[seqfan] Re: Anti-information Was: Breaking news on partition numbers.
Alonso Del Arte
alonso.delarte at gmail.com
Thu Jan 27 06:44:06 CET 2011
Joerg makes very good points about "anti-information."
But those are just symptoms of the underlying problem: people fail to
realize that the OEIS already has 99% of the genuinely useful sequences, and
90% of the ones that are at least a little interesting. And so, they don't
search and see what's already there.
And if after looking at what's already there, one is convinced that one's
sequence is still worth sending in, one can easily find much more pertinent
cross-refs than A27, A40, A45 or A79, or as lawyers like to say, "on point."
Failure to double-check calculations is another big problem. If I never
double-checked my math and my logic, I would be the most prolific submitter
of useless duplicates.
On Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 3:49 PM, Joerg Arndt <arndt at jjj.de> wrote:
> * Charles Greathouse <charles.greathouse at case.edu> [Jan 25. 2011 20:04]:
> > [...]
> <words I mark for future citation>
> > I believe in Neil's old rule of thumb here: a sequence should take at
> > least an hour to create, between research, referencing, calculating,
> > and writing.* If you can't be bothered to spend that much time, the
> > sequence might not be interesting enough for inclusion (but rather as
> > a comment to an existing sequence, perhaps).
> </words I mark for future citation>
> One thing I'd like to add:
> ... drum-roll ...
> *** tah-dah! ***
> <more words to mark, oh, what a day>
> Anti-information is bad. It reduces the usefulness of the OEIS.
> </more words to mark, oh, what a day>
> Anti-information techniques that make my blood boil, just from the top
> of my head (no order, some redundant redundancy):
> - random mix of number theoretic functions
> - unranking, mixed unranking of _different_ things
> - unranking and plain mixed (argh!)
> - unranking mixed with ranking, same with different things for extra shock
> - seq of indices "where seq. S has values <random function>"
> - sum of a (linear) sequence with a triangle or rectangle, hey, all three
> types at once
> - linear transform with a triangle/rectangle
> - fractions of utterly disconnected seqs
> - single integer, followed by sequence S, no info but the bare terms in it,
> few of them
> - twice sequence S, thrice S, etc., only few terms for neat uselessness
> - first differences of the most contrived ever seqs
> - second diffs as well, ...we are in the mood
> - playing with primes, semi-primes, composites
> - mixing stuff of the last item
> - ... adding unranking for complete brain explosion's sake
> - ad hoc terminology (extra points for a few syntax failures)
> - last item, _nowhere_ bloody explained
> - "you must read my mind" approach: "like", "similar", "almost", "related
> - giving <=10 terms of a seq where 1000 terms can be computed in < 1 sec
> - garbage seq with link to super nuclear garbage web document, MS Word for
> extra credit
> - Calling it "Generalized X" for X in Fibonacci/Catalan/Pascal/you-name-it
> - crossreffing A000079 because one longish formula involves ... powers of 2
> - crossreffing a constant sequence for a constant in some formula
> - long bleeding monologues you know this is fun to read and then I found 5
> dollars (see A010716).
> - last item, and saying "quantum", "fractal" and the like but not defining
> your sequence.
> - calling the not-so-atrociously-restricted version of <your-ad-hoc-term>
> the "generalized <your-ad-hoc-term>" (I. Must. Kill. Arrrrr...)
> The following searches will give you some illustrative examples,
> obviously together with plenty of fine seqs (the vast majority,
> just to be clear). One line is one search term:
> "matrix Markov"
> "generalized Fibonacci"
> keyword:easy keyword:more
> > [...]
> cheers, jj
> Is there a chainsaw over internet protocol?
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