I am from a mathematical background, having taken my first degree in Mathematics and Economics, graduating in 2012 from the University of Leeds, and currently undertaking my second degree in Mathematics and Physics with the Open University – for no real gain except for the love of learning and challenging my mind. So much of what we do on a daily basis has some specific goal – to progress in a career, to achieve something particular but far too infrequently do we do something just because it is fun. It seems like we forgot how to play once we got old! I like to think of it as progressing from lego to numbers – but still a wonderful thing to keep the mind entertained.
When you are a Chartered anything, I admit the jobs are a little bit better paid and generally much safer. You are in many senses a grown up dream – steadily middle class in a career unlikely to be made obsolete by computers for at least a generation. But alas, unless you were one of those people who wanted a career in an office from a young age (who do exist, I know some), then life becomes humdrum monotony devoid of natural light. It gets to the point where all you seem to do is placate the beast with Thursday drinks, low level of sports competition and impressing old school friends by checking into expensive places on Facebook; but these activities are as much a solution as paracetamol is to a headache, a welcome break but irrelevant to addressing root cause.
They quarter life crisis was coined recently [I think?] and I think it is a wonderful and real thing. Around the quarter-life (which I generously take to be 25), something sparks in the brain screaming that where a year was once forever it just isn’t as long anymore. The denominator keeps getting larger, with each year seeming shorter as time marches onwards in its linear fashion; oh the keen sting of relativity. There is a temptation to throw caution to the wind and do that thing you always thought was too stupid to do while you were growing up. Don’t choose this option, rationally you didn’t do it for a good reason. The trick is to use the increasing skills and experience you have with being a human to enrich the quality of time. Waste less, do more, counterbalance relativity with frightening productivity and live with a burning impatience.
In a way this is my journey. It isn’t really the beginning at all: in many ways I have always been roughly following this path, I have just taken a rather large detour, assuming you (like me) don’t think events are fully predetermined. When I sit down and think about the things that truly make me happy, [ignoring people to save bad feeling], the non-human thing that makes me really and truly happy is learning things and trying to solve things I don’t know how to do. Within that the two areas I like to study more than anything are Mathematics and Physics – and many, including myself would argue these are not two distinct subjects. They are the only subjects for me which are worth studying (no offence meant – this is a personal bio). They are as real as it gets: What? Why? Who? Where? When? How? The subjects attempt to answer the question which at some time must have bothered us all; why are we actually here? Are we a terrible design or are we a beautiful accident?
What I love about it most is that the answer is already there. It has always existed, at least for the history of the universe anyhow but it is written in a language we cannot speak and contains ideas beyond our comprehension. If we are to ever understand the world we need to make it simpler (or rather view it in a more simple fashion) – we need lots of minds to work together and start rationalising the universe. It upsets me how much of the neurological power in the world is engaged in conflict, or just wasted away on Xbox consoles. The universe will die – and what a tragedy it would be if the human race had not uncovered its secrets before its death. Upon the death of the universe there shall be no lifeboat offering safe refuge to a brand new ready made universe. We make our own destiny.
I won’t spend any longer trying to convince you of my dedication or beliefs – this is after all a personal journey to which I hold nobody accountable but myself. Currently I am sitting a formal degree in Mathematics and Physics with the Open University, along with a number of personal studies in an attempt to better understand the universe in which I exist. I will be using societies, institutes, conferences, colloquiums, meetings, magazines, books, libraries… just about anything possible to aid me in this and documenting what I am thinking here. My hope is that through this site I will be able to record my journey allowing me to criticise and correct the direction I am taking, get some help from like minded people and rationalise my own thoughts. A timeline of my journey to a currently unknown location.