My last-minute assembly skills have failed me


in M.Phil thesis, Oxford, Writing

According to my thesis schedule, I am meant to have my second chapter submitted now. Instead, I have 5200 words, only 1200 of which are about my case studies. Even within the analytical stuff, there is a lot of ambiguous sequencing, and a great many emphatic [ADD MORE HERE] editorial notes. It seems unlikely that this chapter can be completed tonight, regardless of caffeine consumption levels.

I need to:

  1. Complete the necessary reading, especially on pre-IPCC climate change science
  2. Trawl through the notes I have already made about sources, ideas, and themes
  3. Expand the case study portion of the chapter to about 5000 words, shifting the bits that are now independent into the case study narrative

I suppose I should get cracking on the first of those. The whole thing – three substantive chapters, a conclusion, and a revised introduction – needs to be submitted in 53 days. Time for another pot of coffee.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan February 28, 2007 at 10:24 pm

In accordance with the grand and mighty laws of computing: when you really need it to work, your computer will start getting absurdly buggy.

Tom March 1, 2007 at 12:08 am

There’s no point in pounding away until you come up with something ‘complete’ but mediocre. Ask for an extension, then work solidly at a sustainable level until the thing is done.

Make a chart of how you spend your day, then think about how you can cut down on the useless parts.

You still have time. How many days do you normally spend on a paper? Just think of this as six papers. Six papers in fifty days is not too bad.

Milan March 1, 2007 at 1:05 am

One thing I wanted to note before going to sleep:

The following article is an excellent summary of the whole climate change situation, focusing on the normative implications. I hope that my analysis eventually produces something similarly useful:

Gardiner, Stephen. “Ethics and Global Climate Change.” Ethics. Volume 114 (2004), p. 555–600.

Vital reading March 1, 2007 at 12:15 pm

A solution has been found to the problem of global warming. Hon. Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Minister of Defense, says we should use technology recovered from crashed UFOs. He and many other of the world’s “foremost authorities” have released a full exposé of 60 years of coverup of UFO crashes, including Roswell. “Discover the Truth about extraterrestrial contact!

Milan March 1, 2007 at 2:12 pm

UFO technology, of course!

I knew those big-eyed, green-skinned creatures knew a thing or two about climatic science. Hopefully, they will enter Richard Branson’s contest.

R.K. March 1, 2007 at 11:38 am

Just remember the wisdom of the incomparable Douglas Adams:

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

Anonymous March 1, 2007 at 3:59 pm

This may help you:

Introduction: A Hyperlinked History of Climate Change Science

“To a patient scientist, the unfolding greenhouse mystery is far more exciting than the plot of the best mystery novel. But it is slow reading, with new clues sometimes not appearing for several years. Impatience increases when one realizes that it is not the fate of some fictional character, but of our planet and species, which hangs in the balance as the great carbon mystery unfolds at a seemingly glacial pace.”

Schindler, David W. (1999). “The Mysterious Missing Sink.” Nature 398: 105-106.

Anonymous March 1, 2007 at 4:02 pm
Milan March 1, 2007 at 4:50 pm


That may rank among the most useful comments ever. Spencer Weart, who wrote the first site you linked, seems just the fellow I need.

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