Saturday, August 26, 2006

Old habits never die

Old habits are not just hard to break; they seldom ever die. As a friend more than once fondly told me, "a leopard never changes his spots." And such it is with me.

I still cannot sleep past 5 in the morning, which echoes the old days when I had a real job.

I cannot break the habit of having a job even if it pays me no money. My new job requires that I write, read, and study for at least 8 hours each day. I hate myself when I don't do it. My current life is nothing without it.

Saturday and Sunday mornings are devoted to dreaming about new projects, projects on a grander scale than I could ever hope to accomplish. This echoes a time when the weekdays did not allow for anything but the frustrations of the office or trips to and from airports and hotels and places I did not want to go. The weekends were sacred to me during those years. I still possess the old habit of viewing them that way. This is the weekend. I don't have to write today or tomorrow other than scribbling ideas in my notebook.

My studies this summer have returned to things I never thought I would study again. I am rereading the whole of Euclid, writing new notes, and applying a new axiom system for geometry (an axiom system inscribed in my brain) I have not used in the past to understand Euclid. It is like going on a diet of nothing but pizza, chocolate, and ice cream. Am I learning new mathematics? No. I indulge myself in the most hedonistic of pleasures.

Then there is my recent assault on understanding Newton in his terms. In a way, this is studying some physics and astronomy I should have learned in previous school classes, but never really did. Along with Newton, I read Appolonius' Conics and Galileo's Two New Sciences. Appolonius is like Euclid--pure pleasure. I also dip into other geometry papers and texts as the mood or desire sways me.

What of the other things I said I would read this year? I don't have time, at least for now. My addiction to geometry has hold of me.

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