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    • CommentAuthorRegenbogen
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2010

    Just to note that John Tate wins the Abel prize.


    (Edit: This post is no longer relevant, if it ever was. Check here if you must know what it was about.)

    Last week I had something that I wanted to tell everyone because it sort of changed the world a bit (the answer to the question "what is the next number in this sequence: 2,3,5,7,2411,?" has been discovered). But it did not remotely occur to me that was the place where I should announce this. I wasn't even sure if MO was a good place for it either. I think this sort of thing fits very well on the newsgroup sci.math.research. The only reason I'm posting here is to remark to Regenbogen that perhaps it's not a good idea to use meta for things of general mathematical interest---there's a chance that they don't fit either on MO or meta.MO.
    • CommentAuthorSam Nead
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2010
    I looked for your announcement on sci.math.research but couldn't't find it!
    7758337633 -- c.f.

    Actually, are you sure it has been shown that this is the _next_ number in the sequence? I.e., that there is nothing in between 2411 and 7758337633?

    Contrarily, I agree that such things are not the purpose of this meta site. However, a couple of weeks ago I read a long series of posts (in a thread which started out on topic) on the use of a certain piece of non-American English slang, a topic about which I could scarcely have cared less. This post is a very mild retaliation...

    Major prizes are only handed out a few times each year. I don't think it's a problem that people use a forum like that to spread the news about it, given the low frequency and great interest to many mathematicians (not all – I fully understand that some people couldn't care less about prizes). Even though it is strictly outside the charter and all. Besides, it's got it's own thread, so it is easily avoided by the disinterested. Digressions that take on a life their own can be a lot more annoying to the people more interested in the topic whose thread got hijacked.

    @Sam: I didn't post on s.m.r. in the end. I figured that NMBRTHRY was a good place for it to live, and someone else posted it there. @Pete: I am not sure it's the next---you're right. OTOH a heuristic analysis suggests that the next number after 2411 should have about e=2.718... times as many digits, and 7758337633 does. Finally, @Harald and Regenbogen: I was really pleased you posted here :-) I first heard the news about the Abel prize here, and funnily enough I got email from Tate quite recently concerning Cassels-Froehlich, which I shall now go and file in my "emails to me from really famous people" mailbox. I was just raising the theoretical issue that even though I was grateful you posted, I wasn't sure if it was the "right" thing to do. @Harald: your argument seems to be "I know it breaks the rules, but breaking the rules is sometimes OK". But no doubt you would not be keen on homework problems at MO; it just sort-of seems (to me) like a hard-to-justify point of view that sometimes breaking the rules is OK.
    OTOH I definitely "broke the rules" myself at MO with a Cassels-Froehlich thread, which definitely didn't have a precise mathematical question needing an answer anywhere in it. I said "maybe this will get closed" at the top, and then several people said "no, this is a great place for this question, it's clearly of interest to some mathematicians", but somehow it still didn't seem to me that this was justification enough. I decided I'd just let majority rule take its course and see if it got lots of upvotes before 5 close votes! I got away with it that time.

    @buzzard: I take a pragmatic approach. I'd gladly allow homework questions on MO if it weren't for the fact that if we did, MO would be flooded with such, and consequently destroyed. About rulebreaking: Rules should be broken only rarely and reluctantly. But the atmosphere is generally informal enough that I think we can trust most participants to know the boundaries of acceptable rulebreaking, and the community will certainly come down hard on anybody who eversteps those boundaries egregiously.

    • CommentAuthorRegenbogen
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2010

    I was aware this is kinda away from what MO is meant for. But I figured it is simpler to post the news rather than posting a thread asking whether this is appropriate.

    • CommentAuthorHarry Gindi
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2010 edited
    I think that meta is fine for this sort of thing. I mean, having a discussion-y board attached to MO can't be a bad thing. I'm curious what the moderators think of this.

    I mean, we could post here until Scott, Ben, or Anton posts the topic on SBS, at which point, we can move the discussion over to there.
    As far as I know your post isn't against the spirit of meta, Regenbogen.

    I'm sure anyone who cares has noticed the various posts in the blogosphere, e.g. David Speyer's. I agree that this is a case of "against the rules, but still okay".