} Dear Supplicant,
} Don't worry. This may seem like an insuperable dilemma, but in
} fact I get this sort of question all the time. In fact, I
} recently prepared a factsheet containing the possible options
} available to you, which I include with this answer. Read and
} Factsheet #247: The Busy Professor Conundrum
} [Introduction: The B-P Conundrum is the latest in the long line
} of syllogic problems devised by the creative team based in a
} secret location in Ohio. It borrows from both the Prisoner's
} Dilemma and the Fermat Notation Series, using a set of four
} 'variables' and substituting one of several possible
} Schrodingetype solutions. A sample conundrum is given below.]
} 1: The Problem
} The problem matrix is a simple 2D construct taking into account
} the number of ponderables and the probability of solution
} eg problem 1) Grants to manage
} 2) Meetings to attend
} 3) No time for students
} 4) No available post-doctorate assistants
} Reduce this to a variable set, f, where:
} f=func [ grants, meetings, time, students, postdocs ] (^n)
} where n is the 'manana factor' (see Dirk and Hopcroft, 'Nah,
} It'll Keep Till Tomorrow - A Study of Procrasts', J.Time.Mot.
} 1987, 53, pp 436-472)
} The matrix is composed of these variables arranged in order of
} priority, and offset against possible solutions of their first-
} order integrals. (A full mathematical description is given in
} the Dirk paper.) Examples of possible solutions are described
} 2: The Solution
} Solution 1: Bool(grants)=0 ; Bool(meets, time, studs, p-docs)=1
} Stop managing the grants. In fact, mis-manage them.
} Transfer all the finances to a personal bank account, preferably
} in Switzerland. Abscond with the funds. Have a damn good holiday
} at the students' expense. Come back refreshed. Laugh with the
} other professors at how funny the whole operation was. Laugh and
} laugh and laugh. Answer some questions put to you by a number of
} nice policemen. Spend an amount of time in a small, grey cubicle,
} weaving raffia. Grants will no longer be a concern.
} Solution 2: Bool(meets)=0 ; Bool(grants, time, studs, p-docs)=1
} Stop attending meetings. Become a recluse. Change your
} name to Walter by deed poll. Go the whole hog and cease having a
} social life completely. Conceal yourself in the ventilation
} ducting of the University, and only venture out, naked, filthy
} and bearded, late in the evening to scare the jeepers out of
} female undergrads. Steal food from the kitchens and weave it into
} your hair. Start worshipping Znoid, God of the Elder Ones. Break
} both legs in a tragic ritual ceremony accident. Meetings will
} cease to trouble you.
} Solution 3: Bool(time)=0 ; Bool(grants, meets, studs, p-docs)=1
} Stop time. A little tricky, this one, bearing in mind
} the time machine is not to be invented for another four hundred
} and seventy years. The only loophole to this is to travel to the
} Arctic, and slip yourself into the crevice between two colliding
} glaciers. Wait for cryogenesis. If you have selected two
} particularly slomoving glaciers, this may take longer than 470
} years. In which case Kendal's mintcake whiles away the long hours
} admirably. Awake in the year 2464. Convince future generations
} that you are a notable scientist. Show them your most complex
} theorems. Wait for the laughter to stop. Lay seige to a Time
} Machine factory ; demand one thousand UniDol notes and unlimited
} use of a time machine. Sit in the time machine, set controls for
} 1994 and wait.
} and wait.
} and wait.
} and wait.
} and wait.
} and w
} Solution 4:Bool(studs)=0 ; Bool(grants, meets, time, p-docs)=1
} Kill your students. An all-out massacre may attract some
} unwelcome suspicion, so plan their deaths carefully. Poison is
} usually good for a couple of dozen. Pump benzene through the air
} conditioning of the University bar. Don breathing apparatus and
} search through the corpses for *your* students. Bound to be a few
} in there. Repeat on following and subsequent evenings until the
} toll has mounted to suitable level, or until the penny drops and
} the bar is closed. Invite a few into your study, one at a time,
} for informal tutorial sessions. When they're inside, blow them
} apart with an Uzi. Place the weapon in the hands of the final
} dead student, then run screaming from the building, shouting 'My
} God! My God! He's gone mad in there and *killed all my
} Alternatively, torch the building and move to Miami.
} Solution 5:Bool(p-docs)=0 ; Bool(grants, meets, time, studs)=0
} Elevate all your students to post-doctorate level. This
} will result in a lot of bored post-docs hanging around the
} building, ruiing the atmosphere, so drop a couple of the weediest
} back down to undergraduates and get the postdocs to beat them up.
} Create a fun 'Post Doc Happy Club', with badges and stickers.
} Arrange tea-parties on alternate Sunday afternoons. Get
} investigated by the local Education Authority who'll strike you
} off the faculty. On walking back home from the University,
} encounter one of the 'weedy' undegrads, juiced to his eyeballs on
} rocket fuel, and get the sharp end of a Stanley knife in the
} guts. Expire quietly.
} Solution 6:Bool(grants, meets, time, studs, p-docs)=0
} Buy a diary, bozo.
} The Oracle is omnipotent.
} The Oracle is eternal.
} You owe a large comfortable armchair to all two-headed green beings
} called Daisy.
} Omnipotent creatures absorb light between 420 and 440 wave-numbers.
} Only ephemerals with one head are called Daisy.
} The green part of the visible spectrum is at about 430 wave-numbers.
} You have five minutes to complete the problem.