Sunday, May 04, 2008

Travel Moments

There are two kinds of moments I like as a Researcher.
    You travel to visit a colleague, discuss a myraid of problems, maybe have dinner and go to your hotel. Then, you get to refine one of the problems a little bit, sleep, may be dream the problem a bit, and you wake up, sit on a chair, reflect on the problem and slowly some definitions emerge, an idea peeks through, may be a calculation pops out. If you are lucky, by the time you are showered, had the horrible breakfast in most of the hotels and see your colleague, the process would have led to some clarity. What I am talking about is an engagement with a morass of problems and thoughts, followed by a disengagement and solitude that eventually leads to clarity and then the re-engagement.

Check out Some Portraits
    You are a traveler and an alien in most parts of the world. You wait for security screen, wait for bags, or wait for the flight. Others who wait may listen to music, do Excel, or read books. We (theory) researchers have a unique advantage. We can simply let ourselves physically wait, but mentally step aside into the world of problems and puzzles. I space out like that and when I come out of it, find myself yanking on my beard or massaging the back of my neck and realize the stranger woman sitting across from me in the airport lounge is staring at me. What I am talking about is the ability to snatch moments of solitude while the world sloshes around you and you are part of it, only physically.


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