[M.M.X.I.V. 43] Devil of details

A common phrase goes, “The devil is in the details.”  This especially applies in math and sciences.  Sometimes, the concept or overarching theme to the research problem appears fairly simple.

In theoretical elasticity, the main equations are based off Newton’s laws of motion, and have a pretty clean form to relate stresses, strains, and displacements.  In particular, in the isotropic case, they are inter-related by use of the biharmonic equation.

So one equation to rule them all?  Well… the boundary conditions are the devil.  Depending on the geometry of the problem, you could use conformal mapping, direct substitution of an Airy stress function, a Fourier series or transform, or a host of other methods.  And sometimes it is not easy, despite knowing what the boundary conditions are, how to implement them.  (The professor in my elasticity course a few years ago actually said, “The devil is in the details” with regard to finding the particular solution to the biharmonic equation.)

And then, I admit that one of my weaknesses in research is to get bogged down in the details.  Although I rarely come out with an incorrect answer, because I am so obsessed with making sure that the details are perfect (perhaps to allow myself to come out ahead on future problems that are similar), it means that I often work relatively slowly.

Being an Aspie often means fixations like this–attention to detail, repetitive behavior (i.e. repeated check-backs of work), etc.

Yesterday, however, the details provided another devil.  Throughout my life, I have had various fixations that have gone away.  However, one fixation that has not has been my obsession with my body’s inner processes.  Every so often, I am aware of my digestion and processes after eating food.  If I am too aware of this, I may develop a stomachache, or if there was actually a minor problem, my mind tends to exacerbate it.

The good thing is that OTC medicines, such as Tums or Pepto-Bismol, almost always quell the feeling.  This only seems to happen at night, but sometimes, despite the medicine, it interferes with my ability to fall asleep.

Yesterday, I had a stomachache in the evening, and because of this, attempted (and succeeded!) at falling asleep by 22:20, a good hour earlier than I usually fall asleep.


Today is the forty-third day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes six weeks and one day.


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