Subject: TEA and Deadlines
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 15:57:55 -0400
From: Marc Pickett I 

Hello Task Accomplisher,

Have you ever wondered why so many tasks get done so close to their
deadlines?  If one looks at the amount of work accomplished for a task
as a function of time, one will see that the majority of the work is
done right before the deadline.  Here's a theory: The task actually
becomes easier as the deadline approaches, so the utility of spending
time on the task increases.  We don't know what causes the task to
become easier, but this is a phenomenon that has been observed again
and again.  Eventually, the task becomes easy enough that it is useful
to start working on it.

Take this TEA message, for example.  Initially, the TEA Totaller
thought "I don't have any ideas worthy enough for a TEA message.  I'll
just send a GGT* message.".  Then, as the deadline approached, the
same ideas that the TEA Totaller had for his messages suddenly started
looking better** until one crossed his threshold of [a good enough TEA
message], and here we are.

Speaking of deadlines, the deadline for the department's FREE TEA and
COOKIES is in 5 minutes.  This should make it easy for you to
accomplish [whatever it was that you have to accomplish before coming
to TEA] and come down to TEA.

This week's TEA is sponsored by Paul Utgoff of The Machine Learning

	``The TEA Totallers''
	  Pippin and Pickett

* "GGT" is TEA Totaller lingo for "go get it".  (The exclusive world
of TEA Totalling has its own hip culture.)

** The TEA Totaller believes that the ideas actually got better, even
though they were the same ideas.  From the TEA Totaller's perspective,
the messages are getting better, even though we know it it really his
quality threshold that is lowering.
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