Saturday, March 20, 2010


JSH: Trying to stop posting

I don't like angry people who insult me in posts, and for years I've made it a point to NOT stop posting partly to infuriate them (what idiots, like trying to force people out of a public park), but also because I like posting, and there are ideas I'm pursuing that I like talking out and arguing.

One philosophy I noted years ago is that math ideas don't care. If you think you have a good idea in math, argue against it, at least to yourself. The correct ideas don't care. They don't need you. But arguing for your ideas as well at least can help you figure out if they are correct.

There is some hard to explain joy in arguing over your own ideas. And as time went on I highlighted that joy by emphasizing "my math". It's my math. But of course correct ideas—notice my emphasis on correct not saying mine are—really don't belong to anyone. Some are just privileged to find them. But once found they don't come with a signature tag. They can't. But if you post a lot about them on Usenet at least people know they came into this world through you. I liken it to giving birth in a good mood. Taking a crap when you're constipated in a bad one.

Finding ideas is PAINFUL. Whether they are correct or not! If you don't expect pain then you don't understand discovery.

Pain is part of the process.

If you don't hate yourself often while trying to find new things then you're not really trying.

Ok, enough with slogan attempts I might try to put on t-shirts. But reality is that having people insult you, yes, is painful, but it is NOTHING compared to the pain that will be inflicted upon you just by the belief that you have brand spanking new important ideas.

I don't know why exactly. I think it's unfair. But it is I think a lot of why you are probably done with math discovery by the age of 40. In your youth you press on. As you grow older you just don't have the energy to push through all that pain any more.

Oh, so I'm trying to bring it down. Stop posting. But doing it on my own terms. Not because some idiots called me "subhuman" or ordered me to stop. Not because some people berated me endlessly about the worthlessness of my efforts. It's my math. They are MY efforts. I CHOOSE. I choose what's important to me. Not strangers on Usenet.

But eventually you get older and times change and it becomes time to shift. So I'm going to try to shift! Other posters don't need to do anything different. It is not and never has been their decision. I want to emphasize that point.

You can't call me crazy and force me off of Usenet. Stupid people tried for over a decade and it didn't work, but didn't stop them from trying.

But I can choose to move on. So here's giving it the "old college try". I'll stop typing after the signature.

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