Theory out of despair

Today it happened again. As usual, it made my day. I got a visit from a stray PhD student. Their research in human-computer interaction is not going too well, so they thought they’d try something else. I ask them why they think they will have a better time doing theoretical research.  “Well, the bar for success must have been adjusted accordingly. I mean, it’s not like this stuff actually has to work!”

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4 thoughts on “Theory out of despair

    1. I wonder what is the appropriate joke for that ;-) It reminds me that I have a friend who once refused to implement something because he had done a complexity analysis showing that it would be too slow. Turned out, it worked just fine!

  1. This reminds me of a conversation I once had with a colleague about a faculty candidate: “what do you think of the theory candidate we interviewed yesterday?” “He is not a theory person” “What do you mean? His work has no conceivable application!”

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