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[Computational Complexity] Does a book exist if nobody reads it?

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  • Lance
    A recent conversation with a graduate student. Student: I couldn t find the paper online. Me: So walk over to the library and get the paper there. Student: But
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2005
      A recent conversation with a graduate student.
      Student: I couldn't find the paper online.
      Me: So walk over to the library and get the paper there.
      Student: But you can't take those books out and I don't want to spend hours at the library reading the paper.
      Me: So make a copy and take it home. Student: The library has copy machines?
      Here is where I tell the story that when I was a graduate student and wanted a paper I walked five miles barefoot in blizzard conditions (actually two flights of stairs) to the library, or would send a stamped self-addressed envelope to an author. Not that we should go back to those times but don't ignore papers just because you can't find them online.

      The next generation gets even worse. From a discussion in an undergrad class.

      Student: I searched really hard for this topic and didn't find much. Are you sure it even exists outside of class?
      Me: Really, I'm sure the math library [right down the hall] has several books on the topic.
      Student: Oh, I just used Google.
      Are we really getting to the point that if something isn't on the internet (or even on the internet but Google doesn't find it) then it doesn't exist?

      --
      Posted by Lance to Computational Complexity at 4/10/2005 04:46:00 PM

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