Letter from a group of Italian physicists, 24 Sep 1998:

Dear Colleague,

It has been decided by the Management of INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, the Italian main Institute for High Energy Physics) that our researchers have to clock in/out from the 1st of July 1998. This means that we have to use a magnetic card to record and certify the time spent in our home offices and labs. We are also required to declare the exact time and activities for each day we spend outside our home institutes.

We think that this ruling is a useless bureaucratic nonsense.

Our embarrassment is added to by the fear that this ruling (which, to our knowledge, is totally absent in international research institutes) substitute a proper effort to find sensible and fair criteria for verifying both quantity and quality of the work done, and for encouraging scientific activities.

We think that it is extremely important to have the opinion of the international scientific community.

If you agree with us and have a few words to say on the matter, we should be very grateful if you would send your comments to Mario Macri' (mario.macri@ge.infn.it), National Spokesperson of INFN researchers.

My response, "The theory of clocking", 17 Oct 1998.

My space-time invariant no-go theorem on the possibility of clocking creative thought:

The paperwork required to implement the clocking of creative thought can be proven with the help of Einstein's theory of relativity to lead to collapse into a black hole, with time coming to a halt on the horizon of achievement. Heisenberg's uncertainty and quantum theory will not help, due to the requirement of positive output. Loss of information is the only logical consequence of this cosmic censorship. Therefore, it is logically impossible to measure the time required for creative thought.