In pursuit of brevity

Adventures in comprehension, which take all too long to compose. And why I shouldn’t have a Substack.


When I was 13 years old, I was introduced to The Open University’s “60-Second Adventures in Thought” series. Almost ten years later, I continue to find myself falling short in my attempts to replicate this brevity in my own writing. Particularly TOU’s introduction of infinite series, which has set a sort of gold standard for terse-but-effective explanations: “The realization that something finite can be divided an infinite number of times. This concept is used in finance to work out mortgage payments, explaining why they take an infinite amount of time to pay off”.

Cue, a bottomless pit.

Cue (2), my current job as a mortgage strategist. Which is which?

“I, at this moment, do not know what this substack is going to look like. I just don’t have that kind of time, I get a never-ending number of complaints from the hotel. Also, she’s made it very clear that she is NOT a mathematician. I’m not surprised, given she works in finance.”

– David Hilbert, friend of Einstein, enemy of bulge bracket analysts.