Imago lacus

The picture above was taken by a dear friend, the American poet Debra Kang Dean (please do not use it without permission). I met Debra three years before, when I went to Walden to work with his late husband Brad, a great Thoreau scholar. Once we spent hours tracking this quotation: "Some men go fishing all their lives without ever realizing it's not fish they are after." We concluded that Thoreau never wrote it, but si non è vero...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A plea for procrastination

John Perry has a very exciting book about procrastination, which I haven't read yet (here a sample). Ordering it or at least checking out the Spanish translation by Kepa Korta are both in my to-do list, but I am slowly learning that procrastinating is indeed the thing to do.

I have many reasons to trust Perry and Korta in their apology for not doing things on time; more and more as time goes by. One of the important ones is that our society is a rushed one, and what is procrastination but a way of buying time? No deed or action has been made worse by waiting. In a world obsessed with velocity and immediate gratification, procrastination is the path to virtue. Time is a wonderful master.

Another extra one is that the most valuable asset for a philosopher is, as Hemingway put it, a "built-in bullshit detector". Mine works perfectly, but always a little late. It is "lagged", as my children say. We need time for emotions and reason to get tuned to one another, so I need to procrastinate judgement in order to do it right.

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