Saturday, December 19, 2009


JSH: Importance of use

To a large extent my Usenet postings are stylized reflecting years of experience on which types of post achieve whatever my current objective might be which DOES shift. With that said there are times I like to just put something that is more along the lines of just kind of chatting or something less, focused.

One reality of how I've looked at things recently is on the importance of use. And unlike posters who routinely dismiss any and all evidence they think supports me in any way, I look at Google search results as evidence of use, albeit, hidden use.

Google seems to be showing a weird case where people are going to what works, but are still paying lip service to what is accepted.

The implications are fascinating, but it's hard to tell now what exactly is happening, though presumably some break-even point will be reached and the ideas that are in use will take over, or so I've surmised.

To some extent I've thought of the full idea as a little dangerous as I'm still not sure how far resistance to my research really reaches. It may be safer for certain academics to feel safe in their Ivory Towers. I'm now letting them in on the secret.

Usage could I guess still be low, though it clearly is worldwide.

But it might be profound. Web analytics data shows a very steadily high country count of visits to my math blog in the 50+ range, while the Google search results still have my research dominating often over everything else previously known, yet searches on me in particular still bring up the page.

Usage will change the situation, so in a sense I do have the benefit of the Internet and web search results.

So I have a luxury others may not have. My ideas already clearly dominate, worldwide. And that dominance is growing.

And I do check others besides Google, and can detect patterns indicating usage there as well, so I'm not just relying on Google, but then again, Google is the primary web search engine, so it's definitely a big deal.

But also Google dominates because it is the best, where I'm biased in that direction now by simply watching how rapidly my own research gets picked up by Google versus other search engines, which is a weird way to check, but hey, I have the definition of mathematical proof! According to Google.

Oh yeah, the evidence of hidden usage around the world where people are using the research but quietly may indicate a real fear of challenging the current system.

And that could mean quite a lot.

So possibly some of you reading this post who are established scientists are not really so much believed, as feared, even among your colleagues, as people who might challenge your positions realize they have little to no chance.

I repeat, you may not be so much believed—as feared.

Part of the reason I bring up Google searches has been to test them as well as to see whether or not my talking about them might influence things, maybe even make the high ranking for my research disappear! I've gone even further in such challenges by actually writing to two of my Congressional representatives—which happen to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Feinstein—asking them to investigate how search engines get their search results. I've talked badly at times about Google, just to see if that might impact.

While over the years Yahoo! has bounced around as has other search engines, Google search results tend to remain consistent, along with Google's fortunes. Possibly the lesson here is that people want what they want. I've had the privilege of watching search engines in relation to my own research so I know of things or suspect things that I don't go into detail about because I don't want to get sued!!! By Yahoo! or Microsoft, or maybe others.

But also I'm not certain, but I may know some things about how some people operate, where Google appears to actually be the best, at simply doing what it says it does.

If fear rules acceptance of mainstream ideas more than some scientists wish to admit such that more powerful ideas can be quietly picked up so that the best evidence is from Google search results then clearly our academic and scientific worlds do not behave as advertised.

So the importance of use is a determinant, which will decide the outcome.

IN other words, I like to say that Sir Isaac Newton isn't around to promote or defend his research!!!

But his research is still around because it worked and works.

Now I wonder how many "super stars" of their time from the past would be surprised to not be known at all today, possibly in their era they were the feared ones. Even Newton was feared. But he was also right. The others are footnotes in history or forgotten, and while many may think they know history so that they know who they all were, I doubt it.

Considering some of the big names in science or mathematics today who I know will not stand the test of time, I suspect that maybe some of the bigger names in their time get white-washed out of history, by a world that later repudiates them, trying to forget it ever thought they were great. So it tries to wipe away their very existence.

Regardless, forget about the Usenet arguments. A lot of it to me is theater anyway and worthless in the big picture.

All that matters is use. And if you have your own ideas you think are great: all that matters is use.

The good ideas get picked up, eventually. People can DO things with them that they can't do with the other stuff.

And that is ultimately the only thing that matters.

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