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Posts Tagged ‘self’

1. I am currently in Hawaii. It is most wonderful. And there is something truly special about doing math on the beach. Some day I hope to find out if it is as good as having sex on the beach.

2. I am in the final couple of months of my US stay. This is not the post to express all the things I feel about the last five years of my life — that would take far too long — but I’ll just note a few things. Doing a PhD, at least in math, is much more about learning than research. The USA has its good and bad sides, but I came here, like a lot of Indians, with a somewhat negative view of this country and over the years I have come to love it and much of what it stands for. I really enjoyed my grad life and I think I grew as an individual — my political and philosophical views got more refined, my view of relationships and people got more mature. I will be sad to leave, sad to no longer be a student, sad to leave my friends, a close ex-girlfriend and a lover behind on this continent. But change is a wonderful thing, in spite of everything it entails; and while there are many aspects of my identity I consider significant — libertarian, atheist, mathematician, dreamer — I am perhaps above all a dynamist.

3. Talking of girlfriends and lovers, I completely agree with Kerry Howley’s take on the issue (stated only for marriages, but surely applicable to any meaningful relationship).

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Why Muse Free?

A reader asks me why I call my blog “Muse Free”. I generally think that names should speak for themselves but in this case I don’t mind giving a bit of an explanation.

First off, thought and freedom are two concepts that are very dear to me; and who doesn’t want a name to consist exclusively of dear words? However “think” or “thought” sounds too dry; muse gets its about right.

As for the name itself, I wanted it to have multiple significant meanings. Muse Free has at least two obvious meanings: Muse free(ly), Muse (on) Free(dom). Both of which go to the heart of what I want this site to be about.

But there is a third meaning that relies on a different, perhaps less known definition of the word muse. I quote from the Literary Dictionary:

muse, a source of inspiration to a poet or other writer, usually represented as a female deity, and conventionally called upon for assistance in a poet’s invocation. In ancient Greek religion, the muses were nine sister‐goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (the goddess of memory), who presided over various arts and some branches of learning. Their cult was associated particularly with the Pierian Spring on Mount Olympus, with Mount Parnassus near Delphi, and with Mount Helicon in Boeotia. Their names and responsibilities are as follows: Calliope ( epic poetry); Clio (history); Erato ( lyric love poetry); Euterpe (flute music); Melpomene ( tragedy); Polyhymnia ( hymns); Terpsichore (choral dance and song); Thalia ( comedy); and Urania (astronomy). Later poets of the Renaissance, however, often referred to the women praised in their love poems as muses who inspired their verse; and in modern criticism the term has often been extended to any cause or principle underlying a writer’s work.

The third meaning of my title is that it refers to the hypothetical Goddess defined above who inspires my writings. She is free.

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