Interesting email from Neil Murray. Comments? JP
My wife, a procrastinator, sent me a link to your essay on structured procrastination. She finds in amusing. I find it annoying. Perhaps it provides an effective way to deal with procrastination. But it does not explain the phenomenon, nor does it speculate on why it is far more common in the groves of academe than elsewhere. As a college teacher myself, I have noticed that many of my colleagues sit on essays for weeks, foul up the grade reporting process with late submissions, and drive the book store batty with delays of weeks and even months. Why? I suspect part of the reason is the spirit of perversity that Dostoyevsky described in Notes from Underground–an impulse to engage in self-harmful behavior simply to prove that one is not a machine. But I think the main cause is academic arrogance, the belief that ordinary rules do not apply to the great thinkers, even if flouting those rules results in harm to others. So I think your essay is neither humorous nor helpful but a symptom of one of the major problems in higher education.