Rambles around computer science

Diverting trains of thought, wasting precious time

Tue, 12 Jan 2010

Thinking time

A few years ago I attended an excellent seminar by Brad Karp about how to do a (successful) PhD. I really should have listened more carefully. However, one of the things I do remember was a quotation from his advisor, H.T. Kung, which in paraphrase was “if you can make time for two hours' thinking each day, your career is made”. It's a nice quotation.

Of course what I didn't notice then is that the statement is ambiguous. I thought it meant that if you make a point of reserving two hours' thinking time each day, you'd be certain to have a successful career. Now that I know how impossible it is to schedule two hours' thinking per day, I am forced into the converse interpretation: if you can afford two hours' thinking time per day, you must already have job security.

Okay, so I'm somewhat embittered by my career's non-starting (and the remaining 10% of me is joking). Like I said, I should have listened more carefully....

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