Oct 07 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

I've probably told this story before. It's favorite of mine because it's not at all true. But captures a particular thing very well.

At one of my usual conferences I slipped out of a talk early for a quick restroom break. While walking in I run into a certain rising star I know. Fresh off his first year at Fancy Pants University and somehow already has more data than god. I say "how's it going" as he walks towards the bathroom exit with his laptop under his arm. "oh just taking a break to work on a grant or two".

I'm sure that's not actually what happened. The exchange was near the men's restroom, not in it. Less funny. Either way if you don't know this guy personally you probably know someone like him. Every free moment is ruthlessly absorbed by perfectly efficient productivity. I don't think he's a work-aholic. He takes breaks, hangs out with his kids, goes on vacation. But when he is on, every 5 minuets between meetings is a chance to "run a few regressions" or "knock out a paper review". If I have 5 minutes between meetings suddenly I've spent 10 reading about flat-earth rap beef. Even when I manage to eschew the net I don't find myself particularly good at pivoting between tasks. I'm more of the tanker ship that takes 15 minutes to make a small adjustment.

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