I have been reading Jessie Greengrass’ first novel Sight over the last week. As should come as no surprise to anyone who has heard me talk about Greengrass in the last couple of years, I thought it was fantastic. Strange though it is to say about a book that is in large part about the difficulty of ever knowing others (or ourselves, clearly), Sight made me feel more than anything I have read for a long time that the author was writing just for me. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Greengrass’ background is in analytic philosophy. At a reading in Islington she told us that she was attracted to the intellectual satisfaction of the subject but didn’t find it a very useful way of engaging with the world, which reflects my view of maths as a primarily aesthetic pursuit.
Continue reading Revelation is by definition isolate -- Jessie Greengrass' *Sight*
Roger Federer’s neural net
Here’s a paragraph that caught my attention when I was re-reading one of David Foster Wallace’s late essays Roger Federer as Religious Experience a couple of evenings ago:
Continue reading Two thoughts on AI and genius
Browsing through some old notebooks last night I found my notes from the solo walking trip I took to Snowdonia last October. I fell into a mental health hole shortly afterwards —probably spending a week alone with no connection to the outside world didn’t slow the fall—and didn’t do get around to writing up the trip.
Continue reading Snowdonia walking, October 2017
Some things I’ve enjoyed recently.
Continue reading Links
I’m back today from a week’s holiday visiting old friends and colleagues in Southampton, where I spent the days haunting the maths department, helping myself to coffee and leaving behind the occasional half-pack of hobnobs.
Continue reading Southampton, in the middle distance of my heart