5 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2020
  2. Apr 2020
  3. Dec 2019
    1. In other fields, you can get going after a relatively short time. In mathematics, you can find reputation-making problems that you can actually attack after just a couple of years of college. It is very unlikely that you will make a significant contribution to Shakespeare scholarship before 30. And you’ll read a lot more. Which brings me to the question, once you know what your interests are, how much should you read? How much should you slow down your reading as you age? What is the most fertile ratio of reading to creating? The answer can be tricky. As fields mature, and apparently unsolvable controversies start to dominate (such as has happened at the edge of physics, around superstring theory), a high-paradigm field can become low-paradigm. Subfields can differ: “systems engineering” is lower-paradigm than electrical or mechanical engineering. But Einstein is right about one thing: the “living vicariously” part. That, rather than sheer quantity of reading, is actually the critical part. Depending on what problem you are trying to understand or solve, your reading may take you the rest of your life, or be done in two years. But how you read can determine whether you become a pedantic bore who contributes nothing, or somebody who makes new contributions.

      nuance::reading being a lazy habit of mind

  4. Apr 2018
    1. “We often discussed his notions on objective reality. I recall that during one walk Einstein suddenly stopped, turned to me and asked whether I really believed that the moon exists only when I look at it.”