Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The Grand Theory of Slackerism

The top physicists in the world, the ones who've won nobel prizes, and work at centres of nuclear research, work, in their spare time (of which there is not much) on their own personal version of the Grand Unified Theory, which attempts to explain all four fundamental forces in terms of each other when there's a heck of a lot of energy around.

The top slackers in the world, in their spare time (of which there is a lot) do as much as possible trying to do as little as possible, and stay as far away as possible from anything even remotely linked to research of any kind.

And from the joining of two completely opposite things comes the Grand Theory of Slackerism.

The GTS (as it will be called from now on) explains a very basic fact of life, one that all slackers and indeed, most human beings know.

The productivity of a person increases exponentially in time, i.e the closer you get to a deadline, the more work you do on it.


Here, the productivity of a person x is given by the product of his base level of productivity n, the pressure being applied on the person to do that piece of work p, and the difficulty factor of the piece of work k raised to the power t, which is the amount of time left.


-The productivity of a person n can theoretically never be greater than one, though in practice it is highly improbable to see a productivity of 0.6 or more. Productivity can be measured in all sorts of different units, depending on what work is being done. Broadly, the amount of 'work', whatever it may be, divided by the average time that person usually takes to do that work is the productivity of that person.

University students, on the other hand, tend to measure amount of work not done, by dividing pints of beer downed per minute (Harder alcohol can be converted into pints of beer via conversion tables, see J. Daniel, A.P. Smirnov et al.)

-The pressure being applied depends both on the importance of the work and the amount of nagging that goes on about it. Much work was done about this by Antoinette Pascal, mother of the famous mathematician philosopher Blaise Pascal

-The difficulty factor is the most tricky term in the entire equation, and generations of slacker-physicists have been unable to solve the problem of how to define it. In 1995, however a prodigy by the name of Ander Wile proposed a genius solution; he postulated that the solving of this problem have a factor of one thousand 'wiles', and all other tasks are simply designated as easier or harder than this task. For example, climbing Mount Everest has been assigned a value of roughly fifteen thousand wiles, or a 'long wile', while encountering yet another immigrant in London trying to hawk you a free newspaper is roughly 0.25345 wiles, or a 'short wile'. Trying to get the number of that one pretty girl at the party you were at last night will take a very very long wile, and as such everyone has pretty much given up on it.

It is interesting to note that this theorem does not seem to work at three thirty in the morning of the day that any piece of work is due. The abrupt increase in productivity caused in this time remains an inexplicable anomaly to this day.


Suhas said...

Probably your best 'theory' post. Or maybe I just identify too well with it. Ha ha @ Ander Wile.

University students might also measure work not done by the following:
1. The amount of internet bandwidth consumed on sites unrelated to work.
2. The number of minutes spent on discussing or thinking about the question, 'where shall we have lunch'?
3. The work done in preparing for an exam whose subject matter can never be recalled once the exam is done.

s said...

perhaps the best way to measure this university student's work not done is to see how much time he spends writing up posts like this :P. thanks :D