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What a jerk - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

What a jerk [Nov. 16th, 2008|05:19 pm]
Arvind Narayanan
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Some guy emailed me yesterday with several questions about one of my papers (co-authored with Vitaly). I answered the email a few minutes later. He had a follow-up about one of the questions (basically saying he didn't understand my answer), which I also answered promptly.

Apparently he still didn't understand my answer. So he emails Vitaly today and asks him the same question, not revealing that he already asked me.

Super bad form. Students might not realize it at the beginning of their research careers, but research communities are basically complete graphs—everyone knows everyone, more or less. You develop a bad rep and it will stick with you for ever.

From: (Anonymous)
2008-11-17 04:55 pm (UTC)
(May it be for the sake of an argument or the dislike of your post title.)

Give it enough benefits of doubt, it might be called second-opinion-seeking.
Like going to see a specialist, one may as well ask around for more inputs, particularly, to another expert in the same domain without referring its other interactions.

It may be simply untactful.
"jerk" might be a bit strong under that light.
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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2008-11-17 05:35 pm (UTC)
except that you pay the specialist $200 an hour.

the problem with what he did is that he would have wasted vitaly's time. it takes quite a while to look up an old paper and re-familiarize oneself with the terminology sufficiently well to answer questions. i was lucky i had looked at that particular paper recently.

and no, i'm not giving him the benefit of the doubt—it was clear from the language in the email that he was deliberately concealing having contacted me.

so how are you these days? ;-)

damn, i should go find out if john bethencourt is still interested in that writing-style de-anonymization paper. if you run into him, ask him for me, would ya ;-)

Edited at 2008-11-17 05:53 pm (UTC)
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-11-17 06:43 pm (UTC)
Still arguing,

Truth to be said: (real) coauthors may totally have their own reserved opinions, not fully expressed under the premise of collaboration or compromise, if you may, for the sake a whole paper.

Out of intellectual conscience, once you put a name down as an (co)/author of paper, one is somewhat obligated to answer questions from the readers, regardless how old that paper is.
(One may not only expect to be frequently cited ... )

Answer or not is up to the non-correspondence author(s).

Ask or not is the right of the readers :-).

If word of mouth is better than strokes of keyboard, I suppose, John can be asked.

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[User Picture]From: arvindn
2008-11-17 06:45 pm (UTC)
err.. that part about john was a joke. please don't bother him.
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