Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2018 - March)
(Text as at 05/04/2018 10:48:00)
(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 currently split them into three groups.
- The first two groups always have effort planned, but the final group in general does not.
- The first group relates to my primary (project) life-goals; the second relates to lesser things I really want to address; the final group1 relates to those I’d like to look into if I get ahead on the other projects.
- Research into Personal Identity2. 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).
- 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 other two projects in this group are test cases of the method, as well as worthwhile studies in their own right.
- Studies in the Philosophy of Religion4. On and off, this represents the main preoccupation of my adult life (work and family aside). Eventually, 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. However, at the moment I’m preoccupied with reviewing a soon-to-be published book attempting to refute Jesus’s resurrection.
- Music5: Improve my competence as an oboist, and learn the piano. I have recommenced regular oboe-practice in my new den, and have purchased an electronic piano – also installed therein – so hopefully some progress will be made on piano-playing.
- Consciousness Studies6. A supporting project for both Personal Identity and Philosophy of Religion.
- Languages7: Gain at least a rudimentary understanding of 24 diverse languages – for practical and philosophical purposes.
- Mathematics8: 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 64 – useful for keeping various bits of my brain functioning9.
- HiQ10: Enjoy and contribute to the intellectual society of ISPE and Mensa (mostly in abeyance, though I’ve re-revived my membership of ISPE).
- Bridge11: I still want to become an expert player but have recognised that this isn’t going to happen without it becoming my main priority and, since I need to respect the fact that I’m getting older and need to progress my philosophical endeavours while I can, I’ve abandoned this project for the time being.
- Chess12: Improve my standard of play so I can perform acceptably in the Essex, London, Middlesex … leagues (whenever I’m ready).
- These projects are (approximately, in their respective groups) in order of decreasing priority, yet in practise the amount of effort expended on them has failed to respect this. My intention was always to restrict the effort on Bridge, and focus on Personal Identity. Historically, this resolve has seldom come to anything, and while I now believe that for me Bridge is sufficiently enjoyable and relaxing to be self-justifying, I’ve decided to axe it completely for the next few years.
- 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 have cut it back to 2 hours a week.
- I re-joined ISPE13 in 2017 and have renewed my membership for 2018, but can spare little scheduled time for taking part.
- I have ignored the various infrastructural elements of my life in these reports – in particular family life, household management, general reading, culture, current affairs, walking the dog and such like. Things were rather fraught in 1Q18. Thomas – our first grandchild – arrived on 4th February 2018. And the house is falling down14 and we’ve had three major companies15 reviewing what needs to be done, but no decisions yet. Finally, Henry the dog suffered from what looked like dysentery and was on a drip in doggie hospital for a couple of days. All very distracting.
- 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
- Overall, I again worked hard but the distractions above, and the over-ambitious plan, meant that “actual versus plan” was a mere 84% QTD, 91% YTD – where the year is the 2017/18 academic year commencing in October 2017.
- The balance of the various projects against plan was much as I’d like, with the minor projects losing out.
- The tables of actual versus plan are on separate pages, accessible below:-
- For detailed breakdowns of time spent this year, by month and by study location, follow this link16.
- For a report by sub-project of time expended since my records began, follow this link17.
- For tables of Actual versus Plan, together with the high-level plan for the next quarter, see this page18.
- The planned effort for my Thesis is now as it ought to be, though less than needed, but may be approximately what I can achieve. It represents the amount of time that I’d need to spend if I were 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.
- I’ve reduced the weekly total planned to 49 hours19. This will allow for known disruptions – the house repairs, new grandson & a week’s holiday in Otranto, Italy – and unknown issues no doubt about to arise!
- I’ve decided to try to play the oboe properly, and improve my general musicianship but have reduced my Music allowance back to 7 hours / week20.
- The six “priority 3” projects miss out this time round, though I hope to spend some “overtime” on Languages – Italian in preparation for the holiday.
- So, the weekly plan (46 hours) for the next quarter is as below:-
- Priority 1: 39 hours
- Personal Identity: 25 hours.
- Web Tools: 12 hours.
- Philosophy of Religion: 2 hours.
- Priority 2:
- Music: 7 hours.
- Priority 3: 0 hours
- Consciousness Studies: 0 hours
- Languages: 0 hour.
- Mathematics: 0 hours.
- HiQ: 0 hours.
- Bridge: 0 hours.
- Chess: 0 hours.
- Follow this link for a categorised list of recently21 purchased books. As the categorisation has got out of hand, follow this link for an alternative list of recent acquisitions22.
Detailed Interim Activities
- As these reports are now quarterly, at best, I’m including a link to a brief uncommented list23 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 Future24
1. Personal Identity25
- Continue with my Thesis26; in particular fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research.
- Make progress on specific Chapters, using the materials below →
- Chapter 227 (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 528 (Persistence and Time). Focussing on:-
- "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry",
- "Miller (Kristie) - Issues in Theoretical Diversity: Persistence, Composition, and Time",
- "Wiggins (David) - Continuants: Their Activity, Their Being, and Their Identity",
- Complete "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past", and send to Sophie Botros & Michael J. Alter,
- Complete running through relevant pages from Robert O. Doyle.
- Chapter 629 (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",
- Review the work of Elselijn Kingma.
- Complete "Rodger (Daniel), Blackshaw (Bruce P.) & Wilcox (Clinton) - Why arguments against infanticide remain convincing" and other works on infanticide.
- Chapter 730 (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".
- Write a Note on "Loose (Jonathan) - Constitution and the Falling Elevator".
- Chapter 1031 (Thought Experiments):-
- Investigate Transhumanism32.
- In particular,
- Briefly review "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine",
- Read "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies",
- Review "Rowson (Jonathan) - Deep Thinking?",
- Complete "Silver (David), Etc. - Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm" and related papers,
- Detailed review of "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun".
→ "Midgley (Mary) - Biotechnology and Monstrosity: Why We Should Pay Attention to the 'Yuk Factor'",
→ "Price (Huw), Cave (Stephen), Iida (Fumiya), Etc. - Preparing for the future: artificial intelligence and us: Part 1",
→ "Price (Huw), Cave (Stephen), Iida (Fumiya), Etc. - Preparing for the future: artificial intelligence and us: Part 2",
- Chapter 1133 (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",
- Start a review of "Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) - The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death", especially
→ "Zimmerman (Dean) - Personal Identity and the Survival of Death",
- Read and review
→ "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife", and
→ "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival".
- Write a file-note on "Barua (Ankur) - Revisiting the Rationality of Reincarnation-Talk".
- As background tasks:-
- Convert old PDF-précis, Etc34 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 "Harari (Yuval Noah) - Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind",
- Write a file-note on "Kazez (Jean) - The Philosophical Parent: Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children",
- Complete my Note on "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising" and discuss with Pete & Mike.
- Continue reading and reviewing35 papers issued by Aeon,
- Attend Oliver Black’s Salon,
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR & Cambridge Core36.
- Own Website: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
- 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.
- Fix Bug whereby PaperSummary pages seem to have “Works-” and “Books/Papers-” Citings that refer to the same link-pages.
- Review effectiveness of hyperlinking method in the light of PhD and Philosophy of Religion experience.
- Authors Narrative: enable footnotes.
- Investigate whether multiple Subject/Topic/Subtopic usage leads anywhere (ie. are just the first (of 3) actually used). Fix anything amiss.
- Provide Functional Documentation for Website Generator (using Notes)
- Investigate Bootstrap.
- Plan what to do with "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses" and the eBooks in my possession.
- Read "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World".
- Read "Barnes (Russell), Ed. - Web Designer".
- Re-start "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science" (consider accreditation).
- Understand Bitcoin & Blockchain better
- Enable the re-use of Footnotes in the same Note38. Currently, they appear twice.
- Migration of Website from UKServers to Namesco. Test out.
- Allow the option to concatenate Notes in the Printed version (ie. linearly embed them essay-style), rather than treating the hyperlinks as footnotes – but still keep the hyperlink & cross-referencing in place.
- For use as "disclaimers" - eg. for "Plug Notes".
- For Thesis / essays: the difficulty here is the need for linking passages to make the text run smoothly.
- Create automatic39 key-word referencing (ie. to Notes in the Notes-Group "Personal Identity")
- Ensure FN referencing within Notes and referencing between Abstracts and Notes works for archived Notes.
- Investigate Note_Links: needs versioning, and section of calling Note
- Investigate Note_Links: Section references seem to be incorrect
- Printable Notes: fix the bug whereby the “private” flag is round the wrong way.
- Suppress the publication of the Printable versions of Temp Notes
- Create password-protected area to hold pdfs, and links thereto.
- Determine why Recalculation & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
- Spider keeps generating WebRefs. Suspect it's where I change the URL in the WebRefs table - the Spider creates another WebRef with the superceded URL. Procedurally, this ought not to be possible.
- Add extra items to Functors to facilitate Quarterly Reporting.
- Documentation & Bug-fixes: Phase 2
- Re-document the procedures in the light of recent changes.
- Resolve issues generated / revealed by the spider.
- Investigate - and fix where possible - broken links.
- Other Websites: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
3. Philosophy of Religion40
- Philosophy of Religion:
- Continue reading "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life",
- Review "Oppy (Graham) - An Argument for Atheism From Naturalism".
- Continue reading the Blog "Ferguson (Matthew) - Κέλσος".
- Resurrection: Read "Knohl (Israel) - Messiahs and Resurrection in 'The Gabriel Revelation'" and associated papers.
- Read appropriate items from Aeon41.
- Attend OBT Conference: “How to Read the Bible with Greater Confidence” on 14th April (Link).
- Re-read and write notes on "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness",
- Re-read and review notes on "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind",
- Read appropriate papers from Aeon43.
- Italian: for trip to Otranto in May/June 2018.
→ "Freeth (Mariolina) & Checketts (Giuliana) - Contatti 1: A First Course in Italian",
→ "BBC - Italianissimo: Beginners Teacher's Edition", and
→ "Lonely Planet - Italian (Lonely Planet Fast Talk)",
- Practice the oboe for one or two 30-minute sessions each and every day – focussing on the items below and …
- Occasionally combine into one hour-long session to build up stamina further.
- Attend the 6 sessions of The Enigma Ensemble.
- Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio, practicing the active pieces.
- Work through, and perfect, scales & arpeggios for Grades I-VI, using
→ "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity Guildhall Scales & Arpeggios for Oboe (Grades 1–8)", and
→ "ABRSM - Scales and Arpeggios for Oboe, Grades 1-8 (ABRSM Scales & Arpeggios)".
- Catch up on Grade VI pieces, in particular Boni’s Sonata in G.
- Read and apply oboe practice techniques recommended by Martin Schuring.
- Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book".
- Piano: Try to develop some competence as an aid to theory, so:-
- Complete working through "Rhodes (James) - How to Play the Piano", and
- Try to play by ear, using for inspiration:-
→ "Cannel (Ward) & Marx (Fred) - How to Play the Piano Despite Years of Lessons: What Music Is and How to Make It at Home".
- Theory: Prepare for Grade 5 Theory, so study:-
→ "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 2",
→ "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 1": do the exercises
→ "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 2",
- Run through "ABRSM - Aural Training In Practice: Book 1 - Grades 1-3"
- Get a grip on the process of ear-training by reading:-
→ "Wikipedia - Absolute Pitch, Relatice Pitch & Ear Training" and
→ "Deutsch (Diana) - Absolute Pitch", and related material46.
- Read papers from Aeon as they arise.
- Browse "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics",
- Complete reading "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics".
- Hand over residual responsibilities to Petra.
- Read "Reading - Bridge - Magazines".
- Read new copies of, and review old copies of, "Chess - Chess Magazine"; work through the “How Good Is Your Chess” articles.
In-Page FootnotesFootnote 1:
- Since the contents of the groups changes over time, this justification for their segregation isn’t entirely accurate.
- Mind you, the mathematical bits didn’t function very well in my youth, so what hope is there now?
- Due to administrative confusion, I needlessly took their latest entrance test. After chasing them up I was told I “passed with flying colours”, but could get no more information.
Footnote 15: Footnote 19:
- Something of an exaggeration, of course.
- Coxes Farm hails from the 16th century, or possibly earlier, and is very “wonky”, requiring continual maintenance.
- In December 2017, a base to roof crack appeared in the render at the front. It’s been stable since then, with a temporary mastic repair, but is most likely symptomatic of weakness in a supporting post on account of ingress of water.
- The 58 hours / week scheduled last time was far too optimistic, given the risk of disruptive events.
- While I managed about 40 hours / week on my projects when working 3 days a week in 2007, there must have been quite a following wind!
- 10 hours / week on music required too much zeal.
- 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.
- Or at least those recently added to my database, in the case of electronic items that sometimes arrive too fast to be catalogued immediately.
- 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.
- Try to keep up to date, but only read those that are strictly relevant – ignore the rest!
- At present I have a relatively small reading-backlog, and a much larger reviewing-backlog.
- Try to add a brief comment for each paper – maybe at the expense of reading the full text!
- This occurs in these reports, but possibly elsewhere.
Footnote 46: Ie. The following:-
- This is complicated for a number of reasons:-
- There will be false positives, so there needs to be a way of "proofing" what's to be done before doing anything.
- There will be times where it is inappropriate (eg. in quoted work by other authors).
- The referencing differs depending on whether the term is in a Footnote or not.
- I'd need to check for already-existing links, variant grammatical forms, etc.
- Maybe try this out using the case of "Supervenience".
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- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018