Friday, July 24, 2015

The Completist Streak

In the New York Times profile on the famous mathematician Terry Tao, the author notes that in college, Tao had a penchant for long runs playing the simulation game Civilization.

Now, though, Tao, a UCLA professor, has sworn off all such games--due, he says, to his "completist streak" which makes it hard for him to stop playing.

Now, there! I had thought I had difficulty stopping reading a story or article because of--I don't know, an obsessive tendency? An obstinate, hard-headed, stubborn, impractical bent?

But Mr. Tao has taught me that what I really have is a completist streak!

That sounds so much better.

It took a mathematician to solve that puzzle.

Thanks, Tao.

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