Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Food for thought.

sed -e 's/physics/computerscience/' <
I think it would actually be healthier for theoretical physics these days to take a look at how mathematicians operate, because mathematics has always been a less faddish subject. In mathematics there is much more of a culture where people spread out and devote their lives to thinking hard about something that interests them. There has always been much more of a culture in physics that you want to work on something where you can get results and produce a paper a few months from now. And when the problems are very hard and no one knows what to do, I think people need to be willing to dig in and spend years thinking about something different than what other people are thinking. And there really isn't the kind of institutional support within the physics community for this kind of behavior, whereas there is in mathematics.
Hits close to home, methinks...

(Source: Discover Magazine interview with Not Even Wrong proprietor Peter Woit)


  1. I'm ashamed to say it, but it took me a good five minutes to understand what the sed line meant. Funny how it went: my eyes browsed over it without reading, my brain slowly woke up... it must have read the line at some level, and finally, I just had to come back to your blog to make sure the sed line was what I was thinking.

    Next time, use really fancy regex and see what happens. Extra points if the regex triggers a NP-hard problem. 

    Posted by Daniel Lemire

  2. ha! you of all people ! shame shame :) 

    Posted by Suresh


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