Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Last Night at the Cafe

  1. Yesterday I downloaded a paper that seems relevant to what I'm trying to prove and read it last night at the cafe. I had a strong sense of déja vu as I was reading -- maybe at one point, long ago, my advisor hinted, "You should really read this paper." I couldn't decide which case I'm in:
    • What I'm trying to show is obviously false as a trivial consequence of the main result of the paper, but I'm too slow to realize how it follows immediately. While annoying, not necessarily bad since I haven't spent all that much time thinking about this. This is more likely to be the case if my advisor pointed me to this paper before I finished my dissertation -- in that case I could have added a bit about, "By a result of ---, it's straightforward to show that this does not hold in the case where K is not..." Less likely if he really did steer me to this paper and did it after I'd finished, as in that case he would have said something about what I'm trying to prove being false. Or would he?

    • What I'm trying to prove can be shown to be false by making appropriate changes to a construction that is described in the paper. Not as bad as it sounds. If I could figure out what those changes are, I could get a note out of it.

    • Or, the paper I'm reading has nothing whatsoever to do with the conjecture I'm trying to prove. This might be the worst option, as I'm not exactly making rapid progress on this problem, nor am I filled with good ideas of my own.

  2. Secret Message to the Guy with the Manicure: You can grope her in public all you like, but as long as you continue to dress like that, people will assume that you are gay.

  3. There was this guy who kept looking at me. Do I know him? Is he one of my students?