Back to Math communication
Tim Gowers (blog at http://gowers.wordpress.com) is a leader in rethinking communication and collaboration between mathematicians. Here I’ll point out some of the ideas he wrote about on his blog. (The summaries are plagiarized.)
- Polymath (massively collaborative mathematics)
- Writing proofs as trees both helps communicate partial progress on math problems to other people as well as organize it in your own head. http://gowers.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/what-i-did-in-my-summer-holidays/; highlighted version http://marker.to/wnY8PT
- Selected papers network: Given that social networks already exist, all we need for truly open scientific communication is a convention on a consistent set of tags and IDs for discussing papers. If you ever feel moved to write an appreciation or evaluation of any kind you like about any paper, and if you tag what you have written with #spnetwork, then the Selected Papers Network automatically sees what you have written and adds it to the network. (This is very reminiscent of the cMOOC system.)
- Blog posts and comments are the right unit of mathematical discourse because they are more well thought-out than statements in conversation, and do not need to be as well-formed or time-consuming as an article. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrhVH3jU6nY.