8.30 am. I suspect that more emails drip into my inbox when I’m away from either the university or my desk than would otherwise arrive if I were present. Perhaps the phenomenon can be explained by combining, what in science are referred to as, the experimenter effect and Wheeler’s delayed choice experiment. In my model, incoming emails are cognizant of the expectant, observant experimenter’s presence at the apparatus (the computer) and moderate their flow accordingly. Thus emails are, by nature, fundamentally humane when they know that they’re being watched; the messages appreciate that the poor experimenter cannot cope with too many of them at once. (You can appreciate why I failed dismally at science in school.)
By 10.20 am, I’d dispatched replies to emails, responded to samples of postgraduate coursework, and read with some ire and frustration managerial correspondence about National Student Satisfaction ratings and the latest iteration of a new, robotically imposed central timetable. Interestingly, the two initiatives conflict haplessly. I would be a most dissatisfied student if I had to abide by the present timetable. Then … back to the latest Art/Sound lecture, with every intent of completing most it by the end of the day. I also began processing sound files for Matt. 20.17 in the background:
After lunch, I maintained my trajectory with the lecture and processing while beating off distractions in the shape of further email transactions connected with this morning’s managerial miasma. Typically:
It is not the number of hours one works, but the intensity with which one works that is the foundation of achievement. We are daily confronted with tasks, commissioned by others, that are either unnecessary, futile, tedious, irksome, poorly framed, or inappropriate. They dilute the intensity. But we discharge them if not dutifully then because we’re paid to do so.
The evening and ‘night watch’ sessions were devoted to the lecture and file processing in an endeavour to reach the goal that I set myself this morning.