Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2015 - September)
(Text as at 07/10/2015 00:27:22)
(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 three1 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 final2 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 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.
- Bridge6: 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.
- 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 nearly 62 – useful for keeping various bits of my brain functioning10.
- Consciousness11 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.
- Languages12: Gain at least a rudimentary understanding of 24 diverse languages – for practical and philosophical purposes.
- 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 if ever come to anything, but of late things have been moving in the right direction.
- 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
- 3Q15 saw a diminution of time expended as a %age against plan, though this was partly on account of a holiday.
- So, I achieved against plan 95% QTD, 97% YTD – where the year is the 2014/15 academic year commencing in October 2014.
- The good thing was that the focus was on my two major projects – Thesis and Web-Tools – both of which were over budget. Bridge and Music were just over half plan – a first for Bridge! Religion and Consciousness scarcely got a look in.
- 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.
- For the first quarter of the new “academic year”, I’ve increased the aggregate weekly hours to be spent on my projects by an hour to 5117.
- Bridge has been released from “hold” as far as regular playing is concerned. I’ve to be careful that a social game once a week doesn’t escalate into anything more serious.
- 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, for another quarter.
- So, the weekly plan (51 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: 11 hours
- Bridge: 6 hours.
- Music: 3 hours.
- Mathematics: 1 hour.
- Chess: 1 hour.
- Follow this link for a list of recently18 purchased books.
Detailed Interim Activities
- As these reports are now quarterly, at best, I’m including a link19 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 Future20
- Personal Identity21
- Continue with my Thesis22; 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_223 (What Are We?). Focussing on:-
- Human Beings:-
- "Johnston (Mark) - 'Human Beings' Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal", but first complete a review of
- "Johnston (Mark) - Human Beings".
- "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit",
- "O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person".
- Chapter_624 (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_725 (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_1126 (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",
- "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival".
- 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",
- Write file-notes on:-
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR27.
- Philosophy of Religion28.
- Philosophy of Religion:
- Resurrection: Continue with "Wright (N.T.) - The Resurrection of the Son of God".
- Background: Read:-
- General Developments:
- Install MS Office Professional Plus 201330.
- Undertake a trawl through the code for all functions within the generator – making improvements for efficiency and function.
- Investigate the error reports from the Documenter, especially unused variables & queries.
- 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 Optimizr31.
- Specific Developments:
- 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.
- Technical Documenter:-
- Separate from the main database & code, then add a parameter so it doesn’t necessarily document itself.
- Investigate & fix “Query Fragments” issue.
- Enhance to document Macros.
- Look at ways of documenting other (MS Access) databases & trial on Northwind.
- Investigate possibilities of retailing the documenter.
- Complete XRef-re-engineering project:-
- Ensure all links and link-pages use the new XRef table, and pension off the old tables.
- Check all link-types still work and fix any errors.
- Ensure all pages format correctly (especially with “Horizontal Rules” and multiple callings of the same object from a single page).
- Complete the auto-triggering of regeneration of “associated” link pages.
- Fix update bug in Convert_Webrefs.
- Bug: PaperSummary pages seem to have “Works-” and “Books/Papers-“ Citings that refer to the same link-pages.
- 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 (eg. by allowing their concatenation, but check in Access 2013 first).
- Subsequently, remove all large “Comments” that have been utilised to expand Paper abstracts (by moving them to Notes).
- 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.
- Allow direct Note-links in Footnotes (as well as the “Click here for note” style).
- Fix bugs in multi-level footnoting in Printable Notes – the referencing is going wrong.
- Bridge Websites:
- Bridge website generators: segregate from my Philosophy website generators. Then document with the documenter.
- ECBA website (Link):-
- Investigate ECL Butler reporting, along the lines of Suffolk (Link).
- Routine maintenance (no small task).
- Joint Project / Small clubs Websites (Essex Bridge Results, "Admin - Bridge - Joint Project"):
- Continue data collection & modelling.
- Continue to maintain & “market” websites for small clubs (Link).
- Bernie’s Website (First Class Bridge):
- Promote to live.
- Re-point existing domain name (First Class Bridge Academy)
- Routine maintenance.
- Other initiatives:
- Plan an update of Sophie Botros’s Website ("Admin - Sophie Botros Website - Creation, Admin & Maintenance", Sophie Botros: Live Site).
- Maintain the Enigma Ensemble website (Enigma Ensemble) as necessary.
- Upgrade my Facebook page (+P1II71P+) using "Abram (Carolyn) - Facebook for Dummies: Fifth Edition" for inspiration / guidance.
- Convert the “static” pages of my website into Notes.
- Continue with "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses":-
- Complete, "Allsopp (John) - Learn HTML5", and
- Restart, and complete, "Weakley (Russ) - Getting Started with CSS".
- Read "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World".
- Spruce up my fading memory skills by looking at:-
- Complete reading "Kahneman (Daniel) - Thinking, Fast and Slow",
- Complete reading, and write a review of, "Sheldrake (Rupert) - Dogs That Know When Their Owners are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals",
- Continue with "JCS - Journal of Consciousness Studies (Consolidated List)":-
- Catalogue old issues,
- Follow up postings on JCS On-Line.
- Play once a week, but to keep “within budget” it is essential that I don’t get involved in lengthy post-mortems.
- Write a paper34 on “Why Play Bridge”.
- Bridge Study35:-
- Chess36: Note37.
- Read "Chess - Chess Magazine".
- Nothing scheduled
- 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".
- Browse "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics",
- Study42 "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".
- "Weir (Lucy) - Debate for Irish Mensa?".
In-Page FootnotesFootnote 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 three of these 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.
- 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 approximately in line with my average over the last year – with a slight uplift to reflect the fact that I will be playing a bit of bridge – which is enough, I think.
Footnote 20: 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.
- 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: There may not be time or enthusiasm for much of this!
- 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 37: Now this project has been down-prioritised, I’ve chopped potential actions down to a minimum.
Footnote 40: It really must be every day (bar the odd defection).
Footnote 42: 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.
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