Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
During my PhD, on the topic of ontology evaluation - figuring out what a good ontology is and what is not - I was running circles up and down trying to define what "good" means for an ontology (Benjamin Good, another researcher on that topic, had it easier, as he could call his metric "Good metric" and be done with it).
So while I was struggling with the definition in one of my academic essays, a kind anonymous reviewer (I think it was Aldo Gangemi) suggested I should read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance".
When I read the title of the suggested book, I first thought the reviewer was being mean or silly and suggesting a made-up book because I was so incoherent. It took me two days to actually check whether that book existed, as I wouldn't believe it.
It existed. And it really helped me, by allowing me to set boundaries of how far I can go in my own work, and that it is OK to have limitations, and that trying to solve EVERYTHING leads to madness.
(Thanks to Brandon Harris for triggering this memory)
Keynote at Web Conference 2021
Double copy in gravity