Theo Todman's Web Page
For Text Colour-conventions (at end of page): Click HereStatus Reports - Status: Summary (2018 - June)
Rationale for this ReportNote last updated: 07/07/2018 11:35:31
- 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.
- Personal Identity: This is the subject that ought to grab most of my attention, as it is the topic of my yet-to-be-completed PhD Thesis. 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).
- Web-tools: 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.
- Philosophy of Religion: 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.
- Music: 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.
- Bridge: 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, though might play at most once a week socially if asked.
- Consciousness Studies: A supporting project for both Personal Identity and Philosophy of Religion.
- Languages: Gain at least a rudimentary understanding of 24 diverse languages – for practical and philosophical purposes.
- Mathematics: 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 functioning11.
- HiQ: Enjoy and contribute to the intellectual society of ISPE and Mensa (mostly in abeyance, though I’ve re-revived my membership of ISPE).
- Chess: 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.
- 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 further cut it back to 1 hour a week.
- 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 as far as serious competition is concerned for the next few years. However, I’ve scheduled 3 hours a week for social play, but hope that such opportunities won’t arise.
- I re-joined ISPE14 in 2017 and have renewed my membership for 2018, but can spare no 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.
- However, things continued to be troubling in 2Q18. The situation with the house15 is much worse than we first thought and we’ve now appointed Bakers of Danbury (http://bakersofdanbury.co.uk/) to sort it out. Plans are now in place, but need ratification by the conservation officer. Finance is a major issue as lenders are suspicious of broken listed buildings.
- 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 meant that …
- In 3Q18 I spent across my various projects 33 hours (1,863 hours YTD) – where by "YTD" - Year to Date - I mean the academic year commencing in October 2017. "Actual versus plan" was 85%, (89% YTD).
- 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 link.
- For a report by sub-project of time expended since my records began, follow this link.
- For tables of Actual versus Plan, together with the high-level plan for the next quarter, see this page.
- The planned effort for my Thesis is temporarily not as it ought to be, but may be approximately what I can achieve19
- I’ve further reduced the weekly total planned to 39 hours. This will allow for known disruptions – the house repairs, new grandson, World Cup & a week’s holiday in Norfolk – and unknown issues no doubt about to arise!
- While I’d decided to try to play the oboe properly, and improve my general musicianship, I’ve had to reduce my Music allowance further to 3 hours / week
- The five “priority 3” projects miss out this time round, though I hope to spend some “overtime” on Languages – Thai in preparation for holidays in Thailand once my son emigrates there.
- So, the weekly plan (39 hours) for the next quarter is as below:-
- Priority 1: 33 hours
- Personal Identity: 20 hours.
- Web Tools: 12 hours.
- Philosophy of Religion: 1 hour.
- Priority 2: 6 hours
- Music: 3 hours.
- Bridge: 3 hours.
- Priority 3: 0 hours
- Consciousness Studies: 0 hours
- Languages: 0 hour.
- Mathematics: 0 hours.
- HiQ: 0 hours.
- Chess: 0 hours.
- Follow this link for a categorised list of recently20 purchased books. As the categorisation has got out of hand, follow this link for an alternative list of recent acquisitions21.
Detailed Interim Activities
- As these reports are now quarterly, at best, I’m including a link 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.
- I’ve recently added a fuller YTD List, useful for getting a handle on what – if anything – has been happening to the minor projects.
- Their main utility (to me, at any rate) is as a quick jumping-off point for the various writings in progress or recently completed.
- The lists will, in general, be updated every few days.
Plans for the Near Future24
- Continue with my Thesis; 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 2 (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 5 (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 6 (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 "Hershenov (David) - Review of David DeGrazia’s Human Identity and Bioethics".
- Review the work of Elselijn Kingma.
- Chapter 7 (The Constitution View):-
- Start a serious review of "Baker (Lynne Rudder) - Persons and Bodies: A Constitution View", my other core text.
- Write up reviews of papers in "Baker (Lynne Rudder), Etc. - E-Symposium on 'Persons & Bodies: A Constitution View'".
- 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 10 (Thought Experiments):-
- Investigate Transhumanism.
- In particular,
- Briefly review "O'Connell (Mark) - To be a Machine",
- Read "Bostrom (Nick) - Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies",
- Detailed review of "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun",
- Complete "Midgley (Mary) - Biotechnology and Monstrosity: Why We Should Pay Attention to the 'Yuk Factor'",
- Complete review of "Shipley (G.J.) - Review of Andy Clark's 'Natural-Born Cyborgs'".
- Chapter 11 (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, Etc 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 reading:-
→ "Blackburn (Simon) - Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed"
→ "Harari (Yuval Noah) - Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow"
→ "Updike (John) - Self-Consciousness"
- 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 Core.
- 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 Aeon.
- Continue reviewing "Hart (David Bentley) - Everything you know about the Gospel of Paul is likely wrong" and parallels.
- Contiue reading "Finkelstein (Israel) & Silberman (Neil Asher) - The Bible Unearthed".
- 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.
- Review architecture to improve performance; Need to document first
- Investigate whether multiple Subject/Topic/Subtopic usage leads anywhere (ie. are just the first (of 3) actually used). Fix anything amiss.
- Create Functor using Form_Documentation_Links to automatically add control-links to documentation Notes.
- 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 Note40. Currently, they appear twice.
- Add "Note Alternates" to Note pages.
- 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 auto-regen of all Note Link (Note_nnn_Link) Pages
- Ensure FN referencing within Notes and referencing between Abstracts and Notes works for archived Notes.
- 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
- Add photos of Tom - Create Timeline software
- Develop software & procedure to make adding more content to the photos pages easier to undertake.
- Determine why Recalculation & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
- Determine why copying of data back to the slave database takes so long - approx. 3.5 hours. May need to re-architect.
- 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:-
- Create "Small Sites" database for Alaric (if chased)
- Termly updates to the Enigma Ensemble (http://www.enigmaensemble.co.uk/) Website.
- Periodic updates to Sophie Botros: Live Site (http://www.sophiebotros.com/)
- Practice the oboe for one or two 15-minute sessions each and every day – focussing on the items below and …
- Occasionally combine into one half-hour-long session to build up stamina further.
- Attend the four sessions of The Enigma Ensemble (two in July, two in September).
- 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 "Deutsch (Diana) - Absolute Pitch", and related material42.
- 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 Aeon.
- Thai: Preparatory to Nat's emigration to Thailand. Materials from Categorised List, in particular:-
→ "Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook & Dictionary",
→ "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners", and
→ "thailanguagewiki - Thai Language Wiki".
- 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".
- Meet up with the post-retirement Colin!
- Return to playing bridge once a week if encouraged to do so.
- Read "Reading - Bridge - Magazines".
- Play Estimation Whist or Black Maria with friends on holiday.
- Read new copies of, and review old copies of, "Chess - Chess Magazine"; work through the “How Good Is Your Chess” articles.
- 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.
- 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 is held up by the brick infill and an impervious cement render, the cause of the rot.
- I’m writing a Blog Item on this saga, with some theoretical thoughts, which I hope to have published in due course.
- Last quarter – at 25 hours / week – it represented 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.
- 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!
Footnote 42: Ie. The following:-
- This occurs in these reports, but possibly elsewhere.
Text Colour Conventions
- Black: Printable Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
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Timestamp: 09/07/2018 12:14:23. Comments to email@example.com.