, then, again that would require a posting or discussion here
or somewhere.  Maybe it only makes sense to do so "before the fact" (i.e.,
before the actual work is done).]

RS: On a semi-related note, an encyclopedia that contains esoterica without
also having the most basic facts is suspect.  (In our defense, of course, we
are dealing (ironically) with uncountable facts so sometimes that's
unavoidable). [but see parts of Wikipedia (say, extensive pop culture topics
vs items of importance not there at all yet) to experience such undesirable
unevenness of coverage.]

> Generally (crank spew excepted) if it's interesting enough to you to expend
> the effort to research, compute, discuss and present in a well-crafted OEIS
> submission, then it is--ipso facto--interesting.
> RS: Again, FWIW, I agree. Thanks for your comments.

RS: One small example (years old?); I haven't checked lately to make sure
they're still not in the OEIS: Anyone want to find and add the two dihedral
angles of the buckyball in both degrees and radians (continued fractions
too)?  Feel free if you do.

Rick (Let's help keep Occam's Razor sharp.)

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