[WikiEN-l] Trivial categories

ScottL scott at mu.org
Sat Oct 14 21:44:07 UTC 2006

Ray Saintonge wrote:
> Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
>> charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com wrote:
>>> geni wrote
>>>> On 10/14/06, Bogdan Giusca <liste at dapyx.com> wrote:
>>>>> Should we have a category which says that the subject of the
>>>>> article (a mathematician) collaborated with another mathematician
>>>>> who collaborated with another mathematician who collaborated with
>>>>> with another mathematician who collaborated with Hungarian 
>>>>> mathematician Paul Erd?s?
>>>>> Well, according to the apparent CfD result, we should.
>>>> False the existance of a category does not mean that we should have
>>>> articles on everything that could fall within that category.
>>> That's a misapprehension of what this is about.
>>> I'd have voted for deletion myself. This is about as pop-cultural as
>>> mathmos get (I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced
>>> with the Prince of Wales).
>> Not so. It's a lot like actor's Bacon numbers: Meeting someone is one
>> thing, but co-author a mathematical paper or acting alongside them is
>> slightly less trivial than that.
> It's important to put the emphasis on the word "slightly" in that last 
> comment.  I have a priestly cousin who likes to hand out pictures of 
> himself shaking hands with the late pope.  He gave me one of those 
> pictures.  This would give me a degree of separation from JP2 of 2.   
> Speaking as a person who usually favours inclusionist policies, could we 
> consolidate these templates into one about degrees of triviality?
> Ec

   I think comparisons to things like this or "dancing with XXX" or 
"having meet YYY" are not accurate.  This is a verifiable part of the 
mathematical subculture.  Just because it is not (aside form the 
calculation) mathematical in nature does not mean that it does not say a 
lot about that sub-culture.

   I have mixed feelings about the categories, but I think it is a 
significant and notable thing to include.  This is probably a good 
compromise, as putting such things in the article itself (even in a box) 
would be I think giving it too much significance.

   I like to think of categories in terms of "would someone ever be 
interested in finding articles with this".  In this case I think the 
answer is with out a doubt yes.


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