Computers and skulls

Happened to move from one room to another today at the university, the move courtesy of the ineffable machinations of Gruad the Greyface, Our Beloved Boss-in-Chief. (Internet tip #45: “Why, even if he came across it, he would have to be an utter prick to take offense at such a passing flippant… errrk!”) During this, noticed that once you move your computer, you’ve moved 80% of everything you need to work with, in and within mathematics. (Most of the other 20% is coffee and other stimulants. (Probably not Viagra, though.))

Also, you’ve moved roughly 80% of what distracts you from your work. (Most of the other 20% is related to Gruad and his administrivia. Also, “work”? Blood and ashes no; it’s an enjoyable or at its worst inoffensive pastime the nameless They happen to pay me to do, for some reason or the other. How nice of Them. I wonder if I could worm out of them a grant for “reading books I like” for a year or two?)

The other 95% of the stuff in your standard academic room is mostly decoration: stacks of papers, ten-year-old lecture notes and exam answers, thick books of arcane lore with disquieting titles, dribbly candles, a skull (mine is from Markus Mayer), a used* ritual dagger, and similar needful things.

(“Er, that skull… what’s the deal with it?” — “Those damn first-years don’t know how to be polite. Anyway, you came in to ask something, did you not, worm? Speak now; I grow impatient. Also, mind slipping those calipers around your cranium? Your skull looks big enough to contain a two-liter flask.”)

* : as in, “second-hand”.

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