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Piled Higher and Deeper

I want to introduce you to PhD comics.

One might describe PhD comics as Dilbert for the research lab. And now that I've linked to Dilbert too, I don't see any work getting done today. In any country possessing a decently fast Internet, these two URLs must rank together at about 0.3 Icelands on the economic output scale. Actually, if you're worried about the economy, here are PhD's handy cut-out-and-keep decision chart The Economic Meltdown: Should you be concerned?, and two curves suggesting possible salvation. I am very impressed by these curves' fit.

PhD is drawn more interestingly than Dilbert, with a varied line and at least one computer special effect, in Glasses. I can remember such conversations at college too, normally in the college bar or an Oxford pub, when one drinker would ask their neighbour "Can I see what your glasses are like?" — oh joy, it's try-on-each-other's-glasses-time — and the entire table would end up with vague feelings of insult, and sticky beer fingerprints all over their lenses.

Living in Oxford, one develops a Chieftain tank mentality: eyes straight ahead, head down, shoulders squared, and I don't care how many "Tradition of Oxford" summer students end up taking inadvertant photos of me home to their Moms in Iowa. Or one drapes oneself in the most flamboyant academic gown one can find and stands in the middle of Broad Street with a placard announcing "Genuine Oxford Student — only £10 per shot". Stanford, it would appear, also has tourists. I wish we also had palm trees and sun.

PhD comics is drawn by Jorge Cham, who has worked on biomimetic robots and "neural prosthetics, specifically the design and manufacture of 'Smart' Neural Implants, capable of driving micron-precision motors to actuate electrodes that autonomously find and optimize signals from live neurons". Now, he gives speaking tours on The Power of Procrastination. To quote a testimonial from the Dean of Graduate Students at M.I.T., one of the at least 60 universities that Jorge has lectured at:

Jorge Cham'ss talk was humorous and helpful. His cartoon strip has been a giant plus in helping graduate students acknowledge and cope with the stress they experience.

I would say more, but I'm being attacked by siesta haze. So let me leave you with links to the Work Output Graph, the Motivation Level Graph — because I liked them — and a complete list of Jorge's strips.