I found the previous title of

Realizing proper pure octonions as conjugates

slightly risqué and also uninformative. So in the spirit of being bold I just changed it to something mathematical. I'll further suggest that the comment about "Skinny legs" be deleted.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ To get comments deleted one typically flags them (in this case 'obsolete' or 'too chatty' seem suitable flags). You also could have asked OP to delete it. To post on meta seems a bit too much to me for the deletion of one comment, around since years. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Nov 23, 2014 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, the comments are gone. I guess this matter has now been concluded. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented Nov 23, 2014 at 22:05
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    $\begingroup$ Just my personal opinion that I find some of Will Jagy's whimsical titles amusing. I can understand the need to make some titles more informative, but I also like the idea of letting people express themselves as they feel (within reason), and not making everything bland and homogeneous. There are certainly some other comments on MO that give the impression of being written by human beings; I hope they survive! $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 1:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia the main issue in this case seems to be the "risqué" not the "uninformative" so that the objection seem to have been that the expression is (possibly) not within reason. To be clear, I have no personal problem with this, and would have personal problems with only quite few things. However, different people have different sensibilities, and I am convinced that the site being acceptable for as many as possible is the higher good than people expressing themselves as they feel. (In addition to that the site being easily understandable is also relevant.) $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: I did understand that point. The comment in question referred to a book by Tom Robbins "Skinny legs and all". I haven't read his work, but he seems a mainstream and seriously regarded author. The "seven veils" were treated by Wilde and Richard Strauss (and of course goes much further back): I'm sure it was risque a hundred years back, but now? So for me the comment/title simply made cultural references, and is well within reason. $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Lucia I think you should (if at all) discuss the suitability of the comment with OP, not with me. I did not see a specific problem with it either; else I would have adressed it years ago. To summarize my points are: 1. IMO, this is not really something for a meta post (see my initial comment). 2. I find it at least not productive to have discussions about which cultural references should be considered "within reason" and which not. In case a doubt is voice, they should simply be removed without much ado. $\endgroup$
    – user9072
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ @quid: I agree with you, except for the last part about removing any comments if ``a doubt is voiced" -- maybe that's a good way to proceed, but maybe not. My other comments were aimed at the OP, and indeed anyone reading this thread (which has now become unnecessarily long). $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 20:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Lucia - A reply to your comments, as requested: I agree that whimsey and humanity are valuable additions to mathematics. However - in its most common interpretation the "dance of the seven veils" is a complete strip tease, performed by a daughter for her father. Since this is icky where I come from, and has little to do with the question (we are not removing seven similar things from an octonion), I edited it. $\endgroup$
    – Sam Nead
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 21:49
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    $\begingroup$ I should clarify that the comments were removed because once the title was changed, the referent of the "skinny legs" comment was gone and the comment hung in limbo, having been stripped of its former relevance. I should also mention that the OP (Will Jagy) and I were in contact through this and he understands the comment deletion and seems fine with it. I usually enjoy his cultural references, and this was no exception. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 23:17
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    $\begingroup$ @ToddTrimble: Thanks for the clarification! $\endgroup$
    – Lucia
    Commented Nov 24, 2014 at 23:26
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    $\begingroup$ @SamNead Not her father. Step-father and half-uncle. Arguably still icky (though "complete striptease" and "for him" are also arguable), but not as icky as you suggest, I think. Personally I think the whole "cutting off the head" thing is more icky. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 13:49


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