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September 24, 2012 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Wasted Time

Fresh from first-year mathematics papers and extensive Harry Potter reading, Salient’s self-styled Sybill Trelawney, Chris McIntyre tells you what to expect from your future.



You will spend F x Y x 0.50694 months on social media.

F = hours per day you currently spend on social media.
Y = how many more years you think you’ll live.

N.B. You will spend F x Y x 0.45868 months stalking people on social media. This value is calculated by T x 0.90, where T is time spent on social media. Variables not accounted for: C (how creepy you are); P (your victims’ privacy settings).

▲    ▲    ▲

You will spend (L) minutes procrastinating.

Assumes I’ll do this one later (assumption is tenuous).

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You will spend ((P x C x (M – A))/168) x 2B weeks waiting to text someone back in the early stages of courtship in order to appear busier than you may actually be, to infer an air of unattainability, and to downplay one’s lonely eagerness.

P = average time you leave it to text back a potential mate (hours).
C = number of courtship processes you’ve been through in the last year—this can be operationalised as first dates.
M = the age you think you’ll get married.
A = your current age.
B = exponential loneliness factor; 0 = “loneliness is for the weak”, 1 = “yeah, I get lonely sometimes”, 2 = “Dear Diary, today someone brushed past me and I treasured the physical human contact”.

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You will spend ((Y-1)/3 + 0F + M/12 + H/8760) x 1.5N years in bed.

Y = how many more years you think you’ll live.
F = binary value for expected frequency of coitus; use F = 1 for “what does coitus mean?” and F =0 for “I’m motherfucking [Ron Jeremy-meets-Wilt Chamberlain/Sasha Grey-meets-Jenna Jamieson] in the sack”.
M = months of your life you anticipate spending medically comatose.
H = hours of your life you anticipate spending alcoholically comatose (not including regular sleep). N = binary value for narcolepsy; use N = 0 for “what’s narcolepsy?” and N = 1 for “Hey, that’s not funn…zzzz”

Variables not controlled for: penchant for flanellette, relative temperature of bedroom.

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You will spend T x (75-A) x 0.86667 hours feigning interest (most likely in a smiling:nodding ratio of 1:1).

T = average number of minutes you spend each week listening to things you don’t really care about. A = your current age.
The value of 75 in the equation represents the age by which you will likely be an old curmudgeon who doesn’t give two shits about feigning anything, but instead gives two shits often due to late-onset bowel ailments.

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You will spend F x Y x R x 0.00833 hours acknowledging relative’s exclamations regarding how much you’ve grown since last time they saw you.

F = times per year you see your relatives.
Y = how many more years you think you’ll live.
R = number of annoying relatives that usually do this.
Assumes acknowledgements take ~2 minutes each. Does not adjust for relatives dying off, or you stopping growing; I don’t get paid enough to include hyperbolic or log functions. If you’re a MATH major write us a letter or something.

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You will spend ((D/60 + 168F) x Y) x B hours regretting things you thought would be a good idea at the time.

D = average yearly financial repercussions of acts you regret, in dollars.
F = average yearly number of friendships you irreparably damage through acts you regret.
Y = years you think you’ll live for (Alzheimer’s-free). B = binary factor for whether you believe in YOLO; if yes, B = 0; if no, B = 1.

Assumes 1 minute of regret per dollar, and one full week of regret (168 hours) per irreparably damaged friendship.
N.B. Time spent in state of regret as a proportion of your day usually decreases over time and the above equation does not account for this. The exception to the temporal-decay rule is the presence of legal repercussions; various levels of which may increase or decrease the scale factor or regret. As such, the above formula may be substituted for J, where J
is the number of years you anticipate being in jail/ under parole/in home detention/paying of fines.


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  1. Chris says:

    In the texting back one, 2B is supposed to be 2^B.
    In the bed one, 0F is supposed to be 0^F.

    (lol as if anyone’s going to read this)

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