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Incompleteness - the problem lay before me, challenging me to enter its deep labyrinth; inspiration


Discipulus96 1 / 2  
Feb 2, 2014   #1
Incompleteness

The problem lay before me, challenging me to enter its deep labyrinth. I had known from the beginning that it was to be the hardest, but I was unprepared. Minutes became hours, and pages became books, but nothing changed: I was not making progress. Godel ( Who is Godel?)had won.

Desperate for inspiration, I flipped backwards through the pages of my notebook, past Euler and Pythagoras, Gauss and Fermat( Explain what these are), but to no avail ( This sentence is good but stops at avail? As a reader, I do not understand what this means). Then, I remembered the day I had crafted the problems, sitting at my desk with nothing but a pencil and a stack of paper. I remembered penning them, one after another, into the pages of my notebook, confident that I could solve each and every one. And I remembered solving them, in no particular order, but making sure to save Godel's Incompleteness Theorems for last. Ironic, isn't it, that Godel would be the one to hinder me from completing the problems?

For days I sulked, confident that it was beyond by reach, until, without warning, I found a solution. I copied it ( the solution) into my notebook. It was finished. I had solved the last problem. But the great joy, the satisfaction, the relief, did not come. Solving the last problem didn't( did not~when writing a piece like this, use full words no contractions) feel like an accomplishment: it felt like a damn failure.

In the coming weeks, my passion for math dwindled. I would still complete assignments, but they felt like busy-work, a far cry from the excitement I had come to associate with problem solving. I stabbed at my notebook, hoping to retrieve some satisfaction from it, but the notebook was spent: (use a semi-colon here instead of a colon) it had served its purpose.

Again,( You might want to place a time? was this a month later?) I glanced back through the pages, torn and disfigured by my frustration. This time, I looked not at the questions but at my notes. I saw a smiley face I had drawn in the margin, next to Problem #43: The Transcendence of π, a majestically written "Q.E.D.!" at the end of my first irrationality proof, and the words "Step back from failure" next to the Eight-Queens Puzzle, which I had solved with a basic backtracking algorithm. Suddenly, Emerson's words became clear: "...a journey, not a destination." I remembered the joy, not of solving those 80 problems, but of considering them: researching into the wee hours of the night, reading related problems, studying Galois theory, and so on.

And now I'm ready for the next problem.

Wow! What a great piece! I was engaged the whole time. I love your introduction! Since you are speaking of an experience, make sure you give details to the reader as if they have no knowledge. Explain who Euler and Pythagorus are. Explain what Gauss and Fermat are. It does not have to be long, just a simple sentence will do. You do not want to leave your reader guessing about small details that are meant to be understood while reading. Also, try not to use contractions when writing English. But closing, I love your inspirational paragraph at the end! Great writing overall.

EF_Jasmine - / 68 39  
Feb 21, 2015   #2
Wow! What a great piece! I was engaged the whole time. I love your introduction! Since you are speaking of an experience, make sure you give details to the reader as if they have no knowledge. Explain who Euler and Pythagorus are. Explain what Gauss and Fermat are. It does not have to be long, just a simple sentence will do. You do not want to leave your reader guessing about small details that are meant to be understood while reading. Also, try not to use contractions when writing English. But closing, I love your inspirational paragraph at the end! Great writing overall.


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