Saturday, December 12, 2009

To whom it may concern

It is my pleasure to write this letter,
He is not just good, he is simply better,
A promising researcher, young yet mature,
He will be an asset, of that I am sure.

Hard-working, clever, and enthusiastic,
His papers, you see, are clearly fantastic,
Truly original, careful and bold,
Few are around of the same mold.

Great intuition, resourceful and skilled,
Self-motivated and also strong-willed,
With large potential and independent,
Well-organized and extremely talented.

Exceptional, brilliant, a rising star,
His first Nobelprize cannot be far!
(He further has a solid training,
He'll do your numerics without complaining.)

An example of passion and determination,
I recommend him without hesitation,

Yours sincerely.


  1. He'll do your numerics without complaining.

    That's an asset ;-)

    Cheers, Stefan

  2. This is simply a superlative letter of recommendation :-)

  3. If you switch to past tense it sounds like a necrology. Depressing...

  4. I suddenly felt so desolated
    as my eyes crossed those books
    that long ago were rated
    so high, my treasured goods!

    Now they're a block of dusty papers:
    their content, a mountain of codes;
    their goal, a strange game with no players
    apart from the author and reader's souls.

    The world could not see my sacrifice,
    my struggle to understand nature.
    They have chosen those of self pride,
    those who look for better stature.

    It's not that I care, you know,
    Since the universe offers all I need
    To be alive, to have my conscience grow
    into my own world of good, rich deeds

    But yet, my books are there,
    life passes and time dies.
    And I have reached nowhere
    in this world of different skies.

  5. Hi Giotis,

    Good point as I would have never thought of that, that being the letter may be more to assure a result not so evident to the one it was extended. I would thus be curious to know if the senders last name to be Antony. Personally I would prefer to fall victim to Brutus’s sharp dagger, rather then Mark’s tongue and wit :-)

    ”I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;"



  6. Hi Christine,

    An excellent verse, which I suspect could only be of your own mind and hand. I would however like to remind that no matter how one may feel about their place in regard to effort, that while the past may seem set that the mere existence of history and what it brings shows often to be different. That’s to say like great art is oft times only realized to have value after the artist exit the stage, also when science is truly of worth it transcends the creator’s limit of mortality as to be eternally coveted as worthy.



  7. You forgot to mention his IQ :)

  8. Hi Arun,

    ” You forgot to mention his IQ :)”

    Is that to be able t quantify the author’s ‘Insistence Quotient’ or the one who it recommends? :-)



  9. Oh Bee, you are SUCH a tease! Is that an original poem, or one from the past about a specific researcher? If so, would Einstein fit that mold? Heisenberg?

    Einstein had a really tough time landing his first job because of his Jewish heritage, even after his miracle year of 1905! It probably isn't about him though because the original would have been written in German, which most likely not have rhymed in English translation.

    Christine, I like your poem as well, even if it's a tad on the sad side. Who is that about? John Moffat?

    The LHC will apparently be producing results sooner rather than later, and if so AND there are NO supersymmetric particles found, would Moffat's MOG deserve a closer look?

    May the (fifth) Force be with you all ....

  10. Steven: If you'd take all the letters I've read and average them, that would be the outcome. Most of them are indeed so similar you're wondering if there's a secret template they're handing around.

  11. Honorable mention to the 184th letter whose author in an outburst of creativity used a bullet point list.

  12. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the words. Yes, I've written that.

    Hi Steven,

    Who is that about?

    You could imagine someone who, for several reasons, would never benefit from Bee's letter.

  13. Hi Steven,

    If you have followed Christine through her blog as I have, you might find this to be more likely a message of self assessment, rather then a commentary on another. That’s why I extended my thoughts in regards to history as not just as being a place marker for action, yet also demonstrated to having a dynamic nature.



  14. Einstein had a really tough time landing his first job because of his Jewish heritage, even after his miracle year of 1905!

    His first job was at Bern Patent Office, and he had it before 1905!
    And his second job was offered to him!

  15. Making up for the deficiency:

    What purpose does his record serve?
    His IQ ranks far right on the curve,
    And that one number conveys all!
    A trophy to mount on the faculty wall.

  16. Nowadays the trophies go on the website...

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  18. His first job was at Bern Patent Office, and he had it before 1905!
    And his second job was offered to him!

    Regarding your point, you are technically correct, unless his first ACTUAL job was raking the neighbor's leaves or some such.

    I meant to say his first job in his chosen profession: Physics. He did overcome the anti-Semitism prevalent at the time to secure it, but it was a bit of a sales job by the fellow who recommended him. For more details, read "The Age of Entanglement" by Louisa Gilder, still the best read of the Quantum Ten (really: 11, as I include Weyl) out there, that I've read.

    Bee, they probably are templated. Traditions, Traditions.

  19. Hi Bee,

    this would be that one, that industry or consulting companies would like to have, but I guess they wouldn't get her/him.

    Best Kay

  20. Further,

    With your employment letter be fleet!
    Else he'll depart to Wall Street
    Instead of physics instruction,
    Financial weapons of mass destruction.

  21. And if he becomes a quant
    You can then go and rant
    How hep-th gone astray
    Lead capitalism into decay.

  22. Good one, Arun. To continue on your line ...

    An M.B.A, or so I here tell,
    Is a Master
    Of Bullshit Accounting,
    An egress to Hell.

    Why should we fear,
    As millions we reap,
    If the cost is great poverty,
    Too bad for the sheep.

    They should have known better,
    They should have tried harder,
    As they zoned on Am. Idol,
    They were grist; they're our fodder.

    But Doc'trates in Math,
    As cool as can be,
    Can be used yes on Wall Street,
    Or in Actuary!

    For I hear that Insurance,
    In need of so much,
    Has great need of logicians,
    And we have the right touch.

    For Doc'trates in Fizix,
    Who of course cannot spell,
    The potential is far worse,
    The potential is hell.

    Here comes DARPA, Sandia,
    Or a lame teaching job,
    Oh the heck with that "research,"
    The pipeline is clogged!

    Sure 40K isn't,
    The truth should be told,
    Not really great money,
    But let us be bold!

    For a mere fourty thousnad,
    (Per year as they say),
    Is by far so much better,
    Than out-of-work pay.

  23. I see, Bee's expecting a baby...
    ..probably this own one

  24. BTW, one can't say that things happen "because of laws of physics". As Hume pointed out, we see the regularities and call them "laws" - the laws aren't something that makes otherwise inert stuff do things (or are they?) We don't know why things do what they do, but in any case referring to "laws" is a circular argument.


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