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Author: rmhj Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 439716  
Subject: Re: A Rare Blend of Egomania and... Date: 12/3/2012 6:52 PM
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1pg: A proof is a "secret"? Is that even possible? What if you, in your work, recreate the proof on your own? If Wolfram didn't publish it, then you should have the rights (and credit) whether or not he did it first (but just didn't tell anyone).

I'm sorry for taking 3 posts to beat this to death, but I think the answer, from my own experience, has to be "yes".

E.g., in a past job, I proved that a class of block SECDED codes that the hardware engineers thought would be "nice" did not exist. I believe it would have been entirely within the bounds of my employment to make that proof secret. (Had the class existed, however, I'm pretty sure it would have been patented.)

In another job, I had to prove to the satisfaction of the hardware engineers that a particular instruction sequence (which involved h/w tables and various arithmetic and logical operations) had specific convergence properties. If told so, I would have presumed that that proof was within the realm of trade secrets. (Not that the company would have wanted to keep it secret, since they wanted their customers to believe that their instructions and compilers gave correct answers.) That hardware was the subject of various patents.

So it's seems to me reasonable to believe that proofs might be subject to trade secrecy agreements. It does still seem odd that trade secrecy would be claimed for a "purely academic" proof.

rj
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