Posted by: scott | March 3, 2011

Shifting toward equilibrium

It’s been about 6 months since I moved to Texas, and during this time, I’ve naturally thought about how my new surroundings have influenced me. For one thing, I’ve been noticeably sleeping a lot more ever since I came here, and in fact tonight has been the first night in which I’ve stayed up until 4:30am working (which is what spurred me to jot down my thoughts). This used to be almost a daily habit when I was in college, where I would spend almost every waking minute either in class or in the library. Nowadays, I stop and chat with other students about random math topics, I go to the gym, and I even just hang out with other people for fun every now and then. In short, I’ve gotten lazier (although to be fair, it hasn’t necessarily been the case that my productivity has diminished — math is weird like that).

So as I was walking back home, I couldn’t help but stop and try to conceptualize just how much I had changed. Moreover, this also led to the realization of just how different of an environment I am in now. For instance, walking back to my apartment in New York at 4 to 5 in the morning, I would often see cabs driving on the street, and people getting ready to open up their stores on the street. In Texas, it seems like even the drifters disappear after 1 or 2 AM, and don’t appear again until almost noon (unlike the bums on W. 4th and Broadway).

So on one hand, I have clearly been molded into a more relaxed and less work-intense state of mind, and at the same time, I still see myself sticking out in an unfamiliar habitat. Not that this isn’t what you’d expect to happen. It just makes you wonder what the equilibrium is ultimately going to be, and if it’ll be somewhere better or worse than where you are now and where you’ve been before. In the spirit of basic economic theory, I (naively) hope that equilibrium lies in the direction of progress.

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