Wednesday, September 12, 2012

in medias res: "The fault, dear Βrutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves .."

there's something really charming about sitting out of doors at a cafe, sipping strong coffee.  life unfolds with abandon in the streets and sidewalks of paris:
well-coiffed men and women stroll the streets,
mopeds and trucks make their deliveries,
storefronts of many specialties advertise their wares ..

.. and i cannot concentrate on a single damned thing!
i don't know why i didn't just think to sit inside and be left alone.  it's day one of a conference and already i like what i see .. but there's a slight part of me, wondering:

would it have been better had i just stayed at home and worked?



there's more to my indignations, i guess.

one project is essentially done, even the write-up. the count is 23 pages, including introduction, title, abstract, and references. as for why i've not submitted it yet, it's probably because i'm trying to sabotage myself.

i don't mean that i'm unconsciously doing so, but actively. i'm currently checking the details more intensely than i ever had, before. this includes identifying which are the "least believable" parts of the proofs and trying to construct counterexamples for them.
at this point in time, there's very little use for me to go over the arguments mechanically, checking it line by line .. because i think the details are too stuck in my mind and any false assumptions that i have can't be so easily knocked away ..

in other words, i'm too impatient and too close to the project and i don't trust myself to get everything right .. if only because i want to be right so much. these results in particular are what i've been working towards, what my work's been building on .. since graduate school. [1]
then again .. "at this point in time" ..

another solution would be to schedule a talk in november about it and shelve the paper until then. a week before, i'd have to relearn it cold turkey, and in that week i'm bound to forget the subtleties and have to convince my dumber, future self.

[1] it's too bad that i don't have an evil twin, bent on my utter destruction, to try and disprove me. that said, it's a sorry state of affairs when you're wishing for an evil clone of yourself to exist, because it might actually make your life easier. i'd even call it "Selbstschadenfreude" or something .. (-:

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