Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2015 - June)
(Text as at 02/07/2015 23:12:29)
(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 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 have effort planned, but the final group does not, though I may address these four 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 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 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. It hasn’t moved much recently, so I haven’t produced a status report so far this academic year.
- Bridge5: I still want to become an expert player but I’ve decided that the best approach to improvement is not by just carrying on playing! I also need to respect the fact that I’m getting older and need to progress my philosophical endeavours while I can.
- Music6: 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.
- Languages7: Gain at least a rudimentary understanding of 24 diverse languages – for practical and philosophical purposes.
- 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
- 2Q15 saw a continued excess of time expended as a %age against plan. Admittedly, this was largely due to the controlled explosion of effort directed towards Bridge websites, though I’ve not been playing the game itself.
- So, I achieved against plan 102% QTD, 98% YTD – where the year is the 2014/15 academic year commencing in October 2014.
- All active projects were with the exception of Bridge (on a greatly – and excessively – reduced plan) and Web-tools were under budget (the minor projects massively so).
- 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 final quarter of this “academic year”, I’ve retained the aggregate weekly hours to be spent on my projects at 5015. This will be a challenge, as I have a week on holiday, which will reduce the average.
- Bridge is again on hold as far as regular playing is concerned.
- The figure 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. Consequently, I’ve equalised the share of effort between thesis and web-tools, just for a quarter.
- So, the weekly plan (50 hours) for the next quarter is as below:-
- Priority 1: 40 hours
- Personal Identity: 18 hours.
- Philosophy of Religion: 4 hours.
- Web Tools: 18 hours.
- Priority 2: 10 hours
- Bridge: 7 hours.
- Consciousness: 1 hour.
- Music: 2 hours.
- Follow this link for a list of recently16 purchased books.
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
- Continue with my Thesis20; 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 little / no content other than a reading list.
- For Chapter_521 (Persistence and Time), review:-
- "Dainton (Barry) - Time and Space",
- "Harrison (Jonathan) - Analysis Problem No. 18: 'Jocasta's Crime'",
- "Denruyter (Celine) - Jocasta's Crime: A Science-Fiction Reply: [Analysis 'Problem' no. 18]",
- "Ehring (Douglas) - Personal Identity and Time Travel",
- "Flew (Anthony) - Time Travel and the Paranormal",
- "Godfrey-Smith (William) - Travelling in Time",
- "Harrison (Jonathan) - Report on Analysis 'Problem' no. 18",
- "Levin (Margarita R.) - Swords' Points: [Analysis 'Problem' no. 18]",
- "Miller (Kristie) - Travelling in Time: How to Wholly Exist in Two Places at the Same Time",
- "Richmond (Alasdair) - Time-Travel Fictions and Philosophy",
- "Wright (John) - Personal Identity, Fission and Time Travel".
- Start serious work on Chapter_622 (Animalism). In this regard:-
- 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). Leave un-annotated papers alone for now, the exceptions being …
- "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
- "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons",
- "Bermudez (Jose Luis) - Thinking Without Words",
- "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument",
- "Johnston (Mark) - 'Human Beings' Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal", but first complete a review of
- "Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings",
- "Moran (Alexander P.) - Animalism and the Thinking Parts Problem",
- "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",
- "Sutton (Catherine S.) - The Supervenience Solution to the Too-Many-Thinkers Problem".
- Do the same for Chapter_723 (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", and review ...
- "Sutton (Catherine S.) - Colocated Objects, Tally-Ho: A Solution to the Grounding Problem",
- "Sutton (Catherine S.) - Composition as Identity - A Resource Page".
- For Chapter_1124 (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", especially
- "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People",
- Read and review "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife",
- "Chappell (Sophie Grace), Chappell (Tim) - Seeds: On Personal Identity and the Resurrection",
- "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival",
- Attend the MOOC "Ogilvie (Daniel M.) & Hamilton (Leonard W.) - Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences", and read / review the ancillary …
- "Ogilvie (Daniel M.) - Soul Searching Project",
- "Ogilvie (Daniel M.) - A Partial History of Afterlife Beliefs", and
- "Ogilvie (Daniel M.) - The Anatomy of Internalized Beliefs".
- 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",
- Attend the MOOC "Leitgeb (Hannes) & Hartmann (Stephan) - Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy",
- Read "Genova (Lisa) - Still Alice",
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR25.
- Philosophy of Religion26.
- Philosophy of Religion:
- Resurrection: Continue with "Wright (N.T.) - The Resurrection of the Son of God".
- Interaction: Holiday discussion with Mike & Sylvia in September.
- Background: Read:-
- General Developments:
- Install MS Office Professional Plus 201328.
- Investigate Windows 1029.
- 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 Optimizr30.
- Specific Developments:
- Split Book Abstracts from Write-ups.
- Read the Google documentation (Link) to investigate where I’m going wrong in the (failure to) use META tags to ensure my stuff sorts correctly in the search engines.
- Enable reproduction of archived “Printed Notes”.
- Fix problem with bespoke links to Printed Notes from Archived Notes (revealed by the Spider).
- 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.
- Trawl through my Archived Notes (using This Table) and delete those that are duplicates.
- 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.
- 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,
- Look into a “make-over”.
- ECBA website (Link):-
- Investigate ECL Butler reporting, along the lines of Suffolk (Link).
- Maintain the Competitions Spreadsheet (Link).
- Improve the ECBA Membership Secretary reporting.
- Create a multi-purpose mailing list for GroupMail (Link) using Access / Excel Macros.
- Routine maintenance (no small task).
- "Admin - Bridge - Joint Project":
- Continue data collection & modelling.
- Brand as ECBA and “market” websites for small clubs (Link).
- Other initiatives:
- Update Sophie Botros’s Website ("Admin - Sophie Botros Website - Creation, Admin & Maintenance", Sophie Botros: Live Site).
- Upgrade my Facebook page ("Facebook - Understand Facebook & Build Personal Facebook Page") using "Abram (Carolyn) - Facebook for Dummies: Fifth Edition" for inspiration / guidance.
- Look into making the “static” pages of my site more snazzy – investigate the recently-acquired free copy of Xara Web Designer in this regard.
- 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"
- Read books on MS Access and MS Excel, namely:-
- "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".
- Use the above books to remind myself of how to get MS Access and MS Excel to “tango” – by both writing out to spread-sheets, and using automacro facilities within Excel to allow Access to control Excel.
- Review my Notes on "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind" recently converted from pdf-based to Note format.
- Read "Kahneman (Daniel) - Thinking, Fast and Slow",
- "O'Brien (Dominic) - How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week: 50 Proven Ways to Enhance Your Memory Skills", and
- "Lorrison (Gary) - Memory: Oxford Centre for the Mind".
- To reflect the on-going administrative component, I’ve increased the planned effort-expenditure to 7 hours a week (from 4).
- I’ve agreed to organise the SIMS at Hutton on Monday 27th July, and will play with David. We’ll see how this goes, but I’ve currently no time and no intention of playing regularly.
- Write a paper33 on “Why Play Bridge”.
- Active involvement on the ECBA Committee, but try not to get too involved or over-zealous.
- Read a bunch of books and papers recently acquired on the topic of counting the hand, namely:-
- "Bourke (Tim) & Smith (Marc), Bird (David) - Countdown to Winning Bridge"
- "Lawrence (Mike) - How to read your opponents' cards: The bridge expert's way to locate missing high cards"
- "Baston (Jim) - Memory Systems at Bridge"
- "Doroshow (Bill) - The One That Got Away"
- "Frick (Robert) - The Subtle Joy of Counting (at Bridge)"
- "Kniest (Tom) - Count, count, count (at Bridge)"
- "Schamehorn (Danny) - Danny’s Musings and the Joy of Counting in Bridge"
- "Schutzman (Howard) - Counting Distribution (at Bridge)"
- "Walker (Karen) - Developing Counting Skills (at Bridge)"
- Study "Kelsey (Hugh) & Glauert (Michael) - Bridge Odds for Practical Players" and discuss with David.
- Periodic involvement in Bridge Winners (Bridge Winners).
- Study "Mollo (Victor) - Case for the Defence".
- Read (or complete) a few books recommended by Dave:-
- "Lawrence (Mike) - The Complete Book on Overcalls at Contract Bridge".,
- "Kelsey (Hugh) - Deceptive Plays in Bridge", and
- "Lawrence (Mike) - How to Play Card Combinations".
- Chess34: Note35.
- Complete a first run-through of "Aagaard (Jacob) - Basic Positional Ideas".
- Continue reading "Hearst (Eliot) & Knott (John) - Blindfold Chess: History, Psychology, Techniques, Champions, World Records and Important Games", and try to learn how to play blindfold chess.
- Read "Chess - Chess Magazine".
- "Duolingo - Duolingo Spanish",
- "Utley (Derek) & Serarols (Maria Assumpta) - BBC Espana Viva - Spanish for Beginners".
- Mandarin Chinese38: "Liu (Xiaoyu) - Chinese for Beginners".
- Attend, The Enigma Ensemble,
- Practice 15 minutes every40 day – focussing on the above and …
- Occasionally try 30-minute sessions to build up stamina
- Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book"
- Continue with (by transcription where necessary) of Bach’s 2nd Partita for solo violin (from "Bach (J.S.), Szeryng (Henryk) - Sonatas and Partitas: For Solo Violin").
- Another run through:-
- General Reading: Continue with:-
- "Gardiner (John Eliot) - Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach",
- "Kenyon (Nicholas) - The Faber Pocket Guide to Bach", and
- "Kenyon (Nicholas) - The Faber Pocket Guide to Mozart".
- 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?
- And, in any case, bridge can fulfil that function.
- I’d actually wanted to increase a 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.
- 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 29: Maybe become a Windows Insider and try to get a cheap upgrade for Julie’s Vista PC?
- I’ve been dithering over this, as MS Office – particularly the VBA part of MS Access – is central to virtually everything I do, and I don’t want to mess things up!
- You never know what functions might be discontinued, or work differently, in a new release.
- For Optimizr, see Link. A quick look doesn’t show it to be an obvious scam, but I need to double-check.
- An unsolicited analysis of my site turned up, listing a large number of “problems” that I think I know about, but which are in the queue to address.
- I suspect that this software will try to get me to buy something – maybe to fix the problems – but because I use a generator it’ll be no use.
- But I do need to address the problems validly itemised.
Footnote 35: Now this project has been down-prioritised, I’ve chopped potential actions down to a minimum.
- Maybe two papers – one generic, and one from my own perspective.
- For, it might be the case that thought bridge is in general a good/bad thing, it might – in my own case – be a bad/good thing that I waste/spend some time on it.
- Additionally, it might even be generally a bad/good thing that I waste/spend some time on it, but good/bad that I do so now.
Footnote 38: I got tempted into starting a Peking University MOOC, via Coursera. Some late-night wind-down!
- 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.
- There’s no point referencing any of the other languages I’d like to learn – with the exception of Mandarin – as I won’t spend any time on them in the next quarter.
Footnote 40: It really must be every day (bar the odd defection).
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