Thursday, July 06, 2006


You start with a research problem and 1 possible solution. Work on the solution for a few months, and a second possible solution presents itself. With no way of judging which is better, you continue working on the first one....

After a few more months of work, the epiphany hits you that this won't work. Most probably.

But switching to the second solution is tough.
It has no guarentees either.
It could be better. It could be worse.

Finishing work on the first solution will take a few months, the second many more months....
Comparing the two - a lifetime.

Existance of an optimal solution not guarenteed.
And the first solution might just be workable on a short term basis.
But the second now seems more exciting - the first is now boring...

What do you do?

Epiphanies are tough.
Life problems - tougher.


  1. Isn't it as much about the solution being satisfactory as it's about the approach being exciting?

    But considering that you are faced with a research problem, and these are the ones whose solutions you evaluate and judge as you get them, and not pre-plan them. I'd bet on the approach than on an idea of a solution which might be fundamentally flawed.

    Research has never been trickier. Trust me.

  2. A classic "intelligent answer" that says a lot, but still says nothing - leaves both options open...

    You are a little too smart for my own good.

  3. It's just a self-preservation thing.

    When all the experience in the world, prided rationality, trusted reason, and a slightly stained conscience cannot help you with that one situation in which you had fervently hoped that they would help you with, you resort to chicanery like this.

    My apologies.

  4. Sometimes I forget that you can't make demands of anonymous people, can't expect answers from Oracles...

    Maybe I should try Russian Roulette instead.

    My apologies as well.

  5. and I thought we were in a Mexican Standoff (with those guns taken from that Russian Roulette).

    With the Oracle not helping Anonymous as well, what choice do we have?

  6. I can always ask Rathi - if not an Oracle, maybe an Oracle HR ?? :D

  7. if u r sure that u r through with the first solution and there is nothing exciting left in it then go on for the exciting 2nd solution even though it does not guarantee anything but just be sure that the first one was not close to an end.
    who is to say that by the time u r reaching to an end of the 2nd solution u r not presented with a 3rd and so on
    be careful tht finding a solution is ur primary concern.