I was going to begin an April fools day post with the above; however since the article (which is real) is already out there and being criticized here, here, here, here, and here, I decided to not go that direction. I have a different angle.
How often do you get a result and then find that someone else already had it? Is this MORE or LESS common in the internet age? There are several competing forces:
- With Search tools its EASIER to find whats already out there.
- With email or various websites like stack exchange it is EASIER to ASK if something is already known.
- Some people are gathering up stuff and putting it on line making it EASIER to find- if you know where to look. (Examples: Website of all of Ronald Graham's papers, or Website of some number theory related to VDW stuff). I thought I found a website of secret sharing papers and when I tried to find it again I hit several sites about different kinds of secrets.) ADDED LATER: updated site for Ron Graham's papers: here, and list (but not links) of papers on secret sharing are here.)
- Areas are getting more specialized and each use their own terminology making it HARDER to know if what you have done is original.
- There is so much is out there that it is HARDER to see whats already been done.
- NOT everything is online. The material that is not online might be HARDER to find then they used to be.