The Quantum Angler
He never gets Bohred of fishing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A pro when it comes to crastinating

As I embark upon the second year of my PhD, I thought I'd give you all a brief historical introduction to my research field. It has been a very productive and enlightening year, and I am well on the way to making a significant contribution to my chosen area of study - applied procrastination.

The foundations of procrastination were set out in the early 1950s by the great Prof. Crastinate (you probably haven't heard of him - he didn't do much work). In those days the methods used to procrastinate were very different, but the fundamental theory remains the same. Crastinate defined his famous Lazy Quotient (LQ) and, when he finally got round to it, he used the principle of least action to show that successful procrastination is achieved by maximising the LQ.

The next major milestone in procrastination came about with the invention of the internet. Contrary to popular belief, Tim Berners-Lee actually invented the hypertext protocol in order to further the cause of international procrastination. In a recent interview he described how he started work on the internet while working at a computer shop, because he "couldn't be arsed" to do his job.

Alongside theoretical and applied procrastination is the school of procrastinary philosophy, which seeks to answer the important questions such as "can we ever be sure we are really procrastinating?". Many great minds have made important contributions to this field, no less than Descartes, who famously said "I think, therefore... oh screw this, I'll think about it later."

Today, applied procrastination is a highly developed field, and the modern procrastinator has a wide arsenal of tools at his disposal. Indeed, in recent years there has been much interest in Facebook. Facebook was actually developed in partnership with the BBC news website, and the two sites are kept in exact antiphase to facilitate periodic switching between the two as a means to achieve perpetual procrastination. The news that the BBC and Facebook had achieved perpetual procrastination was met with disbelief among much of the community. Efforts are currently ongoing to reproduce their result which, if verified, could spell a paradigm shift for this exciting field!