Trio weekend

Goings-on when getting together with one’s brothers — three guys slowly getting lost into the academical world. (And, for a weekend, spending time in and immediately outside a sauna, telling jokes of increasing abysmalness.)

* * *

The similarity of whiskey appreciation and Tolkien-fancying is discussed, and both sides (the first slightly inebriated) agree the match is frightfully precise, and basically an instance of two somewhat similar people expressing a similar enjoyment of nuances and minutiae in a completely hairyassed different a way.

* * *

The game of “say a word beginning with the last letter of the previous” turns to “say etc. with the second-to-last letter of the previous”, then to “that, unless it’s an ‘j'” — the words in question being “things you can find in a university, such as “demented professor, a mostly harmless” — thus beginning with a ‘d’, and giving an ‘s’ to the next.

The earlier iterations of this game have discovered that the group of Finnish first names has frightfully less names beginning with ‘o’ or ‘i’ than those ending with the same.

* * *

The universal “academicians meet” discussion-venting thing is done:

  1. The bureaucrats and leader-types are pod-people to whom all rational patterns of thought are foreign.
  2. The research is bloody difficult. One’s like a mite with a single led to light one’s way in the convoluted landscape of maths/physics, stumbling over details and not getting any idea of the general contours, while one’s advisor seems to be a giant studded with leds and halogens all over, hovering above and contemplating ideas and curves only he can see or foresee.
  3. The standards are falling; wouldn’t surprise to be, in a couple of years, to be working in a hole in the ground. Not a nice hole, either. Probably one with noxious smoke and all.
  4. Coffee’s still nice, though. Best to keep quiet about that or it’ll be banned from the campus as a dangerously addictive psychoactive drug-like substance.

* * *

One is puzzled and a bit flattered to hear one’s little brother describing one as a “mathematical demigod”. InvestigationsĀ  continue on whether this is a common kind of thought among physics students or just a personal characteristic of either or both of the parties involved here. (It may have been the alcohol, too.)

Or maybe the licentiate’s degree (FL) is a licence to be semidivine? (If this means one’ll become omniscient upon getting the doctorate, swell. If one turns to Zeus, swan and coin-storm antics and all, less swell.)

* * *

One acts as a practice audience for a test run of a short conference talk; one then impersonates a physicist to ask a few questions, because There Will Always Be Awkward Questions.

To do this one, being a mathematician of highly abstract spheres and thoughts, impersonates a janitor of a theoretical physics lab. (“Ja, diz is not exshactly mai shpeciality, sinke I came vrom teoretical backgrunds. I am a janitor in their lab. Und now there is a question over there, or then some fidgetty constipashion.” And much fun was had by all.)

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