Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

April 18, 2007

On Ambition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 5:33 AM

I had a passion for the content of physics, but I was also possessed
by a hungry ambition for its earthly rewards. Both passion and hunger
persisted over the years, despite the inevitable disappointments. Ten
years later, as a postdoctoral researcher at Oxford in 1976, I
experienced a minor epiphany about ambition’s degradation. At age 16
or 17, I had wanted to be another Einstein; at 21, I would have been
happy to be another Feynman; at 24, a future T. D. Lee would have
sufficed. By 1976, sharing an office with other postdoctoral
researchers at Oxford, I realized that I had reached the point where I
merely envied the postdoc in the office next door because he had been
invited to give a seminar in France. In much the same way, by a
process options theorists call time-decay, financial stock options
lose their potential as they approach their own expiration.

From My
Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance
, by Emanuel

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