Thursday, January 30, 2014

Long, Very Long, and ... What the Hell are You Doing?

Well, I guess I have a well-deserved reputation for writing very long papers.

Ernie Barreto wanted to make sure that I saw this article. I really like the terse commentary that likely ended a certain debate. It's key words are priceless. The others are excellent as well, though I had seen those before. In one of them, Michael Berry told me that his abstract of "Probably not." was "No." at some point but that he and his coauthors wanted to leave some possibility that their conclusions were wrong.

Fun Fact: Version 1 of my thesis was about 400 pages. My committee was (very understandably) not very happy with this --- among other things --- and demanded that I write version 2.0 (rather than 1.1) and that it be less than 200 pages. This was not fun at the time.

Fun Fact 2: One version of one of my papers --- the published version was much terser at 20 pages + 20 pages SOM (mostly a table) --- had a 100-page SOM at one reasonably final point, but then we decided the referees would kill us. So the version (which was desk-rejected, of course) that we sent to Nature had an SOM that was in the 60s or so, though that was regular typefacing and spacing rather than in journal-page format. [Acronym: SOM = Supplementary Online Material]

In progress now: a revision of a now 42-journal-page paper (though a review article), and new papers: a 40+ pager, a 35-pager, a pair of 32-pagers, and a few of them currently in the 20s.

(Tip of the cap to Ernie Barreto.)

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