Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Damn you, Laurent, Damn you!

The choosing of an important problem a la Hamming can be deeply embedded within many different reasons, some of them might be deeply emotional.

When writing your thesis or when you were eight and discovering the Collatz conjecture, somebody enlightened your world. That problem, that riddle, became the most important in the world. But then as everything in life  you had to move on, sometimes without making a mark or being content and left whoever put you in that spot to continue thinking about it on their own, you had to move on. Several years later you serendipitously stumble again on that one problem. Here it is, this old friend is news again either because somebody has solved it or you have since learned new tools. You know the problem is not as urgent as it used to be, but then again you don't care. You may even warmly resent the person who brought it back in your spotlight. But you are happy taking on this old friend. You can now reconnect with the pack of people who worked with you on this years ago and tell them you may have solved it. Some of the people may have gone onto other shores. It doesn't matter, you know that it is now your responsibility to take a new stab at it.

For the ones that are not there anymore, you watch the clear skies and mumble: "Recall that discussion we had twenty years ago, well I think there is a way to solve it simply...Dude, I got your back"

Credit photo: The Shawshank Redemption.

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