It's all there in the subtitle to this site. In the last few days I've decided to set myself a task that will probably be ridiculously time-confusing, gut-wrenchingly futile and will doubtless cause me to become even older before my time than I already am. But it's something that hasn't been done since 1923, and I think the time is ripe for it to be done again. I'm thinking of compiling an index for all described taxa of long-legged harvestmen. With a few thousand species involved, this is no small task.
But the thing is, and this is the freakish part, I actually really like nomenclature. Nomenclature is the specific part of the taxonomic process where the researcher sifts through the assortment of available names and works out which is the correct name to use for the organism sitting before them. It is important to distinguish the identification of the correct nomenclature from the identification of the organism itself - the nature of the specimen won't somehow magically change if the name attached to it does. Nomenclature is simply the system of labels that researchers have agreed to use in order to allow communication. As such, many people seem to regard the identification of the appropriate label as a somewhat arduous and uninspiring task, but personally I find it can be quite a lot of fun. As frustrating as past confusions can be, there is also something appealing in the challenge of sorting them out.
As a group, harvestmen have their share of nomenclatural challenges. I've just linked to my post on the mess that is Gagrella in which I just scratched the surface. There are no less than five taxa laying claim to the name Gagrella bispinosa as a result of its repeated use as a subspecific name. The oldest harvestman genus, Phalangium, was originally used by Linnaeus for pretty much any arachnid that wasn't a spider or a scorpion, leading to a fair number of homonyms spread between a number of orders. These are the sort of things I'd like to delve into for the next few years. Sure it's a big call, but if you can't be a little hubristic as a grad student, when can you be?