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12:07 AM
If anyone's interested in a potential explanation why the number of proofs of the Collatz conjecture recently rose: I saw a relatively high-upvoted reddit post on r/math, a video about the Collatz conjecture. The top comment was "I strongly suspect that the number of Collaz "proofs" is going to skyrocket in the weeks following the release of this video..." The arrogance of some people is astonishing.
*correction: this video. it already nearly has a million views. Be prepared for further proofs.
3 hours later…
3:19 AM
@amWhy Up for deletion now! @TeresaLisbon
@XanderHenderson: The Clatz question is back despite my comment. Please help to close, thanks!
@ParamanandSingh @Peter: ^ If you agree, please help too, thanks!
@XanderHenderson: By the way, I had followed the Clatz question before deletion but got no notification about its undeletion. So it seems you are wrong that followed posts generate notifications upon every action. CC @Saad
@vitamind It's true that the increased attention is probably significantly contributed by the video, but incidentally in this case this video was not at fault. The narrator keeps emphasizing that none of those results mentioned managed to prove the conjecture, and moreover only a certain class of people would think falsely that they are more mathematically capable than Terence Tao... (see Dunning-Kruger).
2 hours later…
5:16 AM
A: How likely is it that a question with 2021 is from a current contest?

dodoturkozUnfortunately, OP’s concerns are right about the first link. I have written the Euclid contest yesterday. Today, after looking at the title of the first link posted by the OP, I remembered the question immediately. After a quick check on the website, there are at least 3 more questions from the c...

2 hours later…
3 hours later…
9:21 AM
@Peter @amWhy @ParamanandSingh @vitamind @TeresaLisbon @ArcticChar: The Collatz question has spawned a meta post on it:
Q: A question quickly closed and deleted

Theo BenditI've been trying to stay off meta recently, but I did want to talk about the following question: Why is this proof of the collatz conjecture wrong The question is now deleted, so here is a quote of the text at the time of deletion: Ok, so there is this theorem that has been studied throughout hi...

I have added my own take on it there.
@user21820 Thanks, I'll take a look at your response shortly.
9:49 AM
D1, D2, D3.
D4, D5, D6.
D7, D8, D9.
C1, C2, C3.
C4, C5, C6.
10:32 AM
@Peter @ParamanandSingh: This 'answer' author stubbornly refuses to fix the error even after it is pointed out clearly. The question itself is lousy anyway, and it's up for deletion too.
11:06 AM
@user21820 The question is gone, so the answer's been deleted as well!
@TeresaLisbon Thanks!
@TeresaLisbon Hope I could make clear how important it is that proof trials of famous conjectures vanish. This cannot be emphasized enough.
I can , by the way , post my numerical analysis of the limit (or not) in Martin Hopf's room.
@Peter That, and lulu's observation that there were SIX attempted resolutions on the Collatz conjecture tag in the last 24 hours gives me the message.
You can post the analysis, I will look at it sometime. Thanks.
The suggestion with the non-deletion has two delete votes now. Surely because of "no" and "12 hours"
@Peter I don't know, but I hope people don't delete it because it should be kept as a public record of the consensus that disagrees with it.
11:25 AM
@user21820 Exactly. But I think quid is being offensive under the post, at least to one person. I had asked regarding deletion, he remarked about it here.
One more vote needed: C1; D1, D2, D3
For closure: C2, C3, C4, C5, C6
For deletion: D4, D5, D6, D7, D8
@TeresaLisbon I don't see any offensive remark, and it seems it had been deleted. The one you cited is not offensive, because it is just a factual statement.
@user21820 Oh no, no way was the reply given to me offensive. But there was a deleted comment by quid on the thread, from the looks of it.
@TeresaLisbon Ah. Ok let's let it rest then. =)
@user21820 Sure! By the way, your reply to my comment on your answer was spot on as well, I'm just leaving it there because it contrasts a bit with your answer, and I think that is the sort of point-of-view that some people are expressing when they get these questions. But without doubt, lulu's comment on the six attempts in 24 hours settles it : this is more proliferating than helpful.
(Note : all six posts were attempts, the seventh oldest made a little more sense).
11:41 AM
Where are those SIX posts ? Already deleted ?
@Peter Hahaha you sound like you want to collect them like collectibles. =)
I just want to know whether we have to clean up more posts.
@user21820 Thanks for attaching the links @Peter most of them are already in a bit of trouble.
11:58 AM
@TeresaLisbon Look at my large solution for a similar carmichael-problem
@Peter ok
One of the statements in one of those posts is amusing:
> isn't Callotz Conjecture easy to prove?
Isn't Callous Comment easy to debunk?
I remember the first time I saw this conjecture (I did not know the name and that it is open). I actually was convinced that it is not difficult to prove and actually tried it. Then, I forgot it for a long time, and much later I had to realize that my inutition was wrong. But the difference : I never believed to be able to prove a conjecture from which I KNOW it is OPEN. But this hybris must be widespread, not only concerning Collatz.
@ArcticChar That collatz crankery is now up for deletion. Note that I saw the name "Heinz Ebert" before and if I recall correctly it is really a crank.
@TeresaLisbon Since we're at it, I might as well give a list for closure:
C7, C8, C9.
@user21820 not to confuse with "Heinz Erhardt" , a very famous dead german entertainer.
12:12 PM
@user21820 Of course!
particular weird It should be clear that adding $1$ totally changes the prime factors.
@Peter It's also weird that nobody else downvoted that question despite its bogosity.
It just goes to show that the SE voting system is broken as well.
@lonestudent The intutition that it is easy to solve is what I meant , in the case the comment is confusing.
@Peter Possible proof (perhaps, proof that it is false) of the Collatz conjecture will likely come from a great mathematician. For example, by someone with a great math background who, as a student, got a gold medal with score of 42 at the IMO and got the Fields medal. So we can roughly say by such a person.
@Peter After I wrote it, I saw that I deleted the comment that google translated badly and changed it a bit.
12:24 PM
@lonestudent Not necessarily. Proof of mathematical conjecture stands on its own correctness and not on whether the prover had any medal whatsoever. However, anyone should be extremely skeptical that someone with no mathematical ability whatsoever claims to have any insight into the conjecture.
@lonestudent A quick look usually already reveals that the proof trials cannot be valid since the used methods are far too basic , and basic methods can safely be ruled out as suitable tools to lead to a solution. Without "big guns" like Andrew Wiles needed, noone will be able to solve Collatz, at least I am extremely convinced that noone can.
For example, a long-standing conjecture in theoretical CS was solved in one page by a (very capable) CS student. Such things are possible, but does not imply that total beginners should even try.
@Peter Usually, it is easier to prove a hypothesis/conjecture false than to prove it true. Maybe we won't need "big guns" to build a "counterexample". I think so. (If the conjecture is not correct) But the person who does this will be the person who knows mathematics well. Of course, the person who does not know the formula of the "quadratic" equation cannot do this.
@user21820 Exactly. Respecting its own limits is an important part of the personality. Everyone should first try to proof much easier (maybe open) problems, and in the case of success continuing with harder challenges. But to begin with such a hammer like Collatz is like to try to fly a space shuttle before having learnt how to walk. I did it only because I was not aware of its difficulty , not even that it is open, I think this is not the case with the users posting proof trials here.
@Peter Indeed, the best mathematicians of the time could not solve 1988 problem 6. But one student solved it in one line, but did not get the gold medal.
12:38 PM
@lonestudent Theoretically, a kid could try a large random integer (with some internet tool) and it turnes out to be a counterexample :)
@Peter Actually, that was the answer I was looking for. So we don't expect that from someone who can't solve a simple (perhaps contest/IMO level) number theory question. This is it in short.
@Peter Actually, by "counterexample" I mean something different, not just a number that disproves the conjecture. We can also do this without showing the specific number. So it's all hypothesys. Thanks for giving your opinion.
1:07 PM
Since someone asked how likely it is that a question containing "$2021$" is from a contest. What about this post ?
@Saad The authors of such questions should first run a brute force routine with reasonabe limits and present what this routine revealed.
1:43 PM
opinions about this post , please. Should it be closed , deleted , left open ?
1:58 PM
@lonestudent While this is kind of off-topic for this room, I will weigh in to say that mathematics competitions test a very specific skill, i.e. the ability to solve problems under a time limit. I know a lot of talented mathematicians who lack this skill (i.e. they require time mull over problems), and I am certain that there are a large number of folk who have done very well in competition who have not had successful careers in mathematics.
@vitamind Only nonsense attracts even more people than sensations ! I guess the $1+2+3+\cdots =-1/12$ video is similar successful.
@Peter Probably, but there isn't anything we can do without a link to the contest.
@TeresaLisbon Is the power-rule argument with the cardinals valid ?
@vitamind The video seems fine to me, unlike a lot of the -1/12 nonsense. In general, I think that Veritasium does a good job.
@Peter Not my field, sorry, although I think yes.
2:17 PM
@user21820 @XanderHenderson To clear out a possible misunderstanding: The only reason I posted that message was to give a reason why the Collatz proofs have risen and not to blame anyone for that, especially not the youtuber. I was suprised myself that after his warnings in the introduction some people still think they can solve one of the most famous conjectures within a day.
@vitamind Yea that was indeed ironic!
@Peter I'd consider it borderline. The asker actually didn't say anything wrong, just missed the obvious that Teresa pointed out. If it was an unusual question I'd keep, but it's definitely a duplicate so not much worth keeping after a while.
2:45 PM
@XanderHenderson Thank you for answer. Yes, this is off-topic for room, but actually, what exactly is mathematical ability? I would like to know the answer to this question. Actually, this is debatable. Is it a skill to solve difficult problems, at high school level? Or is it a skill to solve crazy integrals of deep special functions?
So to give an example, Perelman was one of three students to win a Gold medal with 42 points. Wiles was not even a participant. But I'm not sure that Wiles has never participated in a competition in his life.
3:14 PM
@lonestudent That's a question that's far too broad to answer. Solving hard integrals is not mathematical in the slightest -- mathematical software can do that. But mathematical ability sits somewhere in the nexus of creative thinking, the ability to look at things from many angles and synthesize the views into a coherent whole (a bit like taking two-dimensional slices and mentally reconstructing them into a three-dimensional solid),(contd)
(contd) and the ability to describe accurately what you've done so that others can follow and verify
3:27 PM
Can someone find the question that answers this? I know that this is a duplicate.
3:52 PM
@soupless You might like reading the one I found, because I wrote it. =P
This is my first time in this room. Would it be OK for me to post a question that I think should be reopened, or should I just wait until it makes its way through the review queue?
@MichaelAlbanese It's okay to post it at any time.
@MichaelAlbanese I'm still unsure what the asker knows, does not know, wants to know, and means by "what happens to the point (0,0,0)".
3:59 PM
The OP seems to struggle with English, and their initial question was not very focused. It consisted of six (initially seven) questions which stems from the fact that the OP is a self-studying computer science student and doesn't have a good sense for what is important. We had a discussion in chat and came up with the new version of the question.
@MichaelAlbanese Does the asker realize that the projective space needs to be thought of via equivalence classes to truly make sense?
Well, they know that $[0, 0, 0]$ is not allowed in $P^2$ and they know there is a relationship between points in $\mathbb{R}^3$ and points in $P^2$, but they don't really know what it is.
In intuitive terms, lines through the origin?
I don't think they know that either, but I haven't asked them directly.
I figure this is exactly what an answer should consist of.
Are you going to answer it?
4:01 PM
I am happy to if the community deems it worthy of reopening.
Did you check whether there is already a well-written explanation somewhere?
I had a bit of a look, but I couldn't find anything. I have a feeling there should be, but the clearest explanations seem to be too advanced for the OP.
For instance there is this, but if you are going to write a better answer than that then perhaps it's worth having since it's probably hard to find anything better than that on Math SE.
From my experience chatting with the OP, I believe that would just confuse them.
I could just answer his question in chat, but I don't want to get in to the habit of answering people's closed questions in chat.
Technically, you could just intersect the lines through origin with a horizontal plane through (0,0,1), to visualize where all the points and lines in the projective plane are. That's how I would do it, personally.
4:07 PM
@Jyrki o/
@user21820: That doesn't give you the points on the line at infinity of course, but I understand what you mean.
@MichaelAlbanese Yea, so I added my vote, and hope to see a FAQ-worthy answer from you!
4:28 PM
@MichaelAlbanese The post is reopened now.
5:02 PM
@ArcticChar: Thanks.
@ArcticChar Thanks , for the comment and for getting this question reopened, it's good to see the room's reopening functioning for once!
2 hours later…
6:53 PM
PSQ and delete answer
7:07 PM
@vitamind We need two more downvotes to delete, but it is now closed, the question. I cast the first delete vote on the answer, too.
7:28 PM
@vitamind Open for deletion
@amWhy I added my votes.
@vitamind Me too; Only one delete vote needed on question.
7:42 PM
@vitamind gone
Is there anyone aware of a user M P posting low quality questions and answers, but getting uncharacteristic upvotes for poor quality posts? They have been recently frequently this site, and have accumulated >500 rep?
^^^@Peter, @user21820, @vitamind, @TeresaLisbon
@amWhy Not immediately
I'll think for some time and try and recall if I remember someone.
@TeresaLisbon It seems a mod recognized immediately. So I'm guessing that will be the end of that.
@TeresaLisbon the asker here: are you ready? Click on the link I post ASAP, so I can delete this.
@amWhy Great, good to know. We did spot a ring earlier of users who were involved in spurious up voting, but unfortunately nobody really strikes me right now.
I'm ready now
7:57 PM
The mod I contacted replied to me: "Good Find!"
Yes, now I recognize the user. Not part of the voting /reposting ring we had found a few days ago , but still significant. I think two of their questions came on CURED, one in user21820's avalanche recently.
@amWhy This is a really good find.
Looking at the list of questions they've asked, it would be absolutely right to have suspected that. Great stuff.
@amWhy No, unfortunately not. Do you still have the link?
A comment on CURED from a meta thread. The deleted answer is here. I could maybe understand a downvote but a deletion? I mean, quid told me the answer is broken, but is that grounds for deletion or just for downvoting and disagreeing?
Whatever, the relationship is just going to be polarizing unless someone steps up. I can only expect the mods to step up, but one mod is apparently insulting others in comments, and another is violating EoQS , praying that the question they answered improves so they can delete the EoQS-related comments. About five are meta-inactive, and unfortunately those who hold opinions an only do so much. The indecision of mods is sort of passing down to the users.
8:21 PM
@TeresaLisbon Sorry, my browser seems super slow today. Teresa, I have no problems with it's deletion. It was largely downvoted, and I think Theo has done enough to intentionally undermine everything and anything having to do with quality control and the EoQS. I'm sick of it. This case, of a quickly downvoted and deleted question has happened since this site's inception. Others, at least on four occasions, have suggest up to a two day moratorium on deletion. But closing a post and downvoting
...does not assure it won't be reopened by users, like Theo, who are set on obstructing good intentions in any way they can. We've seen such reopening plenty of times. As a rule, no, we should not aim to both close and delete a post instantaneously, but the offending posts getting notice in this room are the worst of the worst. And we don't need you feeling sorry for Theo. You think you understand him, or have an understanding of him, but from what I
I've seen, he knows how to work you/choke you up. I get that you want consensus, as do I, but Theo hasn't budged, where other users are more open.
Oh, my, @Teresa, are you still up at this hour?? Or did you awaken early?
@amWhy Thanks, the last sentence for me speaks volumes (and I'm planning to go to sleep right about five to ten minutes from now!)
I think Jyrki highlighted it as well : the premise with the "teachers" (as he said would be the best terminology) is that closing(barring spam/trolling etc. i.e. anything with a mathematical problem statement) any question for them, must require too much deliberation to the extent that we'd rather not have it closed. That's sort of why teachers have found it hard to communicate on meta, because their opinion stands that far from the meta majority.
Do you consider me part of the meta majority? I'd rather describe users like Theo as panderers, because a teacher, a true teacher, does not enable cheating, etc. I'm just not clear what you are stating, and don't use other users words; use your own.
I'm a teacher first and foremost, and I think it is ludicrous to suggest that closing spam, trolling, problemstatements, is a waste of time. Jyrki does not believe that. Theo is not a teacher, if that's what you're calling him. Just please clarify, or clarify when you wake up. Just please don't post here when what you say seems to say nothing.
8:37 PM
@amWhy My own words : The meta majority is for me, the people who have used the guidelines enough to understand the various nuances and innuendoes that come with implementing them, the do's and don't's, and usually are happy with what is in place. The teachers are those that would be looking for opportunities to "help" everybody and would seek loosening of the guidelines to make sure that they are helping as many people as possible, because their belief is that the guidelines don't...
... distinguish those who actually cheat from those who are genuinely lost.
@amWhy The terminology "teachers" was loose, I apologize. Let me use my own from now on, those that would like "loosening of the guidelines" is what I'd say from now on.
I think such a vision of teachers is naive, and it inaccurately describes users eager to do everything for a psq questioner. No teacher readily completes their students homework or exams for their students.
That's a good way to phrase it. Thanks. The problem I find is that the
"loosening of guidelines" folks seem to have a simultaneous, invested interest, in earning more rep, and more rep, and see guidelines as an impediment to that overriding goal. But they know better than to say so, and so we see the Theo's and defenders of PSQ. Any confident mathematician can earn rep by filtering out PSQs and answering sincere questions; but those who can't earn rep without going after the low hanging fruit, we'd be better off without them.
It doesn't help that when, e.g., Jose Carlos Santos came on the scene, he gobbled up, incredibly fast, rep, in a relatively short period of time, answering PSQs. He's modified that to some extent, but to keep on top of the reputation leagues, he still resorts to answering PSQ, and only after being called on it, deletes them. So users like these set the scale, with newcomers with skill wanting to answer as many posts as they can, to gain rep quickly. But they don't stop after achieving fully
@amWhy The last part is true to a great degree. I don't know about the rep part , you know better and I trust you. My view about those that wish to loosen the guidelines is that they see what they think are teaching opportunities in every question. There is also an emotional brigade, that associate closure with "slamming the door" and so on. That alone makes them not want to close questions. Where are your emotions when it comes to the site?
complete privileges. It is, in effect, an addiction, and just like drug users lie regularly to secure their drugs, so too do rep addicts lie regularly when framing their objections to closing posts they'd love to answer in a heartbeat. I can say this because I, at one time, was an addict, and I fooled myself into thinking "I am helping users." So the lies aren't intentional deceit, but a reflection of how users justify their need to earn more rep.
8:52 PM
@amWhy Yes, from personal experience, this is very true as well. It just takes immense willpower to stop yourself!
Oof, it's too late now. I'll leave, sing me the Chanson L'enfantine!.
@TeresaLisbon Indeed. It is difficult, because sometimes people believe what they desperately need to believe, to persist in a manner they are comfortable with. I am in no position to say for sure who is hiding from what they don't want to realize, and who is not. It is very complicated. But I really don't buy, e.g., Michael Hardy and his insistence he is first and foremost a teacher, and attacking quality control as elititists.
@TeresaLisbon Nice, and sleep well.
9:07 PM
Hi, @KReiser. How's it going?

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