Sunday, January 30, 2022

Regan Lipton celebrates my 1000th blog post and random thoughts this inspires

Ken Regan emailed me recently asking if our software could tell how many blogs I had done (not how many Lance+Bill had done). We didn't know how to do that but he managed it anyway. Apparently he was more interested in this question than either Lance or I was. 

But the answer was interesting: My1000th post of Complexityblog was about Betty White dying at just the wrong time to be in those those we say goodbye to articles that appear CLOSE to the end of the year. (I don't know why, but I think the fact that my 1000th post was on Betty White is just awesome!) The post is here. He was asking this because he thought (correctly) that I was around 1000 and wanted to do a tribute blog to me (actually it was done by Lipton and Regan- more on that later). And indeed they did do the post, its here.


While preparing it Ken asked me about my papers.  This brings up the more general question: When looking at your old work what do you think? Common reactions are

1) Gee, I was smarter then. That was very clever. OH, now I remember, my co-author did it. 

2) Gee, I was dumber then. I could do that argument so much better now. 

3) Why did I care about Muffins so much to write a book about it? (Replace Muffins with whatever you worked on and book with the venue it appeared in.) 

Item 3 is probably the most common: As a graduate student one works on things without really have a vision of the field (though the advisor can mitigate this) so what you work on may seem odd later on. And ones tastes can change as well. 


Ken and Dick write actual posts together. I find that amazing! By contrast, the extent of Lance and my interactions about the blog are: 

a) Someone died. Which of us should do the blog obit? or get a guest blogger.?(Whenever Lance phones me on the telephone I answer who died and usually someone did.) 

b) Which of us does the April Fools Day post this year (we usually alternate, or do we)?

c) I plan on doing 2 posts close together- a question and an answer, so when do you NOT plan on blogging so I can do that.

d) Someone proved X. Which of us should blog? Or should we get a guest blogger?

e) Establish a general rule for the year like Bill will post Sunday's, Lance Thursdays.

f) I ask Lance for technical help on the blog. How do you get rid of the white background when I cut and paste?

g) Sometimes one of us wants commentary on a blog we are working no- but that is rare. Though I asked Lance for this post and he added a few things to this list.

h) Sometimes I look at one of his posts before it goes out and offer commentary, or vice versa. Also rare.

i) Lance writes the end of year posts, but always with my input. We jointly choose the theorem of the year.

j) The very rare joint posts.

k) If we happen to be in the same place at the same time, like Dagsthul, we'll do a typecast capturing our conversations. In the past we've also had podcasts and vidcasts together.

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