End of term

We’ve reached the end of term again and it’s time for me to take a few weeks off to recharge my brain, reorganise & refill my paper backlog, and get ready for 2018!

I’ve been reading and summarising a computer science research paper every weekday for over three years now. The knowledge I’ve gained has enabled me to have some wonderful conversations and meet some wonderful people, which looking back I never would have been able to do in the same way if I had not been so active in my explorations. But predicting in advance which of the papers were the ones that would end up most useful to me beyond the simple joy of learning would have been I think very difficult indeed. So for me at least, there’s value in continuing to explore a broad cross-section of computer science and just following my interests wherever they take me.

My copy of Michel de Montaigne’s ‘Essais’ came off the shelf only once this year, and in a wonderful stroke of good fortune I stumbled upon the following passage which perfectly sums up how I feel about the subjects I cover:

I speak my mind freely on all things, even on those which perhaps exceed my capacity and which I by no means hold to be within my jurisdiction. And so the opinion I give of them is to declare the measure of my sight, not the measure of things. — Michel de Montaigne, 1533-1592.

One of my favourite things is when I learn that by chance I have been able to land a relevant piece of computer science research in someone’s inbox, which they might not have found otherwise, and it helps them with a project they’re actively working on.

If you’ve been following along with The Morning Paper for all or part of this year, thank you. I hope that it has been beneficial for you too, perhaps in ways that you also could not have predicted ahead of time! The interactions around the papers bring me great joy, and knowing that you’re waiting for the next edition helps me to stick with the habit even on days when e.g., I’m tired and traveling and might not otherwise find the strength.

As has become tradition, I’ll leave you with a few selections from the term to tide you over until The Morning Paper begins again on Monday 8th January.

See you in January,
Thanks, Adrian.