[e2e] end2end-interest Digest, Vol 53, Issue 10

John Day day at std.com
Wed Jul 9 20:02:39 PDT 2008

At 21:36 -0400 2008/07/09, S. Keshav wrote:
>On Jul 5, 2008, at 3:00 PM, John Day wrote:
>>  As the field grew, some researchers
>>forgot the "we assume Poisson although we know it isn't" proviso or
>>assumed everyone knew it and others started to believe it.
>If you want to get a quick estimate of the number of cows in a 
>field, assuming spherical--or oblate spheroidal--cows is perfectly 
>reasonable. But then, other papers will cite yours and (mis)use this 
>assumption to compute how much to feed them and how loud they moo. 
>When enough papers make this assumption, some misguided soul will be 
>unable to imagine non-spherical cows.
>Moral: Beware of sacred cows.

Not sure how you made that leap.  Are spheres somehow sacred?  I 
thought they were merely round.

So what you are telling me is that by and large networking 
researchers can not be assumed to be competent researchers?  Tell me 
something new.

Sometime ago, I noticed that I didn't find anything the IETF was 
doing interesting, and I found very little in the literature that was 
interesting.  I found this disturbing.  As I thought about it, I 
realized I had had this experience before.  In the 80s, I would be 
asked if I was supposed to be such a big network expert, how come I 
didn't know anything about SNA (then 80% of the networking market). 
I would reply that I had enough trouble remembering the right ways to 
build networks without trying to remember the wrong ways too.

What sacred cows?  We never had any.  Sacred cows are a "second 
generation effect" and a prime contributor to the current groupthink.

The big problem early on was countering the arguments of the dominant 
"beads on a string" model of the PTTs.  It was easy to recognize the 
supporters in those days, they were the old guys.;-)  It is harder 
today to recognize the fifth columnists of the "beads-on-a-string" 
faction. Now there are young ones, who are "beads-on-a-string" 
advocates masquerading as Internet proponents.  Makes things more 
confusing than ever.  But it seems to be working, they seem to be 
wearing down the Internet proponents into accepting that the PTTs 
were right all along.

Have fun,

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