Minimal notes.

Fragment of a topos: Through a glass, blurredly. June 2014.
  • Aotearoa, next 10 days. To dive into conversation with a mathematical couple (he, an opener of Shelah’s “third way” (according to the Lazy Model Theoretician guide), she, an algebraic geometer). Will try to pay honor to Ruapehu, if time allows it.
  • Back to LPs for sound (now, with USB connection). Warmer? Different sampling?
  • Neighbor is a fan of Mos Def. While I shower I hear his Mos Def – not sure if I like it that way, but at least I know the song (and like it). Being a model theorist, seeing the words Mos Def, I cannot help thinking what kind of definability is he implying in his works. I cannot not see definability whenever it is hinted at, even unwillingly or unawares.
  • Extreme fatigue caused by election nervousness: the state of all around me, myself included. Brutal weariness.
  • Guasca: veredas ondulantes a 2900 metros. Fin de semana idílico, en un paisaje que ya empieza a dejar la Sabana, sin ser realmente el Páramo.
  • Pleasantly surprised by Bovykin’s approach to Paris-Harrington, presented in my logic class by three students. I asked each group (at the start of the semester) to find their own project subjects – they had freedom to discover it, but then had to work on what they chose. This group chose to work on Paris-Harrington (we saw Gödel’s Incompleteness by the middle of the semester and I had been mentioning the more “close to real mathematics” result by Paris and Harrington). They found Bovykin’s approach to be much more readable – one of them seems to have gotten well the role of cuts and minimal initial segments.
  • Backlog in almost everything.
  • (Godement (following Cartan and Grothendieck))’s treatment of classical construction of sheaves veers close to invariant sheaves in model theory.
  • Zalamea (Fernando) has managed to write a letter that is at the same time personal and a work of art – close to the style of his late brother Gustavo. I received that letter, and I feel I have a version of a “dual Zalamea”, a kind of hybrid of the talents of the two brothers. I have tried to photograph it in a way that blurs the personal, yet allows the “tree” structure, the “pictorial” background to be seen and appreciated. No success: my abilities as a photographer, when trying to “mod out” reality, are too limited.
  • In our project topoi (where we have been slower than at the beginning, for good reasons that have to do with internal dynamics of the project itself), we have been trying to capture dynamic topoi  –  “dynamic systems” that like the other topoi, bridge the (almost impossible, yet almost obvious) conversation between two artists and two mathematicians. So far, the project has been building up, slowly really slowly, the new path toward dynamic topoi.
  • I truly liked my other student’s presentation of Hrushovski’s cryptic line in the Covers and EI paper – ninety minutes of Galois theory to cover up a sentence. Beers after seminar were welcome, and good.
  • I see more and more young parents around me (well, not really young – compared to my own parents when they became parents, they are really old, but I mean “young parents” as in “parents of small children”) incredibly concerned about every little detail of their children’s life, to an insane degree. Unhappy with all school systems, unhappy with vaccines in some cases, unhappy with possible germs in schools, they utter sentences such as “how can I trust my dear child to unreliable teachers, horribly bad influence of society, strange people’s children?”. They ponder and discuss and are concerned endlessly about wanting their children to be atheistic and free from bad influence from religion, or wanting their children to be free from violence in movies or TV, or maybe decide to home-school their children because schools are “all so terrible”. Those poor children are the center of too many concerns, and I worry they will react sharply to their parents’ extreme insecurities. While they may not hear their parents’ constant concern being voiced over, they for sure can feel it and may absorb the excess insecurity of our times. Too much helicoptering doesn’t forebode well for those poor children of over-concerned parents.
  • For a month now, have listened to no hip-hop and no rap (except for my neighbor’s Mos Def). Cleansing my own ears and mind is good, to appreciate better. Now Mahler and Bruckner and Schoenberg are filling the void.
  • Like our ancestors, I always feel that when the semester ends I crawl, slowly, out of a boiling pool of water, slowly into open air. While I like very much teaching (and consider it a privilege), I also love being freed from teaching obligations, at the end of the semester. Both feelings seem contradictory, but both are important. עֵת לִפְרוֹץ וְעֵת לִבְנוֹת.

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