I make a practice of regularly checking in about whether I have a dutiful stance towards some aspect of my research. Once I notice, I can usually summon curiosity by asking lots of questions, imagining potential implications, and so on. Michael Nielsen has some great notes on tactics for this in his Notes on creative contexts.. Often I need to improve the framing, to find one which better expresses what I’m deeply excited about. If I can’t find a problem statement which captures my curiosity, it’s best to drop the project for now.

Cultivating depth and stillness in research
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