David Madore's WebLog: My mathematical diary

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(Saturday) · Last Quarter

My mathematical diary

[300th entry in this 'blog! Hurray, hurray, hurray!]

At the end of 2001, I had started a mathematical diary, which I kept active through most of 2002. The idea is not to write down ideas that are important for my current mathematical research activity (writing my thesis, that is), but, on the contrary, to evacuate by committing them on paper various side ideas that I have from time to time. It's the same sort of force that drives me to write this 'blog: once I become infected with a meme, say a mathematical problem, it will keep haunting me until I either solve the problem or save it on paper (electronic paper will do as well, of course) for later. So this is how this diary should be regarded: as a meme pool of weird ideas. There is nothing that could be called “mainstream mathematics” in it, I guess. Some of these memes are “abstract nonsense” as mathematicians call it, embryos of theories that are trivial to work through the basic definitions, which produce pages and pages of easy writing. Some are (presumably hard) questions.

In a way, this diary could be shown as evidence of my mathematical angst: probably nothing it contains would be deemed of any interest by any other mathematician, and I guess the questions which obsess me are very much alien to mainstream mathematical culture. This is one of the reasons why I have solid doubts as to whether I should pursue the academic career in mathematics.

Anyway, whatever it's good for, I've decided to start writing in this diary again. Probably not nearly as actively as this 'blog, but it'd be nice to hold a one-entry-a-week minimum average. There are lots of goofy thoughts that I won't be rid of until I've written them down.

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