Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2016 - December)
(Text as at 14/01/2017 20:18:14)
(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 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 nearly scheduled no time at all on it, but left a residual hour to keep it ticking over.
- 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, and Becky’s wedding last July didn’t prove as much of a (joyous!) distraction as expected.
- I just note here that I’ve developed monocular diplopia (eg. Double-vision) – double-vision in my (dominant) right eye. This has impacted on my reading (especially proof-reading) fluency. The latest guess by the specialists is that it may be down to a cataract14. I’m doubtful, but pretty sure it’s nothing dangerously neurological.
- I re-joined ISPE, but can spare no scheduled time for taking part. Due to administrative confusion, I needlessly took their latest entrance test, but didn’t hear how I did. I may chase them up.
- 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
- Bridge was around 40% over budget, mainly on account of a surfeit of partners wanting to play. Music was “on” its much-reduced budget, Religion hardly got a look in. My two key projects – Thesis & Web – were around 90% and 80% of budget, respectively.
- Overall, I again worked hard and achieved against plan 103% QTD, 103% YTD – where the year is the 2016/17 academic year commencing in October 2016. Just not always in the right areas. It would have been much more in excess of budget except for a nasty does of ‘flu from which I’m still not fully recovered, not to mention the necessary down-time during the festive season.
- 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 link15.
- For a report by sub-project of time expended since my records began, follow this link16.
- For tables of Actual versus Plan, together with the high-level plan for the next quarter, see this page17.
- 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.
- Given my double-vision, I’ve not thought it sensible fully to revert to 51 hours / week – but have increased the total to 49 hours, up a couple from last quarter.
- So, the weekly plan (49 hours) for the next quarter is as below:-
- Priority 1: 29 hours
- Personal Identity: 14 hours.
- Philosophy of Religion: 1 hour.
- Web Tools: 14 hours.
- Priority 2: 20 hours
- Consciousness Studies: 1 hour
- Bridge: 17 hours.
- Music: 2 hours.
- 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 link to a brief uncommented list19 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".
- "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",
- 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, Etc27. 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 "Somerset Maugham (W.) - Short Stories",
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR28.
- Philosophy of Religion29.
- Philosophy of Religion:
- General Developments:
- 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:
- Ensure FN referencing within Notes and referencing between Abstracts and Notes works for archived Notes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add more content to the photos 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 use the external links pages to (manually or automatically) correct broken links from within the body of the site. Also add “.shtml” and “.shtm” to the list of web-suffices.
- Fix bugs in multi-level footnoting in Printable Notes – the referencing is going wrong.
- Bridge Websites:
- ECBA website (ECBA Website):-
- 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):
- Routine maintenance.
- Other initiatives:
- Plan an update of Sophie Botros’s Website ("Admin - Sophie Botros Website - Creation, Admin & Maintenance", Sophie Botros).
- Maintain the Enigma Ensemble website (Enigma Ensemble) as necessary.
- Upgrade my Facebook page ("Facebook - Understand Facebook & Build Personal Facebook Page") using "Abram (Carolyn) - Facebook for Dummies: Fifth Edition" for inspiration / guidance.
- Commence "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science - 2018 Admin + Set-Up".
- Continue with "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses":-
- Complete, "Allsopp (John) - Learn HTML5",
- Restart, and complete, "Weakley (Russ) - Getting Started with CSS", and
- Catalogue downloaded eBooks, so I know what I’ve got!
- "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World",
- "Barnes (Russell), Ed. - Web Designer".
- Review the Notes previously written on "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind",
- Re-read and write notes on "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness".
- Play twice or three times a week in clubs, and in Essex & National competitions, but to keep “within budget” it is essential that I don’t get involved in lengthy post-mortems.
- Complete a paper34 on “Why Play Bridge” – "Todman (Theo) - Why Play Bridge?".
- Up-coming competitions: I’m not sure what I’ll compete in yet, but the following are scheduled:-
- Cornell Trophy (Sun 12th Feb, Ingatestone), with Colin.
- ECBA Teams of 4 Semi-Final (Friday 27th January 2017), with David, Albert & Chris T.
- NICKO Round 2 (Monday 16th January 2017); with David, Alaric & Chris M. Versus the de Botton team, last year’s winners!
- ECBA Swiss Pairs (Sunday 8th January 2017, Barleylands), with Colin.
- Other options include →
- Woodham BP Congress (W/E 21-22 Jan, Barleylands)
- Gwen Herga (Sat 18th Feb, Barleylands)
- Ranked Masters (W/E 25-26 Feb, Birmingham)
- Ipswich Congress (W/E 4-5 March)
- National Pairs (Sun 12th March, Barleylands)
- Bridge Study35:-
- Chess36: Note37.
- Read "Chess - Chess Magazine".
- Thai: Pursue:-
→ "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners",
→ "Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook & Dictionary", and
→ "thailanguagewiki - Thai Language Wiki".
- Attend, The Enigma Ensemble,
- Practice 15 minutes most days – focussing on the above and …
- Occasionally try 30-minute sessions to build up stamina
- Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book"
- Run through:-
→ "Jones (Edward Huws) - Jigs, Reels & Hornpipes: Traditional Fiddle Tunes from England, Ireland & Scotland"
→ "Jones (Edward Huws) - The Celtic Fiddler", and
→ "Jones (Edward Huws) - The Klezmer Fiddler: Jewish Music of Celebration"
- 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",
- Study41 "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 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 three 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.
- A third specialist said he couldn’t guarantee replacing the lens in my right eye would solve the problem, and has recommended just having plain glass in my spectacles (for the right eye).
- I’ve adopted this approach, and am now getting used to it. We’ll see how it goes.
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.
- For Optimizr, see Optimizr. 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 though 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 41: 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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