“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use, do the work you want to see done.” Austin Kleon

How clearly can we see ourselves?

Some egotism is inevitable, and I do not feel that it really  needs  justification.  Good  work  is  not  done  by  ‘humble’  men.  It  is  one  of  the  first  duties  of  a  professor,  for  example,  in  any  subject,  to  exaggerate  a  little  both  the  importance  of  his  subject and his own importance in it.

A man who is always asking ‘Is what I do worth while?’ and ‘Am I the right person to do it?’ will  always  be  ineffective  himself  and  a  discouragement  to  others. He must shut his eyes a little and think a little more of his subject and himself than they deserve. This is not too difficult: it is  harder  not  to  make  his  subject  and  himself  ridiculous  by  shutting his eyes too tightly.

If  then  I  find  myself  writing,  not  mathematics,  but  ‘about’  mathematics,  it  is  a  confession  of  weakness,  for  which  I  may  rightly  be  scorned  or  pitied  by  younger  and  more  vigorous  mathematicians.  I  write  about  mathematics  because,  like  any  other  mathematician  who  has  passed  sixty,  I  have  no  longer  the  freshness  of  mind,  the  energy,  or  the  patience  to  carry  on  effectively with my proper job.

A Mathematician’s Apology, G. H. Hardy


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