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Inspiration Through Procrastination

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, are silhouetted as they look the Seine river through a giant clock at the Musee d'Orsay museum -the former Gare d'Orsay train station- during their visit to the museum, Saturday, March 18, 2017, on the second day of their two-day visit to the French capital. (Francois Guillot/Pool Photo via AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and his wife Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, are silhouetted as they look the Seine river through a giant clock at the Musee d'Orsay museum -the former Gare d'Orsay train station- during their visit to the museum, Saturday, March 18, 2017, on the second day of their two-day visit to the French capital. (Francois Guillot/Pool Photo via AP)

From da Vinci to Darwin, how great minds put things off, but changed the world anyway. We’ll talk to two procrastinators: Andrew Santella, the writer of a new book about procrastination, and Tim Urban, whose TED talk on procrastination was one of the most viewed of 2016.

Guests:

Andrew Santella, Brooklyn-based writer whose book, “Soon: An Overdue History Of Procrastination, From Leonardo And Darwin To You And Me,” comes out Tuesday. (@andrew_santella)

Tim Urban, blogger who gave a TED talk called “Inside The Mind Of A Master Procrastinator.” (@waitbutwhy)

From The Reading List:

Excerpt of “SOON”:

From SOON by Andrew Santella Copyright © 2018 by Andrew Santella. Reprinted by permission of Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Tim Urban’s TED talk:

Here’s a little puzzle. Why did Charles Darwin wait a couple decades between first observations on evolution, and publishing his revolutionary book “On the Origin of Species”? He dabbled with a variety of other ideas and experiments, certainly, but he also spent a lot of time obsessing over barnacles. He even later admitted “I doubt whether the work was worth the consumption of so much time.” A new book puts Darwin among a group of august procrastinators, and asks a surprising question: Can procrastination can lead to startling innovation?

This hour, On Point: Delay, brilliance, and procrastination.

–Meghna Chakrabarti

Copyright NPR 2018.

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