The Not-To-Do List

3 May, 2013

I am trying to finish my PhD, and so I have a list of all the things I’m not doing.

This is what mortality looks like.

Woe is me.

Why? Because the purpose of lists is not to help you remember things, but to allow you to forget them. Writing this stuff down is the only way to get it out of my head so I can concentrate on analysing software engineers.

The list has all kinds of juicy tangents: new skills to learn, ridiculous things to make, five years’ worth of videogames to play, TOG volunteer opportunities, places to go, costumes, art projects, online courses, local events, new hobbies, new sports, new websites to build. I want to do them all. And I’m not going to until I have finished my PhD, except for three carefully chosen things:

  • One collaborative project for Dublin Mini Maker Faire, 28th July: connecting an entirely mechanical knitting machine to Twitter*.
  • One last Wisdom Exchange upgrade, also for the Faire (which just happens to involve making friends with TOG’s CNC milling machine).
  • And after the Faire: one, just one, Burning Man project, the Colour Stealing Cloak. Oh, the designs in my head. It’s going to be wonderful. If I actually ever manage to build it.

And that’s it.

Back to work.

* We were calling it The Robogranny for a while, but actually that title goes to this impressively creepy robogranny.


  1. The PhD system is the original Wisdom Exchange. You put your PhD in at one end. Some years later, the system spits out a PhD for you to examine.

    Love Thomas

    • But it’s not the PhD you started with? You may be on to something here.

  2. […] « The Not-To-Do List […]

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