I cannot make up my mind whether I am having fun, or getting screwed, nor can I decide for once if I am lazy, or it’s the writer’s block.
In any case, there are a lot of thoughts floating in my head, with regard to the candidacy proposal I am working on. Today is the big day, when I hope to make sense of the bits ‘n pieces I have jotted, or typed down as notes, some strands floating in my mind, what I have written before, the few graphs I have of results of simulations and a few fresh ideas.
My advisor insists that I deliver a motivating example to convey the meaning behind some of the mathematical stuff I am doing. The Byzantine generals problem and the counterfeit coin problem probably come closest to what I will be trying to describe. Describing a mathematical framework, and then trying to derive relations between the mathematical entities is what I will attempt to do tonight. There are so many disparate things, that are all bound together – so many elements that need to go into that one document in an organized fashion, that I get lost, and lose the big picture, if I work in fits and starts, so a marathon session tonight should get everything in reasonable shape. Another significant problem is trying to relate my work to the work that has already been done, in different fields, and making myself look smart. Like, “see this guy was good, but he’s not smart enough to have seen this“, or something to that effect. It is amazing how innovative some technical authors and researchers get when it comes to digging up references and quoting previous work. I have a list of links I have to convert into a threaded conversation.
About the lazy Vs. Writer’s Block thing — it feels great to think of small problems, one at time, and to do nothing but that – just mull over specifics. When it comes to writing it down, half the ideas break down. The other half seem incomplete, and more often than not, I wonder what happened to all the things I thought I’d be writing about!
In any case, this is the most challenging and stimulating thing I have been engaged in, for a while. Solving problems from Irodov’s Problems in General Physics, which was in vogue among the IIT aspirants, and which one of the cool books that MIR published. MIR is now almost defunct, and a lot of the books, including Problems in General Physics are now out of print. I guess this is one of the undesirable side-effects of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
I look forward to the night. Time to go home, now.