I'm working on a longer post, so this is shaping up to be a three-post Saturday. Hmmm, I wonder what I'm trying to avoid... :)
Anyway, I ran across this At-Home Ph.D. Simulator, posted at Metafilter from a thread at Phinished.org (apparently, although I am not a member, so I can't confirm).
The At-Home Ph.D. Simulator:
1. Give a $30,000 donation to the university of your choice, on your credit card.
2. Go to the library and write. Write pages and pages. Every time you reach 50 pages, burn all of them. Repeat for several years.
3. Take out an ad on Craiglist for someone to pretend to be your advisor. Set up periodic meetings with them where they read your drafts and give you the exact opposite of the advice they gave you three months ago.
4. Adjunct a course at your local college. Give lots of written work. Submit everything you get to one of the online plagiarism detectors. Despair for humanity.
5. After ten years, throw a dart at a map. Move wherever it lands for the rest of your life.
Heh. Sounds about right to me!