I Meant to Blog This Virginia Postrel Atlantic Column on Procrastination a While Ago…


…but I just didn't get around to it.

Former Reason editor Virginia Postrel gives a very interesting and nuanced reading from the leading edge of procrastination studies and experimental economics. Force yourself (or have some make you) to read it. Now! A snippet:

Whether designed to boost a sagging economy or just generate sales, these [sales] promotions naturally raise the question of whether consumers should succumb to such lures. Which is the real you: the present self who wants to stay in bed rather than exercise and who runs errands instead of visiting a museum, or the future you who wants to be fit and have happy memories? The you who avoids temptation by staying out of the mall, or the you who wishes you hadn't been such a hermit?

They are both real, of course. The intimate contest for self-command never ends, and lifetime happiness requires finding the right balance between present impulses and future well-being. We know we need bosses and deadlines to help us get work done. But sometimes we can also use an external push to make us have a good time. In both cases, our future self will appreciate the help.

Whole thing here.

Check out Postrel's Reason archive and her blog Deep Glamour.