Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a gradual transformation into a mathmo, again.

"you can't be both a mathematician and live in the world." [1]

apologies to my readers, if you've been waiting in vain for posts in the last few days: i was away, visiting friends.
in case you were suddenly wondering,
yes: they're doing fine.

it's probably the longest stretch of time, this year, that i've taken off from mathematics.

the previous instance was fairly recent: sunday and monday of memorial day weekend. i spent it
  • running a 5K in humid, 88oF heat,
    losing to kids that were 10 years younger than me,
  • rock climbing with people that were much better at it than me.
so perhaps some habits die hard; even without any maths,
some frustration out of life is inevitable ..!
as for today, it's hard to concentrate.

i'm a little rusty already, not fully embedded into the maths personality. i spent 3-4 days immersed [2] in being a person,
reminiscing about the past,
catching up with my friends and their lives,
meeting new people,
remembering various song lyrics.
my friends are fine people and i'm fond of them,
but by the last day, i was itching to think about maths again.

there's something soothing about tuning the world out, floating away from this feeling of self, from matters of streets and cars and food and rent and bills and smiles and expectations ..

.. and into a platonic world of ideas,
reasoning out a map of the landscape.
whenever i meet someone new, a non-mathmo or -techie, i might say -- "oh, cool: you deal with reality!" -- and get a few laughs.

i mean it honestly, though:
at this point in my life, i'd struggle with a "real" job.
from experience, it takes a few days for the transition, so i'm taking it slowly. today will consisting only of working out little lemmas, getting used to technical details.

maybe tomorrow i'll try the big picture again, tackle something hard.

[1] i think this quote is attributed to grοmov (in support of pereΙman's refusal of the fιelds medal) but i can't seem to find the article or blog that would have posted it .. [shrugs]

[2] in the sense that everything went smoothly, except when i tried to sing "cielito lindo" at this one karaoke bar .. (-;

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