Friday, January 02, 2009

productive holidays.

if all goes well, then i will return to the united states tomorrow. as far as i know, the airport blockades in bangkok have stopped weeks ago, but as the saying goes:

just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

oddly enough, most of last week was mathematically productive. there's only so much one can do on an isolated tropical island off the coast of southern thailand [1]. barring some technical details i've made some headway into a special case of a conjecture, but only as far as i can push the results of others.

the important thing is that i have an idea, a course of action. until that fails, at least there is work to do.

i'm tempted to say that, along with a few other results, it could shape nicely into a second preprint. it still doesn't address the entire picture, which is fine but unsatisfying. i doubt that what remains unknown, if proven later, would make a very good paper or even a note ..

.. at least, not unless the techniques are interesting in their own right. then again, this is all just speculation: maybe the technical details are intractable or i will find a counter-example to my argument.

who knows? the only sure thing i know is that i have a lot of work ahead of me:

a new year,
a new semester,
a new area of research to learn and in which to prove things,
and plenty of old commitments to colleagues.

there will always be something to be frustrated about. 2009 will be full of them, i think.

[1] it's not that rock climbing, sea kayaking, and sunbathing get old that quickly .. actually, sunbathing does .. but as i think for a living, it's hard not to have some sort of mental curiosity at hand.

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