Years ago I squandered most of my summer break locked inside my apartment, tackling an obscure problem in network theory—the bidirectional channel capacity problem. I was convinced that I was close to a breakthrough. (I wasn't.) Papers were everywhere, intermingled with the remnants of far too many 10¢ Taco Tuesday wrappers.
A good friend stopped by to bring better food, lend a mathematical hand, and put an end to my solitary madness. She listened carefully while I jumped across the room grabbing papers and incoherently babbling about my "breakthrough."
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