Feb 11, 2003

Some people seem to have a lot of time. I, on the other hand, don't seem to have much time. I base my inferences of the former on the fact that I see many of these time-rich people lounging about, chatting inanely and even giggling while I trot about from meeting to meeting, squashing bugs all around and with not too many moments to, as the poet said, to stand and stare.

Of course, I have some spare time. Curiously, it is just about sufficient to spend in lamenting over the time that I think I do not have (SOS to Douglas Hofstadter to help me get out of that self-referential eddy). Of course, if instead of lamenting the fact I do not have any time (I should qualify it as spare or free time instead of plain vanilla "time") and thus using up all my spare time in it, I had spent it lounging about, chatting inanely and even giggling, I might have considered that I had indeed a decent amount of free time.

Having spent most of my free time in yearning for more, I wonder what I would do if I indeed had more free time. Parkinson and his contribution to the workplace spring to mind to assure me that I would probably not be faced by that practical problem, but in the theoretical realm, it serves as a knotty riddle. It seems that each moment that I spend in thought of unravelling it and in recording those thoughts, each keystroke that produces all these alphabets that made up these paragraphs and the ones to follow and the 'o' in this one... and the one in the next occurence of 'one' (if you get my drift) seems to fill out my spare time, thus further deepening my great envy and glacial emotions towards those who I see lounging about, chatting inanely and even giggling.

So many people see great virtue in depriving themselves of sleep in order to extend the waking hours (not time, as we all know that is a fixed resource) and the associated free time. A Robin Hood like gesture it may seem to them, stealing from sleep which can in concept do with less of it and give it to the that part of the 24 hours that keeps the eyelids open. I disagree. I don't oversleep, but I do like my 8 hours. I don't like to think that I may lose my daily ration, nor do I, if I can help it, take a loan from the eight units, even in the face of the next day's exam. Humans would've benefited if they could retain a sense of time even while sleeping, so that it seems like an essential activity (which it is, but like the backstage technician, doesn't recieve its due and is considered dispensable with the inevitable results) that deserves its fair share of planning and allocation (in manager-ese). "When can you submit this code? I'd like it to be done by tomorrow morning." "Can't. I have some work this night. I have to sleep for 8 hours and I'll mention it in the project plan." When that sort of explanation will start to be accepted would we be a more congenial and accomodative civilization.

Sleep tight!

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