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Stop Deferring

Don't listen to advice like:

“Before embarking in philosophy one should learn to calculate.”

N.N. Bogolubov, advice to young theoretical physicists

and don't fall into the trap of the deferred life plan. Most physicists never actually get to the stage where they are “allowed” to think about big questions. They either get stuck in the “shut up and calculate” phase or drop out of academia.


“Relentlessly prune bullshit, don't wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have.”Paul Graham

Instead of “Shut up and calculate”, remember:

“Mathematics is the tool specially suited for dealing with abstract concepts, […] All the same, the mathematics is only a tool and one should learn to hold the physical ideas in one’s mind without reference to the mathematical form.” from the preface of Dirac's Quantum Mechanics book

I too of course play games with symbols…, but in a way that keeps me mindful that I am only playing. Johannes Kepler

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, June 2005

Further Reading


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solutions/stop_deferring.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/31 15:05 (external edit)