Slow Writing

Well, the workshop is going well. I had to miss a talk this morning in order to carry on with this writing of a paper I was doing. Basically, we’re over due in producing our submission to a special volume of some publication or other that is going to be all about magnetic fields and models of strongly coupled matter… As you may have gathered by now, I’ve dabbled in magnetic fields for some several years by now, so it was natural to be asked. My collaborator in a lot of these dabblings, Tameem Albash, and a student, Scott MacDonald, and I have been working on a suitable project for a while, and due to my travels and entanglements with a previous project, I’ve made us all a bit late.

The last few days have been difficult for writing. I’d forgotten to take into account that I’d have a huge amount of jet lag to get over….this meant that sitting down to a typical long writing or editing session results in me nodding off after a short while. My successful strategy for all of this became one of working on it for a couple of hours after dinner until a little after midnight, and then first thing in the morning after breakfast for another couple of hours. This all ended last night with a long session after getting back late from dinner and a walk around Amsterdam with a group of friends…. I ended up working on the manuscript until 2:15am. Then the morning after a late breakfast I did all the final adjustments on the iPad and sent it over to my colleagues to do final finish up in their time zone.

I’m not displeased with it. It is a short paper with some nice new results that ought to be of use to the community. I hope so anyway… It will not be an example of my finest prose writing, but it does the job. It is good to have it done. Now, except for a report I have to write for Monday, I’ve no deadlines for the rest of this two week period here. None that I remember, anyway.

Above is a picture of a seminar gong on in the workshop, yesterday. Cumrun Vafa was talking about gauge theories and topological strings. It was really interesting stuff, but it was super-warm in the room and my jet lag was in full effect, and so I could barely keep my eyes open for longer than 5 minutes at a stretch…so I feel a bit bad, as I’m sure he must have seen me nodding… Hopefully this afternoon’s talk will find me more attentive. (But if there are large tasty sausage rolls served just before the talk again, I’m not promising anything.)


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6 Responses to Slow Writing

  1. Dilaton says:

    Oh yeah, Cumrun Vafa 🙂

    Lumo linked to some of his (pedagogical enough for me) talks and I like listening to him a lot!

    He certainly knows that jet lags are very tough … 😉

  2. Mary Cole says:

    I’m sure your ‘thinking with your eyes closed’ will be un-noticed/excused. Many years ago, my dad fell so deeply asleep during a conference talk that he fell off his chair!

  3. Gleanne Marie says:

    Just saw you on the Einstein bio (History Channel). So happy to have now found your blog. Interesting stuff – hope you managed to stay awake during the seminar! 🙂

  4. Clifford says:


    Thanks for watching. I hope you enjoyed it! Happy to see you on the blog. Do come back for more…



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