Monday November 19th

The City With Which I’ve become Apathetic

Why are you Always talking about events..but you live somewhere else?

  • Ah, that’s a great question. It is because although I do live in LA, I am not of LA, in my generation-speak. Nothing about this town resonates with me. Its energy, its people, nothing about it excites me.
  • Sometimes I come back from a conference / workshop and I am jolted by the recognition of being back in LA. I find it difficult to speak to interact with people here in a meaningful way (my mentor and friends at JPL don’t really count, because JPL itself is a very isolated place!). And I can’t recall a recent time where I felt I “enjoyed a night out” or anything like that in LA. Quite frankly, I have no idea what is going on daily in LA (ask me about reddit, though!). I do remember the last time I was exhausted by its people, and frustrated, just wanted to be back in my place. I have multiple memories like that.
  • I ended up here because after school in New York, a big group of my friends moved here. I liked New York, and had (and still have) a lot of friends there. They always ask me if I’ll be back (no..the answer to no). In some ways, it has been beneficial (eg, its proximity to Silicon Valley), but I really have not taken anything about this town seriously for years. My friend invited me to a “tech event” today, and I politely told her that I’d prefer to stay home looking at Youtube videos.
  • A lot of the events that claim to be “tech” are either feeding grounds for the many bootcamps that reside here, or are geared towards front-end. There is nothing wrong with front-end, nor am I suggesting that, but I am saying that there is a lack of diversity in tech in LA. For a while, I was part of a healthy data science group, and I enjoyed that a lot, but many of those persons ended up eventually being recruited away and I stopped attending because it became clear that the events began to be taken over by companies trying to pitch us their jobs. It stopped being fun after that. Strangely, in LA, I can count on my fingers the number of local recruitments I’ve received.

You should chase opportunity

  • I am a firm believer of this. Even if it’s hard. Always give it a shot. You might fail, but the probability of your success increases if you go to the places where you will most likely get a break. I remind a good friend of mine of this every single day.
  • In fact, you need to go where people are solving hard problems, and people are competitive (as a young person). It will teach you things about yourself. You will grow, become hardy, and develop character. Of course, that’s just my opinion.
  • Strangely, this place has never felt like the land of opportunity for me. A friend once told me that LA is a land of nomads. That has always made sense to me, because I have met so many people passing through, but not many of them stay. It isn’t a place of staying. It has never stuck.
  • My other friend (who randomly moved to Shanghai. I really enjoyed speaking with him and he believed in great things for me) told me that LA is like a machine that is constantly weeding people out. That analogy has always stuck with me, because it’s true.

In other news

  • I received more grants from MSRI!! So it looks like I’ll actually be there from January 28th to February 8th. There will be an opportunity for us to have roommates, even though they’ve given me quite a generous reimbursement offer. So I’ll look into that. I’m excited to spend close to two weeks at Berkeley. To see if it too, resonates with me.

  • The two workshops I’ll be attending are “Derived Algebraic Geometry, Birational Geometry and Moduli Spaces” and the Introductory workshop for “Derived Algebraic Geometry and Birational Geometry and Moduli Spaces”.

  • I also bought Sandy’s book, and was making my way through it. I missed the Haskell Utah Meetup tonight, but I’ve been recovering from a cold, recovering from the dentist (where I spent half the day) and enjoying completing all my PhD applications. For the next month, I’ll be following up on what is needed to complete them according to each school, which is a headache, but I look at it with gusto. I have no home here. I am a nomad in this place. I’m excited for my next adventure.

And that’s about it

Written on November 19, 2018