Archive for April, 2010

Kircher & l’Arpeggiata

April 22, 2010

Athanasius Kircher: Tarantella Napoletana, Tono Hypodorico

(written around 1640)

Interpreted by the fantastic l’Arpeggiata ensemble (many great videos on their website, make sure you stop the background audio first).

MO at 6 months old

April 1, 2010

Since the oldest question in the database was asked on september 28, that makes Math Overflow just a little over 6 months old.

With respect to my previous comments when it was 2 month old,  here are a few more:

1. several new senior folks have started actively contributing: that’s great news, it’s picking up. The forthcoming Notices piece should speed this up even more.

2. still, I think reputation points are a bad idea due to the nasty time-asymmetry: those who were there at the beginning could ask many good yet broad grad-student questions, and get lots of rep in the process.  But at some point the broad questions have more or less all been asked, and only technical questions with less appeal remain.   Perhaps this is me, but I think we’re starting to see more technical questions with little upvotes and views, at least in some fields. That’s not to diminish in any way the quality of the contributions of the dozen or so 10k+ users, they certainly make the place lively and interesting.

3. the interface hasn’t been changed, so my remarks on the cumbersome navigability of the site still apply.

4. there’s been a few very interesting hijacks of questions into a discussion, for instance one started as a question, and then a follow-up was posted which which per MO rules had to be closed.  This showed quite well that while MO is great it isn’t, and indeed never claimed to be, a Web2.0 incarnation of all aspects of sci.math+sci.math.research, a niche definitely worth filling.

5. as for raw numbers, to keep counting like last time only users with reps strictly greater than 11, I’ve counted today 1384 “active users”.  That’s an increase of 859 in the space of 4 months.