Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2017 - March)
(Text as at 10/04/2017 23:38:24)
(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 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.
- I note here that I’ve developed monocular diplopia (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 have 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 again around 40% over budget, partly on account of a surfeit of partners wanting to play, but also due to several tournaments and matches this quarter. Music was 30% over its diminutive budget. Religion hardly got a look in. My two key projects – Thesis & Web – were around 85% and 95% of budget, respectively.
- Overall, I again worked hard and achieved against plan 109% QTD, 106% YTD – where the year is the 2016/17 academic year commencing in October 2016. Just not always in the right areas.
- 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 – which also retains prominence on its own account.
- Given my focus on Bridge, I have increased the weekly total planned to 54 hours, up 5 hours from last quarter. While this reflects recent “production” to some degree, it’ll be a bit of a stretch this quarter, which includes a week’s holiday in Mallorca and maybe another week out.
- I’ve decided to try to play the oboe properly, so have doubled my Music allowance to 4 hours / week as a step in that direction.
- 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: 24 hours
- Consciousness Studies: 1 hour
- Bridge: 19 hours.
- Music: 4 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", and
→ Papers issued by "Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon: A-B (& General)",
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR28.
- Philosophy of Religion29.
- Philosophy of Religion:
- Re-read and write notes on "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness",
- Read appropriate papers from "Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon: A-B (& General)",
- Read "Graziano (Michael) - Consciousness and the Social Brain".
- 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.
- ECBA Committee Involvement: Committee Meeting on Tuesday 18th April & the AGM on Sunday 14th May.
- Up-coming competitions: I’m not sure what I’ll compete in yet, but the following are scheduled:-
- ECBA League Div 2: We need to win our final match 17-3 to gain promotion. Rather unlikely!
- ECBA Club Pairs (Sunday 4th June), with Colin, representing Hutton.
- ECBA Championship Pairs (Sunday 23rd April), with Albert.
- EBU Easter Championship Pairs (Friday / Sat 14-15th April), with Colin.
- ECBA Teams of 4 Final (Monday 3rd April 2017), with David, Albert & Chris T.
- Bridge Study33:-
- Chess34: Note35.
- Read "Chess - Chess Magazine".
- Spanish37: Pursue "Utley (Derek) & Serarols (Maria Assumpta) - BBC Espana Viva - Spanish for Beginners".
- Attend the 6 sessions of The Enigma Ensemble.
- 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".
- Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio.
- 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 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 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 adopted this approach, and got used to it. But my vision got worse – dangerously so when driving – especially at night – so I’ve reverted to my penultimate prescription, and things seem much better.
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.
Footnote 33: There may not be time or enthusiasm for much of this!
Footnote 35: Now this project has been down-prioritised, I’ve chopped potential actions down to a minimum.
Footnote 37: Preparation for holiday in Mallorca!
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.
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