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Theo Todman's Blog

(Text as at 03/07/2020 22:09:07)

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This Blog continues to evolve over time, though suffers from long periods of stasis. I'm not sure whether it should count as a “real” blog, but I intend it as a general dumping ground for discussions that don’t obviously fit elsewhere, or which are hidden about the site but to which I wish to draw attention.

The entire blog and the individual entries use my patent “Note” technology which I developed for my more formally philosophical investigations into Personal Identity, which is why it comes with the usual cross-referencing baggage, though the reading-lists are usually switched off. Here is the “Jump Table” for the entire Blog, which allows quick access to the various sub-topics. One day I may make these tables topic-specific, but currently I think the cross-pollination a potential “good thing”.

In the table below, individual notes will say – in the “Reference” column – whether they have a printable version. The motivation behind the “unprintable1” versions – marked as “Note” – is the hyper-linking, more relevant in some texts than others. If a word is underlined and followed by a superscript, clicking on the underlined word will usually lead to further enlightenment or obfuscation. Underlining with a subscript links to a footnote within the Note itself. The “printable” versions show the level to which the print goes. L0 (“Level 0”) is just the main Note. “L1” has the main Note and all Notes referenced by the main Note, and so on. If the reading list is carried through to the printable Note, this is shown by “, R”.

Some of these entries are discussions between me and an interlocutor or correspondent. Comments that belong to the correspondent appear in a different colour, a rather nasty shade of purple. To allow for candour, I’ve in general not been explicit about the identities of correspondents, though those who know me well may be able to make deductions in some cases. If anyone wants their identity revealed (or even further disguised), no doubt they will let me know. I have to admit that this “Notes” procedure with interlocutors hasn’t worked very well, and fragments the conversation somewhat.

Date Topic Reference
24 October 2023Music Score OCR & Editing Software: I want software to allow me to read in scores – most likely photocopied – tidy them up and transpose them. Also, to read in purchased pdfs for the wrong ensemble instruments and transpose them. Finally, to convert piano scores into orchestral scores. Key components are therefore OCR, editing, transposition and ‘engraving’ – printing the score out neatly. ‘Bursting’ a piano score into ensemble parts would be ideal, but I doubt anything within my budget will do it.Note2
13 September 2023Henry the Dog: I was greatly upset when our beloved Tibetan Terrier, Henry, had to be put down on 1st September 2022, so I decided to write some notes in his memory. It took me a year, on and off. This is the current draft.Note3
4 June 2020Mathematical Puzzles: A friend sent me two items of mathematical interest.
  1. The first is a challenge to prove that a particular numerical formula cannot represent a prime number.
  2. The second is a ‘heads up’ about Kaprekar’s Constant.
I undertook some exploratory programming on both – particularly the latter.
Part 1

Part 2
8 April 2020Covid-19 and Belfast Pastors: Julie forwarded a Facebook video to our family WhatsApp group, having received it from Billericay Street Pastors. It’s an account by Pastor Lee McClelland of Ark Church, Belfast of his spiritual experiences when in intensive care suffering from Corvid-19, including the miraculous supply of a can of coke and a packet of crisps provided by a cleaner. I have my misgivings about such items, heart-warming though they may be in many ways, so I thought I’d check it out and record my thoughts. The second item is a response to comments received.Part 1

Part 2
4 November 2018Coxes Farm: This page provides a timeline of the vicissitudes – good and bad – that have come upon our house – Coxes Farm, Billericay, Essex – since we purchased it in February 2012.
  • Part 1: Shows a timeline for the repairs undertaken on the House since a crack at the front was discovered in December 2017.
  • Part 2: Is still under development, and shows earlier photos the the House, including those of the survey and post-purchase repairs and developments. I've yet to sort these into a sensible order.
  • Part 3: Is likewise still under development, and shows photos of the Garden - including early ruinations and landscaping - together with other random photos.
  • Part 4: Is another even more random page that uses different technology to build it. Unlike the other pages it's not intended to be a timeline, but will select features to highlight and compare.
For the listing of Coxes Farmhouse, see:-

Historic England: Coxes Farmhouse Listing.
Historic England Photos: Coxes Farmhouse.
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4
2 August 2018Tottering Towers & Listing Buildings: This is an account – theoretical as well as practical – of the problems that can arise for those with the responsibility for a Listed Building, illustrated by my own experiences with Coxes Farm. It is currently work in progress.Note12
31 August 2017Aeon:
  • Part 1: Throughout 2017 I attempted to keep up with all relevant (or at least interesting) papers posted on a daily basis to Aeon. I attempted to categorise all the papers and hoped to add comments against each, but – as with most of my many projects – it turned out to be too much work, and since the end of 2017 it has been on the back burner. However, it was quite stimulating while in progress, and I learnt a lot, having read 500-odd papers, and commented on quite a few of them.
  • Part 2: Then, in 2019, I picked up from where I’d left off and developed an easier way of recording the papers. I used this technique to record all those of any interest whatever published during 2018-9. I’m continuing to use this method in 2020+. Unfortunately, the method doesn’t make the papers any quicker to read, and I have a huge backlog!
  • Follow the links to the right for the papers.
Part 1

Part 2
31 January 2016Somerset Maugham Short Stories: Part 1

Part 2
19 November 2013Bach's Greatest Hits: This is an attempt to exorcise a recent obsession with J.S. Bach, and in particular with his St. Luke Passion, Passacaglia and Fugue, and the Chaconne from the Second Partita for solo violin. The entry is mainly links to YouTube with a few jottings.Note17
10 June 2013Biblical Archaeology: I happened upon three 21st century controversies in Biblical Archaeology – the so-called “King Solomon's Tablet of Stone”, “James Ossuary” and “Talpiot Tomb” – which set me thinking about how controversies in archaeology are resolved, and whether the issues matter. This is work in progress, if not currently so.Note18
31 March 2011James Le Fanu: I came across an article on the giraffe by James Le Fanu in The Oldie. What could he possibly be saying? This is work in progress, though not being progressed at the moment.Note19
21 February 2011The Singularity: This will be a review of an overly-optimistic article from Time entitled 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. This is currently work in progress.Note20
13 February 2011Megawoosh: I was forwarded a “viral video” entitled Megawoosh under the cover of “Who did the calculations for this water slide?”. It turns out to be a clever German advert for Microsoft Project, but it’s fun to watch …Note21
1 February 2011Contemporary Islamic Thought: I considered taking the course “Unity and Diversity in Contemporary Islamic Thought” at Heythrop, and contacted a friend from my Birkbeck days who has converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam. That conversation didn’t get far, but a few (unresolved) issues were raised. And then another friend sent me a web-link …Note22
26 January 2011Experts: A further discussion with two Christian friends, mainly on the way the authority of experts ought or ought not to structure our beliefs.Note23
28 April 2010Unmerited Suffering & Hominid Evolution: A discussion of two issues – the difficulties for theism of unmerited suffering, and the scientific status of the various current theories of hominid evolution.Note24
22 January 2010Hartnett, Carmeli and a Young Earth: Cosmological Relativity and a young Earth. This correspondence arose following receipt of a book that purports to explain how we can see the stars if the universe is only 6,000 years old.Note25
20 January 2010Haiti and the Problem of Evil: This discussion with a couple of friends was stimulated by the receipt of a brief article following the Haitian earthquake, and ensuing humanitarian crisis, on the BBC News Magazine website, alerted by the author on Philos_List.Note26
14 July 2009Virgin Birth: Response to some comments on an ancient booklet of mine on the Virgin Birth of Christ.Note27
21 February 2009Triplet Parapsychology: I was idly watching TV while eating my dinner circa midnight last Tuesday, when a program on Identical Triplets came on ITV1. Just slotted in was a claim and supposed experiment to show that if one triplet feels pain, the others do, at least subliminally. This must have been a spoof, but was completely straight-faced. Follow the link opposite for more information, and my reasoning behind being unwilling to be convinced by the facts.Note28
14 February 2009Creationist Bananas: I received an email from Philos_List requesting submissions for the world’s worst argument. A suggested candidate was that from a creationist group, suggesting that the banana is a good illustration of the “Paley’s watch” argument. Follow the link for the background, and my thoughts.Note29
14 February 2009Jamie Bulger's Killers: Julie received an email petition asking for “something to be done about” the plan to settle the killers of Jamie Bulger in Australia. This is a complex moral issue. Follow the link for my thoughts, though I’m not altogether comfortable with them. In fact, it turns out that the email has been circulating aimlessly for 8 years, and contains numerous inaccuracies. I wish I’d just binned it.Note30
29 April 2008Coldplay - The Hardest Part: A bridge friend forwarded on to me a circular email raving about certain aspects of the Coldplay video The Hardest Part, available on YouTube. The comments seemed to miss the import of the video (indeed, to get it completely round the wrong way) – but the affair raises some interesting questions in philosophical aesthetics on which I’d welcome the thoughts of experts.Note31
1 January 2008Loretto Chapel: An email from a bridge friend with a link to a YouTube video about the Loretto Chapel. I've now lost the link, but it was probably Loretto Chapel 1. See also Loretto Chapel 2. The "miraculous staircase" might well be a marvel, but it's not a miracle, nor did St. Joseph have a hand in it.Note32
29 November 2007Mad, Bad or God?: I got this question from Sylvia: “I remember you saying you were never persuaded by the “mad, bad or God” argument. This has cropped up a couple of times recently, and I can’t remember what your alternative is. Do you mention this on your website somewhere, and if so, where?”.Note33
10 November 2007Tiahuanaco: I received an email from a friend suggesting that Tiahuanaco - an ancient city in the Andes, close to Lake Titicaca - is evidence for a global flood. I was not convinced.Note34
17 August 2007Personal Identity and Moral Action: Another out of the blue query – this time about the interaction of Ethics with Personal Identity.Note35
15 August 2007Carthusians - Hugh: An out of the blue query about Carthusians, and subsequent correspondence. Someone does look at my website after all.Note36
14 August 2007Gordon: Another Oldie. An email from a friend I’d not heard from for 10 years at least. His email address now bounces, so this is by way of a response to an interrupted discussion.Note37
4 August 2007Simon: This entry antedates those that precede it, but is still on-going. It is a discussion between me and a friend and former HSBC colleague who now lives with his family in New York. His 16-year-old daughter had just become a Christian, and he needs some philosophical counselling. It is unusual in being initiated by a respondent.Note38
23 July 2007Spain: Herewith the account of some vicissitudes on an impromptu holiday to Spain.Part 1

Part 2
22 July 2007Bible – Pluses and Minuses: This is my list of worries about the Bible. It’s only here because it’s got no other home to go to. It’s not worth reading as I’ve only just started it (chapters on which I’ve something to say are indicated by superscripted hyperlinks). I intend to produce a parallel, but even more naïve, commentary on the Koran, which I hope will not involve me in the receipt of a fatwa.Note41
15 July 2007Jack and Sheila: The account of a discussion with some old friends, followed by an outreach meeting at a Baptist Church. Sounds dull, but such events can be important. There are some affinities with the item below.Note42
7 July 2007Sylvia: Today I had a discussion on the topic of “Why I am no longer an active Christian”. Here is an attempted account of the discussion, together with some general points about extempore debate.Note43
11 May 2007Never Let Me Go: At a former colleague’s retirement lunch, we got talking about the menu, which lead on to the topic of vegetarianism, to which persuasion my friend was persuaded. He loaned me a book, "Ishiguro (Kazuo) - Never Let Me Go", which I read with some interest, but wasn’t fully clear on the connection. So, I jotted down some notes, emailed them off, and awaited feedback. To date, none has come, of course. The story of my life.Note44

In-Page Footnotes:

Footnote 1:

Table of the Previous 12 Versions of this Note: (of 19)

Date Length Title
04/04/2020 00:14:24 23354 Theo Todman's Blog
14/07/2019 18:05:46 22984 Theo Todman's Blog
05/04/2016 23:19:41 13859 Theo Todman's Blog
20/11/2013 10:46:34 13386 Theo Todman's Blog
03/08/2013 23:44:10 12845 Theo Todman's Blog
27/06/2011 18:57:36 12440 Theo Todman's Blog
19/03/2011 17:18:14 12077 Theo Todman's Blog
18/12/2010 19:58:05 10486 Theo Todman's Blog
01/07/2010 21:37:26 9806 Theo Todman's Blog
24/06/2010 18:50:24 9812 Theo Todman's Blog
30/04/2010 09:14:24 10085 Theo Todman's Blog
22/02/2009 15:17:17 8690 Theo Todman's Blog

Note last updated Reference for this Topic Parent Topic
03/07/2020 22:09:07 268 (Theo Todman's Blog) None

Summary of Notes Referenced by This Note

A Prime Number? Aeon Papers Aeon Papers - Summary Document: 2017-2018 Bach's Greatest Hits Bible – Pluses and Minuses
Biblical Archaeology Carthusians - Hugh Coldplay - The Hardest Part Covid-19 and Belfast Pastors: Part 1 Covid-19 and Belfast Pastors: Part 2
Coxes Farm Coxes Farm (Gardens) Coxes Farm (Pre-Repairs) Coxes Farm (Repairs) Creationist Bananas
Gordon Haiti and the Problem of Evil Hartnett, Carmeli and a Young Earth Henry Islam 2
Jack and Sheila James Le Fanu Jamie Bulger's Killers Kaprekar's Constant Loretto Chapel
Mad, Bad or God? MegaWoosh Mike & Sylvia (29/12/2010) Music Score OCR & Editing Software Never Let Me Go
Personal Identity and Moral Action Simon Somerset Maugham Short Stories Somerset Maugham Short Stories - Volume 1 Spain
Spain (Continued) Sylvia The Singularity Tiahuanaco Tottering Towers & Listing Buildings
Triplet Parapsychology Unmerited Suffering & Hominid Evolution - Response Virgin Birth    

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

Summary of Notes Citing This Note

Coxes Farm Immortality Life After Death Resurrection Theo Todman's Christian Page
Theo Todman's Personal Page Website - Progress to Date (2023 - October), 2 Website Generator Documentation - Functors, 2 Website Generator Documentation - Timelines (Photos & Blog)  

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.

Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note

Author Title Medium Extra Links Read?
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Immortality Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Life After Death Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Todman (Theo) Thesis - Resurrection Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes

Text Colour Conventions

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2023

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