Turing's Invisible Hand

I recently read this nice blog post about doing a PhD by CMU’s Dave Andersen (who, not surprisiJune09 034ngly, rather enjoyed his PhD), and it inspired me to share a PhD-related memory of my own.

When I finished my PhD at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, I was asked by the powers that be to give a short speech on behalf of the new graduates at the university’s graduation ceremony. To help me prepare the speech they sent me the previous year’s speech, which I read in disbelief. Here is a translation of a paragraph from that speech:

During this period [of doing a PhD] it became clear to each one of us that writing a thesis is more than an academic endeavor, it is a test of character; a psychological rather than purely intellectual challenge. It is akin to the loneliness of the long-distance runner. Each small step seems…

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