I was following a peculiar self promotion story on Metafilter which reminded me that I'd had a [mortifyin' in hindsight] transaction with Felsenstein about ten years prior to my public-service debugging venture. In 1982, I had to print half a dozen copies of my PhD thesis as well as the official copies for the university / department archives. 5 of those spare copies came back to me, because my thesis committee didn't need a permanent record of the labour. In my intense echo chamber, I thought my stuff was important and interesting and sent each volume out to people whom I admired in the field of computational biology. The only person who replied [it was before WTF? was a thing] was Joe Felsenstein at U.Washington, Seattle, who said . . . he'd passed it on to a Canadian graduate student because "Canadian Maritimes" appeared in the title.
I tell ya, science is largely one enormous futility closet. You work away for a year, or three, or four, stumbling around until to find your feet and a compass and, after much effort you write the results up in a single manuscript. This document has to be written to a rigid format in peculiarly stilted language. Most scientific papers, despite the imprimatur of an editor and two independent peer reviewers, sink almost without a ripple.