Thursday, December 11, 2008

People that freak me out
(a Go player)
  • Chess players reading chess games off the page (actually sitting in a bus and “reading” a chess game)
  • The same regarding Go players (I am not sure if it’s harder or not)
  • The same thing regarding musicians readings notes off the page. (One of the weirdest experiences is sitting at 2 am Friday night and singing Chabad niggunim from memory next to a musician who is just singing them off the page for the first time in his life. By the way, there are apparently nearly a hundred niggunim called “Niggun LeShabbos VeYomTov”. Until we found the correct one, I had to sing the beginning notes around ten times. Considering that, as Russians say, “a bear stepped on my ear”, it must have looked quite amusing.)
  • Mathematicians and theoretical physicists sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper (or a blank computer screen) and discovering something. (Theoretical scientists in other areas — especially Biology — are usually crap at what they do.)
  • Artists, writers, composers sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper/computer screen and just inventing things out of blue
  • Twins (OK, that’s more of a phobia).
Is it any wonder I am in experimental science? (And not something like molecular biology, where you pipette crap from one tube into another for hours and then peer at Western blot bands — nope, in my field you get instant gratification.)

* * *

Obviously, I have to write more posts on Go (and Sherlock Holmes), but an experience in Go academy in 19th-century Japan was remarkably similar to an experience in yeshiva. All life revolved around one single intellectual purpose and activity.

* * *

A Chabad niggun in many cases is like a thalamocortical cell.

1 comment:

Elisheva said...

Site-reading is a way of life.

I've been working (somewhat, I'm lazy though) to break myself of the need for written notes and just letting it flow.

When you're trained in one manner...