Inspiration is for amateurs

I found this fantastic quote by the artist Chuck Close. It was his advice for young artists. However, I think that if you replace artist by researcher,* the same advice applies. I would certainly pass this advice along to young mathematicians: just start working, the ideas will come. Conversely, if you don’t put in the…

David Foster Wallace’s commencement address

Here is a commencement address given by the late David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. It was recently reprinted in the Wall Street Journal. It is both inspirational and melancholy, especially after David Foster Wallace’s apparent death by suicide. He says: Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand…