Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2015 - March)
(Text as at 23/04/2015 21:14:24)
(For other versions of this Note, see the tables 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 currently on the go, which is too many. I had previously divided them into two groups, but currently I split them into three.
- The first two groups have effort planned, and the final group does not, though I may address these two 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 group 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 Identity1. 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 Religion2. 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-tools3. 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.
- Consciousness4 Studies. A supporting project for both Personal Identity and Philosophy of Religion.
- Bridge5: I’m still attempting to become an expert player. That said, I’ve decided that the best approach to improvement is not by just carrying on playing!
- Languages6: Gain at least a rudimentary understanding of 24 diverse languages – for practical and philosophical purposes.
- Music7: 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.
- Chess8: Improve my standard of play so I can perform acceptably in the Essex, London, Middlesex … leagues (whenever I’m ready). This had been a dead project, though – given the hiatus with bridge - I intend to try to get myself back into some sort of shape.
- Mathematics9: 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 aged 61 – useful for keeping various bits of my brain functioning10.
- HiQ11: 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, but this resolve seldom comes to anything.
- 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. Thankfully, the main recent time-stealer – establishing ourselves in our new residence – is now a thing of the past.
- 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
- 1Q15 saw a significant improvement in time expended, and of %age against plan, so I was over budget for the first time ever. Admittedly, this was largely due to an explosion of effort directed towards Bridge websites, though I’ve not been playing the game itself.
- So, I achieved against plan 106% QTD, 96% YTD – where the year is the 2014/15 academic year commencing in October 2014.
- All active projects were fairly similarly under budget with the following exceptions:-
- Chess: I started the quarter with some enthusiasm, but then stopped completely. If I continue with any mind-game, it’ll be bridge not chess.
- Consciousness: again, it hardly got a look in, but it’s an important ancillary project.
- 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 link12.
- For a report by sub-project of time expended since my records began, follow this link13.
- For tables of Actual versus Plan, together with the high-level plan for the next quarter, see this page14.
- For the next quarter, I’ve increased the aggregate weekly hours to be spent on my projects marginally from 49 to 5015.
- Bridge is again on hold as far as playing is concerned.
- The figure for my Thesis is less than it ought to be, but likely to be more than I can motivate myself to 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 Bridge.
- Anyway, the weekly plan (50 hours) for the next quarter is as below:-
- Priority 1 (40 hours)
- Personal Identity: 22 hours.
- Philosophy of Religion: 4 hours.
- Web Tools: 14 hours.
- Priority 2 (10 hours)
- Consciousness: 2 hours.
- Bridge: 4 hours.
- Chess: 1 hour.
- Languages: 1 hour.
- Music: 2 hours.
- Follow this link for a list of recently16 purchased books. 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.
Detailed Interim Activities
- As these reports are now quarterly, at best, I’m including a link17 to a brief uncommented list 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 Future18
- Personal Identity19
- Complete a full review and update of the Notes I’ve created on Personal Identity, focusing on those with little / no content other than a reading list.
- Start serious work on Chapter 6 (Animalism) of my Thesis:-
- Incorporate electronic write-up text into the Chapter and associated Notes.
- Do the same for marginal annotations, converting them to write-ups first (if appropriate).
- Address "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
- "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons", and
- "Bermudez (Jose Luis) - Thinking Without Words".
- Do the same for Chapter 7 (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".
- For Chapter 11 (Resurrection):-
- Start a thorough review of "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death",
- In particular, complete the write-up of "Olson (Eric) - Life After Death and the Devastation of the Grave", and
- Compare & contrast it with "Olson (Eric) - Immanent Causation and Life After Death",
- Start a review of "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death".
- Complete a review of "Johnston (Mark) - 'Human Beings' Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal".
- Metaphysics: Study:-
- "Van Inwagen (Peter) - Metaphysics",
- "Post (John F.) - Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction", and
- "Smith (Quentin) & Oaklander (L. Nathan) - Time, Change and Freedom: An Introduction to Metaphysics".
- As background tasks:-
- Convert old PDF-précis, Etc. to Notes,
- Continue with "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers",
- Complete "Kamm (Oliver) - Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English Usage",
- Complete "Erber (Joan T.) & Szuchman (Lenore T.) - Great Myths of Aging",
- Read "Dunne (John S.) - City of the Gods: A Study in Myth and Mortality",
- Read "Pross (Addy) - What is Life?: How Chemistry Becomes Biology",
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR20 ("Todman (Theo) - Thesis - Later Reading").
- Philosophy of Religion21
- General Developments:
- Install MS Office Professional Plus 2013.
- Undertake a trawl through the code for all functions within the generator – making improvements for efficiency and function.
- Supply rudimentary functional documentation as a spin-off from the above.
- Undertake a trawl through all (categories of) web-page, making aesthetic improvements, and correcting content.
- Look into Optimizr.
- Specific Developments:
- Split Book Abstracts from Write-ups.
- Further work on Colour Convention data fixing.
- Enable reproduction of archived “Printed Notes”.
- Fix problem with bespoke links to Printed Notes from Archived Notes (revealed by the Spider).
- Standardise on “Write-ups” for Paper Abstracts – so, change the routines and database elements that enable the display of Paper Abstracts and Book-Paper Abstracts to accommodate this.
- Solve the problem of the size limitation for Notes by allowing their concatenation.
- Consequently, remove all large “Comments” that have been utilised to expand Paper (and Book?) abstracts.
- Utilise my Web Spider – in particular, regenerate and enhance the external links page, and see if I can get JSpider to work (or utilise some of its code) to check the links.
- Enhance my backup routines to allow pruning of the backup disk itself, and easier location of items to restore.
- Ensure FN referencing within Notes and referencing between Abstracts and Notes works for archived Notes.
- Expand the link to Notes from Papers and Books to be two-way, so that it’s clear that a Note is referenced by my comments on Books and Papers.
- Investigate all the automatic hyperlinking – eg. the automatic tagging within a document of points for “links in”, and the completeness of inter-object referencing.
- Further improve the referencing of books / papers by author.
- Fix bugs in multi-level footnoting in Printable Notes – the referencing is going wrong.
- Bridge Websites:
- Hutton Bridge Club Website (Hutton Bridge Club): Weekly maintenance.
- Complete take on of the ECBA website (Link), in particular …
- Complete automation of the “Eve Goblets” victor ludorum competition,
- Reconcile & improve Butler IMP reporting,
- Routine maintenance (no small task).
- Joint Project: Continue data collection & modelling.
- Complete and “market” websites for small clubs (Link).
- Continue with "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses", …
- Complete, "Allsopp (John) - Learn HTML5", and
- Restart, and complete, "Weakley (Russ) - Getting Started with CSS".
- General PC Education: Read
- "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World"
- "Couch (Andrew) - Microsoft Access 2010 VBA Programming Inside Out",
- "MacDonald (Matthew) - Access 2010: The Missing Manual",
- "Bovey (Rob), Wallentin (Dennis), Bullen (Stephen) & Green (John) - Professional Excel Development: The Definitive Guide to Developing Applications",
- "Jelen (Bill) & Syrstad (Tracy) - VBA and Macros: Microsoft Excel 2010".
- Consciousness23. Note24.
… Sort through and review historical material.
… Sort through and review historical material.
In-Page FootnotesFootnote 10: Mind you, the mathematical bits didn’t function very well in my youth, so what hope is there now?
Footnote 16: As my purchasing has now dropped to a relative trickle, I’ve extended the selection range to cover the last 6 months.
- I’d actually wanted to increase the previous aggregate of 54 hours, but as I’ve never managed to meet this level of commitment, there’s no point.
- Also, with the down-prioritising of the easy and relaxing (and evening-occupying) bridge in favour of more taxing endeavours, it’ll be difficult for me to achieve the planned productivity.
- So, I’ve retained the planned aggregate in line with my average over the last year – which is enough, I think.
Footnote 18: 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.
- I’ve not produced a “Consciousness” status report this time, as there was nothing to report.
- However, as part of my reprise of all things philosophical, I’ve decided to spend the next quarter re-reviewing Crane’s book.
Footnote 30: It really must be every day (bar the odd defection).
- I’ve not produced a “Languages” status report this time, as there was nothing to report.
- However, we are booked to go on holiday to the (civilised side of) Ibiza in September, so I’ve decided to brush up on my aural Spanish.
- Consequently, there’s no point referencing any of the other languages I’d like to learn, as I won’t spend any time on them in the next quarter.
Live Version of this Archived Note
Table of 12 Earlier Versions of this Note (of 62)
Table of 12 Later Versions of this Note (of 15)
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