Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2017 - June)
(Text as at 20/07/2017 14:34:05)
(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)
Rationale for this Report
- This is a summary report with links to my various on-going projects. Detailed progress is shown on the sub-reports.
- This summary report should highlight whether my focus has become unbalanced or otherwise inappropriate to the achievement of my major goals.
- As these reports are rather a pain to generate, I now produce them quarterly, rather than monthly.
Projects in Progress
- I have ten projects on which I would like to spend my time, which is too many. I had previously divided them into two groups, but currently I split them into three.
- The first two groups always have effort planned, but the final group in general does not, though I may address these four1 projects from time to time to keep them ticking over.
- The first group relates to my primary (project) life-goals; the second relates to lesser things I really want to address; the final group2 relates to those I’d like to look into if I get ahead on the other projects.
- Follow the hyperlinks for further details:-
- Research into Personal Identity3. This is the subject that ought to grab most of my attention, as it is the topic of my yet-to-be-completed PhD. I need to achieve something in philosophy, as this is the only one of my endeavours that promises a professional outcome (in the sense of being one of more than merely personal interest).
- Studies in the Philosophy of Religion4. On and off, this represents the main preoccupation of my adult life (work and family aside). I intend to follow up in some detail interesting topics from the Philosophy of Religion module from the MA in Philosophy and Religion at Heythrop College, London University that I tasted at the end of 2010.
- Development of Web-tools5. This project is intended to assist with the prosecution of philosophical research. It is fundamentally an enabling project, though one I hope will have general metaphilosophical implications. The above two projects are test cases of the method, as well as worthwhile studies in their own right.
- Consciousness Studies6. A supporting project for both Personal Identity and Philosophy of Religion.
- Bridge7: I still want to become an expert player but have to recognise that it cannot become my major focus. I also need to respect the fact that I’m getting older and need to progress my philosophical endeavours while I can.
- Music8: Improve my competence as an oboist, and learn the piano. I have recommenced regular oboe-practice in my new den, though piano-playing is dormant.
- Languages9: Gain at least a rudimentary understanding of 24 diverse languages – for practical and philosophical purposes.
- Mathematics10: Revive / improve my mathematical competence with a view to the use of mathematics as a tool in my various other projects. Also – now that I’m 63 – useful for keeping various bits of my brain functioning11.
- Chess12: Improve my standard of play so I can perform acceptably in the Essex, London, Middlesex … leagues (whenever I’m ready).
- HiQ13: Enjoy and contribute to the intellectual society of ISPE and Mensa (in abeyance, as I’ve allowed my membership of both societies to lapse again, am too busy, and currently don’t need the “fellowship”).
- These projects are (approximately, in their respective groups) in order of decreasing priority, yet in practise the amount of effort expended on them fails to respect this. My intention is always to restrict the effort on Bridge, and focus on Personal Identity. Historically, this resolve has seldom come to anything, and I now believe that for me Bridge is sufficiently enjoyable and relaxing to be self-justifying.
- Unfortunately, time isn’t available at the moment – given my other commitments – to spend as much time on Philosophy of Religion as I would like. I have left a residual hour to keep it ticking over.
- I have re-joined ISPE, but can spare little scheduled time for taking part. I intend to read the latest issue of "ISPE - Telicom". Due to administrative confusion, I needlessly took their latest entrance test, but didn’t hear how I did. I may chase them up.
- I have ignored the various infrastructural elements of my life in these reports – in particular family life, household management, general reading, culture, current affairs and such like.
- This report and the sub-reports obtained by following the links immediately above show the current status. The report headings show the period the reports are for. Earlier reports can be found by following the links in the “Table of Previous Versions of this Note” further down this report, or in the sub-reports.
Planning and Actuals
- Overall, I again worked hard but achievement against plan was adversely impacted by two holidays – one in Norfolk & the other in Mallorca. So, overall “actual versus plan” was 91% QTD, 101% YTD – where the year is the 2016/17 academic year commencing in October 2016.
- The balance of the various projects against plan was pretty good – all in the 70%-ish to 90%-ish bracket.
- The tables of actual versus plan are on separate pages, accessible from the following links:-
- For detailed breakdowns of time spent this year, by month and by study location, follow this link14.
- For a report by sub-project of time expended since my records began, follow this link15.
- For tables of Actual versus Plan, together with the high-level plan for the next quarter, see this page16.
- The planned effort for my Thesis is less than it ought to be, but may be approximately what I can achieve. What I still intend to work towards is to allocate to my Thesis the amount of time that I’d need to spend if I was pursuing my research part-time at Birkbeck – which would be something like 5 hours / day, 5 days a week – and then fit other projects around it.
- However, I recognise that – temporarily at least – I will need to spend a lot of time on Web-tools, both on my own behalf and on the behalf of others, especially Bridge – which also retains prominence on its own account.
- Given my continued focus on Bridge, I have maintained the weekly total planned at 54 hours.
- I’ve decided to try to play the oboe properly, so have maintained my Music allowance at 4 hours / week as a step in that direction.
- I’ve added an hour a week for three “priority 3” projects as a books-balancing manoeuvre for the year, but have robbed my bridge allowance, so it might not work.
- So, the weekly plan (54 hours) for the next quarter is as below:-
- Priority 1: 30 hours
- Personal Identity: 14 hours.
- Philosophy of Religion: 1 hour.
- Web Tools: 15 hours.
- Priority 2: 21 hours
- Consciousness Studies: 1 hour
- Bridge: 16 hours.
- Music: 4 hours.
- Priority 3: 3 hours
- Chess: 1 hour
- HiQ: 1 hour.
- Languages: 1 hour.
- Follow this link for a list of recently17 purchased books.
Detailed Interim Activities
- As these reports are now quarterly, at best, I’m including a link to a brief uncommented list18 of what I’ve been working on since the last report (ie. this one). It is generated automatically from my time-recording system.
- Its main utility (to me, at any rate) is as a quick jumping-off point for the various writings in progress or recently completed.
- The list will, in general, be updated every few days.
Plans for the Near Future19
- Personal Identity20
- Continue with my Thesis21; in particular fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research.
- Complete a full review and update of the Notes I’ve created on Personal Identity, focusing on those with least content.
- Chapter 222 (What Are We?). Focussing on:-
- Human Beings: "Johnston (Mark) - "Human Beings" Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal".
- "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit",
- "O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person".
- Chapter 623 (Animalism). Focussing on:-
- "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
- "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons",
- "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument",
- "Olson (Eric) - On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings",
- "Olson (Eric) - The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twining",
- "Olson (Eric) - The Role of the Brainstem in Personal Identity",
- "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons, Animals, and Identity",
- "Snowdon (Paul) - Persons, Animals, Ourselves".
- Chapter 724 (The Constitution View):-
- Start a serious review of "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", my other core text.
- Read and review "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul".
- Chapter 1025 (Thought Experiments):-
- Investigate Transhumanism26.
- In particular,
→ Briefly review "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine",
→ Read "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies" and "Kasparov (Garry) - Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins",
→ Detailed review of "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun".
- Chapter 1127 (Resurrection):-
- Start a thorough review of "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death",
- Start a review of "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death", especially
→ "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People",
- Start a review of "Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) - The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death", especially
→ "Zimmerman (Dean) - Personal Identity and the Survival of Death",
- Read and review "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife",
- "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival".
- As background tasks:-
- Convert old PDF-précis, Etc28. to Notes,
- Complete cataloguing the books downloaded from Springer,
- Continue with "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers",
- Complete "Erber (Joan T.) & Szuchman (Lenore T.) - Great Myths of Aging",
- Continue reading and reviewing papers issued by "Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon",
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR29.
- Philosophy of Religion30.
- Philosophy of Religion: Read "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life".
- Resurrection: Continue with "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry".
- Background: Read appropriate items from "Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon".
- Re-read and write notes on "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness",
- Read appropriate papers from "Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon".
- Play twice a week in clubs, and in National competitions, but to keep “within budget” it is essential that I don’t get involved in lengthy post-mortems.
- Up-coming competitions:
- Felixstowe Swiss Pairs (Saturday 30th September): Ware; partner unknown.
- Essex / Herts Swiss Pairs / Teams (Saturday / Sunday 23-24th September): Ware; partner unknown.
- Essex / Herts Swiss Pairs (Saturday 22nd July): Ware, with David.
- London Swiss Teams (Sunday 16th July): With Albert, plus PS & PJ.
- Essex “C” vs Cambs & Hunts (Sunday 2nd July): With David.
- Bridge Study34:-
- Chess35: Note36.
- Read "Chess - Chess Magazine".
- Thai: "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners".
- Turkish: "Celen-Pollard (Asuman) & Pollard (David) - Turkish (Teach Yourself Complete Courses) + CD".
- Attend the 5 sessions of The Enigma Ensemble. Working towards …
- Concert at Michael’s Up River Yacht Club Regatta on Sunday 10th September.
- Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio.
- Practice the oboe for 30 minutes every day – focussing on the above and …
- Occasionally try longer sessions to build up stamina further.
- Work through "Langey (Otto) - The Oboe: Practical Tutor for the Oboe and Cor Anglais".
- Practice Mozart’s Gran Partita.
- Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book".
- General Reading: Continue with "Gardiner (John Eliot) - Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach".
- Browse "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics",
- Study40 "Hamilton (Lawrence) - Modern Data Analysis: A First Course in Applied Statistics".
- Complete reading "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics", and
- Continue reading "MacKinnon (Robert F.) - Bridge, Probability & Information".
- Engage with:-
→ "ISPE - The Thousander", and
→ "ISPE - Telicom"
- Chase up the result of the ISPE entry test I submitted.
In-Page Footnotes:Footnote 1:
Footnote 2: As noted above, since the contents of the groups changes over time, this justification for their segregation isn’t entirely accurate.
- The contents of this “no effort planned” sub-group changes from time to time.
- As it happens, I’m itching to activate all of these four projects, but it’s not possible to do everything at once.
- Mind you, the mathematical bits didn’t function very well in my youth, so what hope is there now?
- And, in any case, bridge can fulfil that function.
Footnote 19: In the light of the segregation of my projects into three tiers, items for tertiary projects are only to be addressed if everything of higher priority is in shape.
- As my purchasing has now dropped to a relative trickle, I’ve extended the selection range to cover the last 6 months.
- Some of these are random purchases from charity shops, or presents. Others are selectively purchased in support of my various projects.
- Poverty and lack of space is severely curtailing my purchasing power.
Footnote 34: There may not be time or enthusiasm for much of this!
Footnote 36: Now this project has been down-prioritised, I’ve chopped potential actions down to a minimum.
Footnote 40: A decent knowledge of statistics is essential to many of my projects, so I ought to get back into it. This is a gentle introduction.
Table of the Previous 12 Versions of this Note: (of 71)
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