The Art of Procrastination


Will get started on work… as soon as I finish this.

This being The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing by John Perry (no relation to Max of the same surname).

And, if, like me, you’re also procrastinating, you should read three of my favourite articles about procrastination, which I often read as a means of procrastination while procrastinating:

Have fun!

P.S. This is the website for Structured Procrastination, in case you want to buy the book too.

Quiet Worlds: The 167 Project

Another of the things I’ve been working on is a little artistic endeavour with a friend.

We’re hoping it’ll turn into something larger: an installation or an exhibition, perhaps, or maybe even a staged reading of sorts.

Not too sure how it’s gonna pan out, but as everything in life, we’ll eventually get to where we’re supposed to go.

Human progress and evolution have moved in tandem with the ability to communicate ideas between people and across spaces. As technologies emerge and develop over the years, humans have been better-enabled to communicate in more forms and at greater speeds than ever before.

While better means of communication have predisposed us to communicating more (from a quantitative perspective), we seem to be communicating less, from a qualitative perspective: people are glued to their phones as opposed to talking face-to-face; the human propensity for and inclination toward reading lengthy tomes and responding to messages and ideas have been reduced to quick sound-bites and quickly-typed out texts, limited to anything between 140 to 160 characters, depending on the medium of transmission and largely hinging upon our desire for instantaneous response; our need for speed.

What will happen to communication when forcible restraints on time and space are imposed upon it? Is language limited when limits are imposed on language?

Inspired from a conversation about correspondence, communication, procrastination and “The Quiet World” (a poem by Jeffrey McDaniel), Quiet Worlds: The 167 Project is a response to two artists’ desire to understand communication in a modern world through relatively “anachronistic” means.

Follow the correspondence between Magdalen Chua, a visual artist in Scotland, and Laremy Lee, a writer in Singapore, as they use snail mail to exchange postcards containing messages of no more than 167 characters in length to investigate and explore the confines (or the lack thereof) of language and human communication.

Stuff you must read today (Wed, 28 Dec 2011)

  • Sometimes, it’s Not You, or the Math | The New York Times
  • Life and Letters: The U.S. Postal Service Ends Next-Day Delivery | The New Yorker
    I have mixed feelings about the demise of snail mail – like the future of printed material, I’m still trying to understand my own stand on the matter.
  • Their Noonday Demons, and Ours | The New York Times
    “[Procrastination] probably strikes you as an extremely, even a uniquely, modern problem. Pick up an early medieval monastic text, however, and you will find extensive discussion of all the symptoms listed above, as well as a diagnosis”.

    More about procrastination – a topic which I am quite interested in – here and here.

  • Parenting in Singapore | LIFT: Limpeh is Foreign Talent
    “Ironically, one thing she never ‘banned’ from the kitchen was alcohol – there was always some alcohol around and at family gatherings and parties, alcohol would be served. I was exposed to alcohol at an early age and the fascination soon wore off when I realized how bitter it was. But most of all, it was PERMITTED. It was not FORBIDDEN. … That’s why I don’t even bother drinking today”.
  • Welcome to the Age of Overparenting | Boston Magazine
    “In my nine years as a parent, I’ve followed the rules, protocols, and cultural cues that have promised to churn out well-rounded, happy, successful children. I’ve psychoanalyzed my kids’ behavior, supervised an avalanche of activities, and photo-documented their day-to-day existence as if I were a wildlife photographer on the Serengeti. … But lately, I’ve begun to wonder if, by becoming so attuned to their every need and so controlling of their every move, I’ve somehow played a small part in changing the very nature of their childhood”.