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Been reading a bunch of posts that try to give academics "permission" to take it easy, and put projects and manuscripts on the back-burner, and work instead on jigsaw puzzles and devouring novels

Strangely related to what I am talking about re careerism [thread]
First, you don't need a global crisis to give yourself permission to enjoy life. If you love novels, as I do, you should be enjoying them with or without a shelter in place mandate!
Second, if you are working on a bunch of projects that bring you less joy than doing a jigsaw puzzle; you need to jetison the projects. Replace the with projects that you genuinely want to know the answer!
Third, if I hear one more time about what Newton accomplished in the year of the Plague....

If you are in science and aspire to be a Newton, I fear you suffer from some delusion of grandeur as well as a basic lack of probabilistic thinking (among all folks as smart as Newton...)
Fourth, the best academic work is not motivated by the product, but the genuine joy of seeing the answer. If your work is motivated by that joy, I am not sure you want to take it easier or harder under these circumstances than any other.
Fifth, I was lucky that I learned from @adamcifu early in my career to only work on things I want to. Adam also models enjoying all the things you want to (e.g. novels) in real time, and taking your vacations!
Sixth, feel free to @ me, but one last secret. I only read like 5% of the replies, and you should too! ;)
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