Friday, December 29, 2017

But does destiny rule?

Feel like lucked out, as now with better perspective is clear to me how my discovery followed a familiar trajectory. Now do accept that it started in 1996 when I figured out a modular approach to packing of spheres. And found a proof so stunningly simple would puzzle me for over two decades as to how new. If had been recognized then, would have stepped onto the global stage like so many, early and young, who discovered.

Was spared though, and went on to build the framework for more automated modular discovery with:

x+y+vz =0 (mod x+y+vz)

For me has always been a story I thought I understood, as if was in control of it all. Now as think back at how steady the work has been, feels more like a compulsion. Is a similar trajectory seen in mathematical discovery. Major discoveries beginning in twenties, and usually peaking after a few decades.

Would struggle with some things with far more peace than my predecessors. No rude questions. No curious humanity wondering how.

The web would be more constant, and part of a process. At times was like was a friend that could understand me, along with the math, which I began to imagine as an entity. My two best friends, though the web was so much still a mystery, and I like to note that the math does not care.

The web would enable me to test global in my own way and in my own time. As the web helped me process and accept. The web has been my friend, and still not sure why, or exactly how. So many things have been like had the web watching over me, trying to protect as best could. Still there was a mental price to pay, in learning to face fears in time, but was so much in private. Until could possibly handle the full enormity of being a global figure. Am I there yet? Am not sure.

I knew I would be the only major mathematical mind of the early 21st century. There is no one else.

No one else is even close to me. No one else on planet Earth appears to be even trying.

I have no peer in mathematics in our times. There is a loneliness there. I do not wish it.

Where is the humility I fought so hard to regain? Why does it keep leaving me? What does it take to stay on solid ground? Still there is a truth there. Maybe should just face it, until can yank it back down to earth.

Been trying to cut off discovery since 2010? Like a rocket engine that still has fuel. Kept telling myself, I have enough. There is no competition. There is no reason to continue.

There was no way to stop, until the rocket engine blessedly ran out of fuel.

Studying celebrity, I look for those destroyed by it, then analyze with what I call a psychological dissection. Piecing through each case, understanding the forces that tear a human apart, from the attention.

Attention, in and of itself, can kill a human being. Nothing else needed. We're not built for it at levels possible in our modern world.

And I was spared. Why? In retrospect, realize it aided discovery simply enough, I guess. These math results would find their way into our world. I was simply their portal. Simply used, brilliantly. Which pleases me. Is what I wanted, to discover.

Still I do wonder. How much do we really control in life? Or how often do we actually simply find ourselves, especially as older adults, coming up with reasons why.

James Harris

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