Procrastination FPP just ads? January 15, 2011 7:09 PM   Subscribe

I feel as if this post is little more than a series of advertisements for books.

Yes, I FIAMO'd, but if it stays on, I will never know why.
posted by griphus to MetaFilter-Related at 7:09 PM (45 comments total)

(Just to make it clear, I am not accusing the OP of stealth-advertising.)
posted by griphus at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2011


Agreed, there's nothing to that post except for the ad, really.
posted by jokeefe at 7:12 PM on January 15, 2011


Yeah, it's a crap post.

I will point out though that you totally failed at moving on.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:13 PM on January 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am not accusing the OP of stealth-advertising

Well, the OP did sign up in 2005, so perhaps sloth-advertising?
posted by Ardiril at 7:14 PM on January 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Maybe he's finally getting around to a self-link.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:14 PM on January 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I thought the link was shite too.
posted by kaibutsu at 7:15 PM on January 15, 2011


Yeah the idea of a procrastination equation is sort of compelling but the post seemed to be a link to a book ad and an article that might or might not be related and I didn't quite get it. If the OP wants to post about the interestingness of the equation, or if there's data that's nerdily cool that is worth talking about, that would be great, but in the absence of this yeah I thought it was a little thin.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:15 PM on January 15, 2011


Man, I was gonna delete it sooner but there was this post about a Lovecraft documentary and I was fiddling with a new tumblr blog and, uh, well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:16 PM on January 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


predictable joke is predictable.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:20 PM on January 15, 2011 [12 favorites]


I was going to post the link to the book site this evening because there is a free research survey available there too - Would that be considered advertising as well? (looking to learn not to mock btw).

I think the OP was just sharing the book. Perhaps it would have helped if they had mentioned the argument against willpower in more depth?
posted by iNfo.Pump at 7:22 PM on January 15, 2011


It's pretty much the same problem as having your FPP revolve around something behind a paywall: we can't freely and immediately read it, which means we can't discuss it.
posted by griphus at 7:28 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to take this opportunity to thank MetaFilter for helping to enable my procrastination for the last 10.5 years.

Or I will sometime. Soon.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:29 PM on January 15, 2011


Heh, I liked the equation and thought I would share it, but y'all are right, the post is thinnish.
posted by storybored at 7:39 PM on January 15, 2011


Yeah I think the equation part of the post is the strongest, it's just not that well-supported by the book link and it was confusing the figure out how the article was linked. No big deal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on January 15, 2011


me + fi = no worky.
posted by special-k at 7:57 PM on January 15, 2011


I was gonna procrastinate but I never got around to it.
posted by scalefree at 8:14 PM on January 15, 2011


So what's the equation, as long as we're going there? Be curious.
posted by facetious at 8:23 PM on January 15, 2011


Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can put off 'til the day after tomorrow.
posted by amyms at 8:27 PM on January 15, 2011


So what's the equation, as long as we're going there?

E = mcbejeweled
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:05 PM on January 15, 2011 [6 favorites]


> predictable joke is predictable.

Just out of curiosity, is there a name for this kind of humor? It's a cousin to the one-liner people use to describe a funny video or something (eg. a comment about a video showing a guy getting kicked in the nuts would be "I liked the part where he got kicked in the nuts"). I'll call it "null sarcasm" unless there's a better term.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:23 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is ah, it is refered to as "dry humor"
posted by clavdivs at 9:49 PM on January 15, 2011


Nut sarcasm.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:52 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Identity function humor?
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


predictable joke is predictable.

Just out of curiosity, is there a name for this kind of humor?


Yep, that example is known as the "adjective noun is adjective" meme.

There are a lot of threads around the interwebs speculating as to where it started.
posted by amyms at 10:00 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the statistics class where I met my now-wife, we were developing a scale to measure people's attitudes towards procrastination. We administered our scale along with a bunch of other scales to a cluster sample; for our final project we got to formulate a hypothesis based on the existing literature on procrastination and then check that hypothesis with the copious data we'd collected.

My hypothesis was threefold:
1) People procrastinate to relieve anxiety about an approaching challenge (an existing theory)
2) People vary in terms of whether procrastination actually relieves anxiety (suggested during scale development)
3) Therefore, there will be some people for which procrastination forms a negative feedback loop (those for which procrastination relieves anxiety effectively, so they eventually do whatever it is they're supposed to do) and some people for which procrastination forms a positive feedback loop (those for which procrastination fails to relieve anxiety, so they procrastinate more and more and more as the anxiety paralyzes them).

The data that we had were cross-sectional (not longitudinal), so it was hard to test my hypothesis, but I hit on the following method. We had data from the procrastination attitudes survey for each person indicating whether they were made anxious by their procrastination. I started by separating the sample into two groups- the "casual" and the "nervous", which I thought would correspond to the negative- and positive-feedback groups respectively.

If proposition 3 were true, then we would expect no correlation (or very weak correlation) between anxiety and procrastination behaviors in the casual group. (Why? Just picture people cycling over time between high anxiety->high procrastination behavior->low anxiety->low procrastination behavior...; a single snapshot of a set of people, all at different points in this cycle, would be scattered all over the place and so fail to show a correlation). We would expect the nervous group to exhibit a different pattern; the positive feedback loop would keep them pegged at either high anxiety and high procrastination or low anxiety and low procrastination. This should result in a statistically greater correlation between procrastination behavior and anxiety for the nervous group than for the casual group.

Lo and behold, the prediction was borne out. If you're willing to draw a life lesson from one unreplicated study drawn from a non-random sample, it should be this: don't trust unreplicated studies drawn from non-random samples. But if you were willing to draw a second life lesson, it should be this other thing: if you're going to procrastinate, either take a relaxed attitude toward it, or use the most anxiety-relieving activity you possibly can. If you catch yourself in the positive feedback loop, just stop languishing and get off your ass, because it only gets worse as time passes.
posted by Jpfed at 10:02 PM on January 15, 2011 [22 favorites]


Identity function humor?

'Tautlologies' has a nice ring to it.
posted by CKmtl at 10:46 PM on January 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


TautLOLogy is damn near perfect.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:52 PM on January 15, 2011


And a pretty taut little pun.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:53 PM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Repundancies?
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:16 PM on January 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perverse pursuit of perfectionism promotes procrastination and practically paralytic panic.
posted by kmz at 11:56 PM on January 15, 2011


"Fun toys are fun" - Ralph Wiggum, 1999.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 6:45 AM on January 16, 2011


Yes, I FIAMO'd...

The MO part doesn't stand for "MetaTalk Obligatory".
posted by Joe Beese at 7:39 AM on January 16, 2011


> The MO part doesn't stand for "MetaTalk Obligatory".

Repetitive point is repetitive.
posted by languagehat at 8:14 AM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this the place that I mention that iNfo.pump's comments felt shill-y?
posted by pineapple at 8:15 AM on January 16, 2011


That was part of the overall "this is weird" feeling to me too pineapple. Maybe it was just an odd coincidence, one user links to a book that resonates with another user strongly while everyone else is like "huh?" but the combo seemed strange.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:19 AM on January 16, 2011


"So far I have read a total of 4 chapters and I would say that is okay. Perhaps 3.6 stars out of 5 on amazon," doesn't seem all that shill-y to me...
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:23 AM on January 16, 2011


JK: just a vibe. A user who happens to also be reading the book appears in its FPP on a Saturday night within 20 minutes of posting, and happens to also be a writer and academic like Piers Steel? And whose primary contributions to MeFi in the last year have been in AskMe, where he specializes in topics of organization, time management, process improvement and psychology?

And then a comment here in the MeTa, defending the OP and inquiring as to how to make the post better next time? I don't know.

Like jessamyn ★ said... maybe it's merely odd coincidence.
posted by pineapple at 8:44 AM on January 16, 2011


So what's the equation, as long as we're going there?

Steel's formula, called the Temporal Motivation Theory, calculates procrastination like Albert Einstein's equation for energy, E=MC2. It factors the person's expectancy for succeeding at a given task (E) or self-confidence; the value of completing the task (V); its immediacy or availability (Gamma); and the person's sensitivity to delay (D) to come up with the desirability of the task (Utility).
The equation reads: Utility = E x V / (Gamma) x D.
Steel said, in general, human behavior is marked by people's judgment of value and their expectancy--whether or not they expect to get something. A person's tolerance for delay also factors in the equation--whether they can wait 20 minutes for dinner to be served or fill up on bread immediately, for example. "These are the basic elements people use in making decisions."
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:35 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


People don't do right away things they don't want to do.
posted by amethysts at 10:53 AM on January 16, 2011


That cereal won't spoon up until he raisins it liberally with a scoop of But Requirements Will Change And I Don't Want To Start Over and some Hey It Is Likely This Project Will Be Cancelled Anyway, and then put it as part of The Complete Breakfast That Includes Hyperfocus When Under Immediate Deadline Pressure.
posted by Sallyfur at 2:20 PM on January 16, 2011


Thanks, Obscure Reference. Reminds me of the Hand Formula in torts, a sort of pseudo-quantification of common sense that has the merit of reminding the user in a general way of the direct & inverse relationships among the "basic elements" in play. Hard to argue with, but not exactly earth-shattering news either.
posted by facetious at 2:46 PM on January 16, 2011


Just out of curiosity, is there a name for this kind of humor?

Yep, that example is known as the "adjective noun is adjective" meme.


Not quite the same, but when I see a store called "Chairs-R-Us" or "Chair World" or something like that I like to say to whoever I'm with, "I wonder if they have any chairs."

They don't think it's funny either.
posted by cmoj at 3:00 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not quite the same, but when I see a store called "Chairs-R-Us" or "Chair World" or something like that I like to say to whoever I'm with, "I wonder if they have any chairs."

"Hi, I'd like to buy a ball please"
posted by acanthous at 5:01 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The author of the book was a guest on the CBC show The Current a couple of weeks ago. I remember listening to it and thinking this might form the basis of a decently fleshed-out FPP, but then, well, you know ...

OP on the blue appears to be Canadian too, so maybe s/he heard about it on the CBC, too.
posted by maudlin at 5:37 PM on January 16, 2011


cmoj: "They don't think it's funny either."

Another variation: every laundry place has to have a name. Often that name is something you could theoretically get cleaned.
sign says: rose city cleaners
me: gee, I've been wanting to get my rose city cleaned!
sign says: tip top cleaners
me: wow, my tip top sure is dirty, wonder where I could get it cleaned?

repeat until punched in the head
posted by idiopath at 7:52 PM on January 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


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