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Status Reports - Status: Summary (2019 - March)

Rationale for this Report

Projects in Progress
Actuals & Planning
Detailed Interim Activities

Plans for the Near Future24
  1. Thesis
  2. Religion
  3. Website
  4. Music
  5. Chess
  6. Bridge
  7. Consciousness
  8. Languages
  9. Mathematics
  10. HiQ
  1. Thesis
    1. Continue with my Thesis; in particular
      1. Fill out those sections that I can write something on without further research.
      2. Rework the structure so that Level-1 or -2 print produces the thesis with the correct reading-list.
    2. Continually review the Note describing my Current Beliefs on the topic of Personal Identity.
    3. Complete a full review and update of the Notes I’ve created on Personal Identity, focusing on those directly referenced by my Current Beliefs.
    4. Make progress on specific Chapters of my Thesis, using the materials below →
    5. Chapter 2 (What Are We?). Focussing on:-
      1. Human Beings: "Johnston (Mark) - 'Human Beings' Revisited: My Body is Not an Animal".
      2. Persons: "Cottingham (John) - Why we are not 'persons'".
      3. Selves:-
        1. "Dainton (Barry) - Self: Philosophy In Transit",
        2. "O'Hear (Anthony), Ed. - Mind, Self and Person".
    6. Chapter 4 (Basic Metaphysical Issues). Focus on:-
      1. "Broome (John) - Indefiniteness in Identity",
      2. "Hawley (Katherine) - Almost Identical, Almost Innocent",
      3. "Noonan (Harold) - Vague Identity Yet Again"
      4. "Williams (Christopher) - Death and Other Difficulties"
    7. Chapter 5 (Persistence and Time). Focussing on:-
      1. "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History: A Philosophical Enquiry", and especially
        → "Botros (Sophie) - Truth, Time and History - A Philosophical Inquiry with Dr Sophie Botros"
      2. "Haslanger (Sally) & Kurtz (Roxanne), Eds. - Persistence : Contemporary Readings",
      3. "Miller (Kristie) - Issues in Theoretical Diversity: Persistence, Composition, and Time",
      4. "Orwell (George), Davison (Peter), Taylor (D.J.), Ed. - Nineteen Eighty-Four: The Annotated Edition",
      5. "Rovelli (Carlo) - The Order of Time",
      6. "Sider (Ted), Hawthorne (John) & Zimmerman (Dean), Eds. - Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics",
      7. "Skow (Bradford) - Objective Becoming",
      8. "Hawley (Katherine) - Persistence and Determination",
      9. "Wiggins (David) - Continuants: Their Activity, Their Being, and Their Identity", especially
        → "Wiggins (David) - Identity, Individuation, and Substance"
      10. "Lebens (Samuel) & Goldschmidt (Tyron) - The Promise of a New Past": Complete and send to Sophie Botros & Michael J. Alter,
      11. Robert O. Doyle: Complete running through relevant pages
    8. Chapter 6 (Animalism). Focussing on:-
      1. "Olson (Eric) - The Human Animal - Personal Identity Without Psychology", my core text,
      2. "Merricks (Trenton) - Objects and Persons",
      3. "Bailey (Andrew M.) - The Elimination Argument",
      4. "Olson (Eric) - On Parfit's View That We Are Not Human Beings",
      5. "Olson (Eric) - The Metaphysical Implications of Conjoined Twining",
      6. "Olson (Eric) - The Role of the Brainstem in Personal Identity",
      7. "Shoemaker (Sydney) - Persons, Animals, and Identity",
      8. "Snowdon (Paul) - Persons, Animals, Ourselves",
      9. "Hershenov (David) - Review of David DeGrazia’s Human Identity and Bioethics",
      10. "Ross (Don) - Consciousness, language, and the possibility of non-human personhood: Reflections on elephants",
      11. Elselijn Kingma. Especially
        → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Lady Parts: The Metaphysics of Pregnancy", and
        → "Kingma (Elselijn) - Were You Part of Your Mother?".
        → Update my Note on Conjoined Twins.
    9. Chapter 7 (The Constitution View):-
      1. "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View": My other core text. Start a serious review.
      2. "Baker (Lynne Rudder), Etc. - E-Symposium on 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View'": Write up reviews of papers,
      3. "Corcoran (Kevin) - Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul": Read and review,
      4. "Loose (Jonathan) - Constitution and the Falling Elevator": Write a Note.
    10. Chapter 10 (Thought Experiments):-
      1. Investigate Transhumanism. In particular,
        1. "Awad (Edmond), Etc. - The Moral Machine experiment": Read,
        2. "Bridle (James) - New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future": Read,
        3. "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine": Briefly review,
        4. "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies": Read,
        5. "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun": Detailed review,
        6. "Midgley (Mary) - Biotechnology and Monstrosity: Why We Should Pay Attention to the 'Yuk Factor'": Complete,
        7. "Shipley (G.J.) - Review of Andy Clark's 'Natural-Born Cyborgs'": Complete review,
        8. "Harari (Yuval Noah) - Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow": Review, especially Chapter 8,
        9. "Fry (Hannah) - Hello World: How to be Human in the Age of the Machine": Read & review.
    11. Chapter 11 (Resurrection):-
      1. "Martin (L. Michael) & Augustine (Keith) - The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death": Start a thorough review,
      2. "Luper (Steven), Ed. - The Cambridge Companion to Life and Death": Start a review, especially
        → "Olson (Eric) - The Nature of People",
      3. "Bradley (Ben), Feldman (Fred) & Johansson (Jens) - The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death": Start a review, especially
        → "Zimmerman (Dean) - Personal Identity and the Survival of Death",
      4. Read and review
        → "Badham (Paul) - Christian Beliefs About Life After Death",
        → "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Death and the Afterlife",
        → "Corcoran (Kevin) - Dualism, Materialism and the Problem of Post Mortem Survival",
        → "MacIntosh (J.J.) - Reincarnation and Relativized Identity", and
        → "Noonan (Harold) - The Possibility of Reincarnation",
      5. "Barua (Ankur) - Revisiting the Rationality of Reincarnation-Talk": Write a file-note.
    12. As background tasks:-
      1. Ensure all items in:-
        → "Various - Papers on Desktop", and
        → "Various - Papers in Desk Drawer"
        are either addressed or re-filed.
      2. Convert old PDF-précis, Etc to Notes,
      3. Complete cataloguing the books downloaded from Springer,
      4. Continue with "Marshall (Richard) - Philosophy at 3:AM: Questions and Answers with 25 Top Philosophers",
      5. Complete reading:-
        1. "Amis (Kingsley), Lodge (David) - Lucky Jim",
        2. "Dennett (Daniel) - The Mind's I - Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul: Introduction",
        3. "Everett (Daniel) - Did Homo erectus speak?",
        4. "Hofstadter (Douglas) - Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid - A Metaphorical Fugue on Minds and Machines in the Spirit of Lewis Carroll",
        5. "Gazzaniga (Michael S.) - Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain"
        6. "Rosling (Hans) - Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think" (Note39)
        7. "Updike (John) - Self-Consciousness"
      6. Complete my Note on "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising" and discuss with Pete & Mike.
      7. Continue reading and reviewing40 papers issued by Aeon,
      8. Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR & Cambridge Core.
      9. Update my Journals Note: Review the journals I have access to; more are available as a Cambridge Alumnus.
      10. Keep up with the philosophical world by periodic reviews of "Interaction - Philos-List".
  2. Religion
    1. Philosophy of Religion:
      1. "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life": Continue reading,
      2. "Ferguson (Matthew) - Κέλσος": Continue reading the Blog.
    2. Resurrection: Continue reviewing43
      1. "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry", and
      2. "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection & Christian Apologetics: A Critical Inquiry Volume 2".
    3. Background:
      1. Aeon ( Read & annotate papers as they arise..
      2. "Finkelstein (Israel) & Silberman (Neil Asher) - The Bible Unearthed": Continue reading.
  3. Website
    1. Own Website: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
      • Architecture
        1. Complete XRef-re-engineering project:-
          1. Ensure all links and link-pages use the new XRef table, and pension off the old tables.
          2. Check all link-types still work and fix any errors.
          3. Complete the auto-triggering of regeneration of “associated” link pages.
          4. Fix update bug in Convert_Webrefs.
          5. Fix Bug whereby PaperSummary pages seem to have “Works-” and “Books/Papers-” Citings that refer to the same link-pages.
        2. Review effectiveness of hyperlinking method in the light of PhD and Philosophy of Religion experience.
        3. Where possible, use ID rather than NAME for in-page hyperlinks
      • Authors
        1. As revealed by Spider: Author pages not regenerated when name corrected, leading to Sundry broken Links from other pages. 72 items.
        2. As revealed by Spider: Philosophers_Index_List_OA.htm. Author Names Scrambled. 133 items.
      • Backups
        1. Review architecture to improve performance; Need to document first
      • Books/Papers
        1. Investigate whether multiple Subject/Topic/Subtopic usage leads anywhere (ie. are just the first (of 3) actually used). Fix anything amiss.
      • Documenter
        1. Provide Functional Documentation for Website Generator (using Notes)
      • Education
        1. "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses": Plan what to do (and with the eBooks in my possession).
        2. "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science": Re-start, or maybe just "audit".
        3. "Harvard University - CS50W Web Programming with Python and JavaScript": either complete it in 2019, or check it'll still run in 2020.
        4. Bitcoin & Blockchain: Understand better
        5. Bootstrap: Investigate.
        6. Read "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World".
      • Infrastructure
        1. iCloud: Re-install & solve 'The upload folder for iCloud Photos is missing' problem
      • Notes
        1. Add "Note Alternates" to Note pages.
        2. 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.
          1. For use as "disclaimers" - eg. for "Plug Notes".
          2. For Thesis / essays: the difficulty here is the need for linking passages to make the text run smoothly.
        3. As revealed by Spider: #Reference links: fail for Printable Notes. 24 items.
        4. As revealed by Spider: Blog Achived Notes - sundry links to Printable Notes. Live Note OK. 110 items. 100 items outstanding.
        5. As revealed by Spider: Old links from Archive Notes to (non-existent) Archived Printable Notes. 42 items.
        6. Investigate Note_Links: Section references seem to be incorrect
        7. Printable Notes: fix the bug whereby the “private” flag is round the wrong way.
        8. Suppress the publication of the Printable versions of Temp Notes
      • Photos
        1. Develop software & procedure to make adding more content to the photos pages easier to undertake.
        2. Timeline software: Add photos for Holidays
      • Process
        1. As revealed by Spider: Sundry uncategorised. Refs failing. 17 items.
        2. Determine why Recalculation & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
        3. Full Website Regeneration is now taking 35 hours. Investigate why so, and improve performance!
      • Spider
        1. Analyse the results of the data collection exercise and design a plan of campaign to fix broken Internal links and prevent recurrence.
          1. Correct the code so the problems discovered by the Spider don’t recur.
          2. Delete 'orphan pages' that are never linked to, ie. Use the Spider to prune redundant pages46 automatically where possible.
          3. Fix the historical data where errors are uncovered by the Spider. An easier task now the site has a full-regen function.
        2. The Spider was generating WebRefs. Procedurally, this ought not to have been possible.
          1. The major problem turned out to be because unprocessed47 URLs got added to the end of the last WebLinks_Tester_Brief page, which then got Spidered. I've stopped this happening, so hopefully the problem will not recur. The fix was made in 18Q2.
          2. However, 4 other creations appeared - dated 18/05/18 - from the run of 10/07/18. The creation date was from the previous spider run, but the IDs show that they were produced in the latest run.
          I've re-opened the case!
      • Technology
        1. Look into Sistrix Smart48. Errors and warnings itemised are:-
          1. Duplicate content: seems to be and Link - Defunct
          2. Title Tags: Empty, too long, identical
          3. Page Not Found
          4. Filesize in excess of 1Mb
          5. Meta-Description: Empty
          6. Few words on Page
          7. H1: Not used, used multiple times per page, identical across pages
          8. Pictures: Alt attribute missing
      • WebRefs
        1. As revealed by Spider: WebLinks_Tester_Full_Map.htm (etc). Refs failing. 116 items.
        2. As revealed by Spider: WebLinks_Tester_Map_3.htm (etc). Refs failing. 16 items.
        3. Documentation & Bug-fixes: Phase 2
          1. Re-document the procedures in the light of recent changes.
          2. Resolve issues generated / revealed by the spider.
          3. Investigate - and fix where possible - broken links.
        4. Reformat WebLinks_Tester.htm, WebLinks_Tester_Map.htm, WebLinks_Tester_Full.htm & WebLinks_Tester_Full_Map.htm
          1. Clarify 'truncated': Display, not link
          2. Allow more space for 'link returned', 'issue' and 'display text'
          3. The 'As Above" lines waste space. Only for Notes Archive? Consolidate onto single second line.
        5. Reformat WebLinks_Tester_Brief: Allow more space for 'link returned', 'issue' and 'display text'
    2. Other Websites: Priority 1 Items By Category:-
      • Bridge
        1. Create "Small Sites" database for Alaric (if chased)
      • Enigma
        1. Termly updates to the Enigma Ensemble ( Website.
      • Sophie
        1. Periodic updates to Sophie Botros: Live Site (
  4. Music
    1. Oboe:-
      1. Practice the oboe for two 30-minute sessions each and every day50 – focussing on the items below and …
      2. Occasionally combine into an hour-long session to build up stamina further.
      3. Attend the four sessions of The Enigma Ensemble in the coming quarter.
      4. Run through the Enigma Ensemble portfolio, practicing the active pieces.
      5. Work through, and perfect, scales & arpeggios51 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)".
      6. Improve sight-reading by playing through
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Sound at Sight Oboe Grades 1-8", and
        → "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 1".
      7. Prepare Grade VI pieces, in particular
        → "Boni (Giovanni) - Sonata in G" (Prelude only),
        → "Miller (Vojislav) & Liebermann (Winfried), Eds. - Test Pieces for Orchestral Auditions (Orchester Probespiel) - Oboe" (Eroica, Aida, Der Freischutz),
        → "Nielsen (Carl) - Two Fantasy Pieces, Op. 2" (Romanze only),
        → "Davies (John) & Harris (Paul) - 80 Graded Studies for Oboe: Book 2" (Blatt - Study No. 52)
      8. Read and apply oboe practice techniques recommended by Martin Schuring.
      9. Read "Caplan (Stephen) - Oboe: The Breathing Book".
    2. Piano: Try to develop some competence as an aid to theory, so:-
      1. Complete working through "Rhodes (James) - How to Play the Piano",
      2. Work through "ABRSM - Selected Piano Exam Pieces 2009-2010: Grade 1", and
      3. 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".
    3. Theory: Prepare for Grade 5 Theory, so:-
      1. Study
        → "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 1", and
        → "Taylor (Eric) - The AB Guide to Music Theory - Part 2",
      2. Do the exercises in
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 1",
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 2",
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 3",
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 4", and
        → "Taylor (Eric) - Music Theory in Practice: Grade 5",
    4. Aural:
      1. Run through:-
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity College London Aural Tests Book 1 (Initial to Grade 5) 2017", and
        → "Trinity Guildhall - Trinity College London Aural Tests Book 2 (Grades 6 to 8) 2017".
      2. Get a grip on the process of ear-training by reading "Deutsch (Diana) - Absolute Pitch", and related material52.
      3. Also follow up items in:-
        → "Various - Music - Aural - Various On-line Training".
  5. Chess
    1. Study:-
      → "Willemze (Thomas) - The Chess Toolbox: Practical Techniques Everyone Should Know",
      → "van der Sterren (Paul) - FCO - Fundamental Chess Openings",
      → "Sadler (Matthew) & Regan (Natasha) - Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI".
    2. Training:- (,
      → Mephisto Monte Carlo,
      → "Chess - Chess Magazine"; work through the “How Good Is Your Chess” articles.
    3. Play: Full participation in Billericay Chess Club:-
      → Club Nights
      → Club Championship
      → NECL matches
      → Southend League matches
  6. Bridge
    1. Return to playing bridge once a week or so with David, in / at:-
      Mountnessing Bridge Club (
      ECBA Championship Pairs (
      ECBA Warboys ( ('B' Flight)
      SE Essex Bridge League Division 1 (2018-19) (
      NICKO Plate (2018-19) ( (Round 3, for Mountnessing A, if authorised)
    2. Read "Reading - Bridge - Magazines".
    3. Meet up with former partners from time to time.
  7. Consciousness
    1. Aeon ( Read & annotate papers as they arise.
    2. "Crane (Tim) - Elements of Mind - An Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind": Re-read and review notes.
    3. "Dehaene (Stanislas) - Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts": Read.
    4. "Papineau (David) - Introducing Consciousness": Re-read and write notes.
  8. Languages
    1. Thai: Following Nat's emigration to Thailand:-
      → "Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook & Dictionary",
      → "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners",
      → "ThaiNotes - Thai Notes",
      → "Wikipedia - Thai Alphabet", and
      → "Wikipedia - Thai Language".
    2. Egyptian (Ancient):
    3. Maltese:
      Wikipedia: Maltese language (
  9. Mathematics
    1. Aeon ( Read papers as they arise.
    2. "Gowers (Timothy), Barrow-Green (June) & Leader (Imre), Eds. - The Princeton Companion to Mathematics": Browse.
    3. "Polya (George), Stewart (Ian) - How to Solve IT: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method": Read.
    4. Try the puzzles in
      → "Polya (George) & Kilpatrick (Jeremy) - The Stanford Mathematics Problem Book: With Hints and Solutions", and
      → "UKMT, du Sautoy (Marcus) - The Ultimate Mathematical Challenge".
    5. "Shapiro (Stewart) - Thinking about Mathematics - The Philosophy of Mathematics": Complete reading.
    6. "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising": Analyze.
  10. HiQ
    1. ISPE
    2. Mensa
      • Nothing planned.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:
  • Since the contents of the groups changes over time, this justification for their segregation isn’t entirely accurate.
Footnote 12:
  • Mind you, the mathematical bits didn’t function very well in my youth, so what hope is there now?
Footnote 14:
  • 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:
  • 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.
  • Subsequent investigations revealed that the frame at the front – which had been added in the 17th century – has rotted away, so the front façade was held up by the brick infill and an impervious cement render, the cause of the rot.
  • The front of the house has now been rebuilt, as has ¾ of the rear. A third project – currently on hold – is to rebuild the lower part of a side wall.
  • I’m writing a Blog Item on this saga, with some theoretical thoughts, which I hope to have published in due course.
Footnote 19:
  • 25 hours / week 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.
Footnote 20:
  • 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 21:
  • Or at least those recently added to my database, in the case of electronic items that sometimes arrive too fast to be catalogued immediately.
Footnote 24:
  • 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.
  • If there are any changes to this list between quarters, they will appear in the Priority Task List.
Footnote 39:
  • Read the Appendices, and extract the Chapter Summaries as learning-points.
Footnote 40:
  • 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!
Footnote 43:
  • While I couldn't submit to Michael Alter's deadlines and the amount of work required, I ought to at least read these books.
Footnote 46:
  • Note that Backup_Prune_Ctrl deletes (relevant) pages that weren't regenerated in the last full site-regen, but this isn't the same thing.
Footnote 47:
  • These are URLs that were used in web pages but hadn't yet been converted to the +WnnnW+ format, so appeared at the end with no WebRef ID.
Footnote 48:
  • See Sistrix (
  • This used to be called Optimizr, see Optimizr ( (which now auto-forwards to Sistrix).
  • 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 monthly from Optimizr from January 2015 to October 2017, listing a large number of “problems” that I think I know about, but which are in the queue to address.
  • It restarted in February 2018, under the Sistrix name (this seems to have been associated with Optimizr since November 2015).
  • The free version of this software is restricted to 1,000 pages, which is a very small proportion of my Site, though I may be able to point it to difference base-URLs.
  • But I do need to address the problems validly itemised, and a sub-set is still useful.
Footnote 50:
  • Well, maybe with the occasional holiday, and excluding days on which I have a lesson or the Enigma Ensemble.
Footnote 51:
  • I don't intend to present these for the Trinity exams, as I can present Orchestral Audition pieces instead; but they are essential for technique.
Footnote 52: Ie. The following:-

Note last updated: 05/04/2019 10:36:29

Text Colour Conventions

  1. Black: Printable Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019

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Timestamp: 02/06/2019 00:11:21. Comments to