That last hour of a workday

Not one of the proudest moments of my mathematical career.

Spend three minutes looking at a scribble (my own, no less!), trying to recall what, if anything, cogent I had tried to signify with the letters “UEL”.

Could not remember anything abbreviated so. Could not recall anything beginning so, or anything ending so either. Not in English, not in Finnish, not in the dialect of Savonia or in the coarse speech of the undergrads, or in the stilted, inhuman style of the Professorlords, or even in my own idiom when I wish to be cryptic for the sake of novelty in expression; nothing came up, nothing at all; no sun dawned, no clouds parted, no intracranial lightbulb did anything except morphed into a clusterous ultraviolet led lamp like smallpox in glass and steel, which then vanished with a slight “pop”. Nothing came up, except the vague memory that the note had meant something worth remembering.

Then blinked and said, “Oh, u \in L!”, shook my head, and went on.

One of the signs that the hour is come after which one can just as well stop working for the day.

It did not help that the author of a certain preprint pdf had apparently unsuccessfully overwritten some Theorem-hyperlinking of his, with the effect that there were no links and no evidence of them ever having existed, except that every mention of “Theorem 3.10” and “Lemma 6.6” and the like were printed in a very, very dark blue that was almost, but not quite, black.

That drives one first doubtful (“Is it synesthesia or simple “integral madness” or are my eyes going? And if the second please please don’t let it be a case of the nude runarounds.”); then into clicking the zoom button, and sighing in relief.

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