[FOM] Who released Deolalikar's proof into the wild?

ravi ravi-lists at g8o.net
Sun Aug 15 18:03:34 EDT 2010

On Aug 15, 2010, at 12:00 PM, Alasdair Urquhart wrote:
> Deolalikar sent his manuscript to 22 very distinguished
> researchers.  Neither the manuscript nor the covering
> note swore the recipients to secrecy, so the purported proof
> was very rapidly disseminated.
> Under these circumstances, I believe that Vinay
> Deolalikar "released the purported proof into the wild.”

I am not certain the moderator is going to approve this comment, and perhaps this thread is best left to die, but I cannot help but comment that I fail to see how the lack of “[swearing] to secrecy” places the blame on Deolalikar for the wide dissemination of the paper (“released … into the wild”) and news of it, and the ensuing sociological commentary.

Nor has this been the conventional historical usage or understanding of email messages on the Internet, especially in the differentiation between personal email (even if to more than one recipient) and a mailing list (especially a public one). It is possible that Deolalikar was premature or inconsiderate in sending his work to the researchers listed, but unless he is also shown to have been mischievous, the examples that Prof. Davis offers (such as Ramanujan) seem entirely appropriate.



> Alasdair Urquhart
> On Sun, 15 Aug 2010, Richard Heck wrote:
>> And, unless I am mistaken, Deolalikar is not the one who released the
>> purported proof into the wild. That seems worth remembering.
>> Richard Heck
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