Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
Status: Summary (2017 - December)
(Text as at 05/01/2018 00:11:31)
(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table 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 always have effort planned, but the final group in general does not, though this time I have assigned a minimal 1 hours a week to the first project in the group.
- 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.
- The major change this time round is that I’ve assigned no time at all to Bridge. As such, I’ve removed all but the most casual bridge-related tasks from the plan below. The same goes for Chess.
- 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.
- Consciousness Studies5. A supporting project for both Personal Identity and Philosophy of Religion.
- Music6: 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.
- 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. However, some immediate focus is required, so I have assigned 7 hours a week.
- I re-joined ISPE in 2017, but can spare little scheduled time for taking part. I intend to read the latest issue of "ISPE - Telicom". 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. I need to renew for 2018.
- 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. We are expecting our first grandchild at the end of January 2018. And the house is falling down.
- 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 and overall “actual versus plan” was 97% QTD, 97% YTD – where the year is the 2017/18 academic year commencing in October 2017. Christmas, and various problems with the house got in the way towards the end of the quarter.
- The balance of the various projects against plan was much as I’d like, with the minor projects losing out (though far too much time was spent on “background” reading, such as Aeon).
- 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 link13.
- For a report by sub-project of time expended since my records began, follow this link14.
- For tables of Actual versus Plan, together with the high-level plan for the next quarter, see this page15.
- 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.
- To achieve the above, I have increased the weekly total planned to 58 hours, which will be extremely tough to maintain since Bridge was a leisure activity while my other projects aren’t. That said, if I look back, I see I managed about 40 hours / week on my projects when working 3 days a week in 2007.
- I’ve decided to try to play the oboe properly, and improve my general musicianship so have again increased my Music allowance, this time to 10 hours / week.
- The five “priority 3” projects miss out this time round, with the exception of Languages, which gets an hour.
- So, the weekly plan (58 hours) for the next quarter is as below:-
- Priority 1: 46 hours
- Personal Identity: 25 hours.
- Web Tools: 14 hours.
- Philosophy of Religion: 7 hours.
- Priority 2: 11 hours
- Consciousness Studies: 1 hour
- Music: 10 hours.
- Priority 3: 1 hour
- Languages: 1 hour.
- Mathematics: 0 hours.
- HiQ: 0 hours.
- Bridge: 0 hours.
- Chess: 0 hours.
- Follow this link for a categorised list of recently16 purchased books. As the categorisation has got out of hand, follow this link for an alternative list of recent acquisitions17.
Detailed Interim Activities
- As these reports are now quarterly, at best, I’m including a link to a brief uncommented list18 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 Future19
- Personal Identity20
- Continue with my Thesis21; 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 222 (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 523 (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.
- 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",
- Review the work of Elselijn Kingma.
- 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".
- Write a Note on "Loose (Jonathan) - Constitution and the Falling Elevator".
- Chapter 1026 (Thought Experiments):-
- Investigate Transhumanism27.
- 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".
- Chapter 1128 (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".
- As background tasks:-
- Convert old PDF-précis, Etc29 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 "O'Neill (Cathy) - Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy",
- Complete my Note on "Smith (Martin) - Why Throwing 92 Heads in a Row Is Not Surprising" and discuss with Pete & Mike.
- Continue reading and reviewing30 papers issued by Aeon,
- Attend Oliver Black’s Salon,
- Read "Edmonds (David) & Eidinow (John) - Wittgenstein's Poker",
- Keep up with the Journals via JSTOR31 & Cambridge Core.
- Philosophy of Religion32.
- Philosophy of Religion: Read "Antony (Louise M.) - Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life".
- Do my best to review "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection & Christian Apologetics: A Critical Inquiry Volume 2".
- Continue with "Alter (Michael J.) - The Resurrection: A Critical Inquiry".
- Read & research "Knohl (Israel) - Messiahs and Resurrection in 'The Gabriel Revelation'".
- Background: Read appropriate items from Aeon33.
- Own Website:
- The following items require urgent attention:-
- Provide a facility to embed Notes in others – use for “disclaimers” etc.
→ Re-document the procedures in the light of recent changes.
→ Resolve issues generated / revealed by the spider.
→ Fix historical problems whereby the URL returned differs from that requested.
- Printable Notes: fix the bug whereby the “private” flag is round the wrong way.
- Authors Narrative: enable footnotes.
- Determine why Recalc & Changed Book/Papers produce unneeded regeneration.
- Allow "Quadruple-plus" Note-link for Papers and Notes embedded in Papers.
- Load 3rd-party pdfs etc into password protected area.
- Fix Bug in Documenter – widgets between double-quotes should be ignored.
- Otherwise, it’s mostly on hold. I need to check what needs to be done, by comparing and consolidating three lists:-
→ Outstanding Items Document35,
→ Progress to Date36,
→ Development Log in the generator itself.
- Re-start "Harvard University - CS50 Introduction to Computer Science" (consider accreditation).
- Plan what to do with "Sitepoint (Learnable) - Sitepoint Learnable Web Development Courses" and the eBooks in my possession.
- Investigate Bootstrap.
- Understand Bitcoin & Blockchain better
- "PC Pro - Computing in the Real World",
- "Barnes (Russell), Ed. - Web Designer".
- Bridge Websites: Close down / complete hand-over:-
- ECBA Website (Link)
- Small Clubs Websites (Link, Link, "Admin - Bridge - Joint Project"):
- Bernie’s Website (Link)
- Provide Alaric with cut-down database for the “Joint Project”
- Other Initiatives:
- Upgrade my Facebook page ("Facebook - Understand Facebook & Build Personal Facebook Page") using "Abram (Carolyn) - Facebook for Dummies: Fifth Edition" for inspiration / guidance.
- Upgrade PDFelement to version 6.
- 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.
- Italian: for trip to Otranto in May/June 2018.
→ "Wilkes (Angela) & Shackell (John) - Italian for Beginners",
→ "Freeth (Mariolina) & Checketts (Giuliana) - Contatti 1: A First Course in Italian",
→ "BBC - Italianissimo: Beginners Teacher's Edition",
→ "Lonely Planet - Italian (Lonely Planet Fast Talk)", and
→ "Duolingo - Duolingo Italian".
→ "Lonely Planet - Lonely Planet Thai Phrasebook & Dictionary",
→ "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners", and
→ "thailanguagewiki - Thai Language Wiki".
→ "Celen-Pollard (Asuman) & Pollard (David) - Turkish (Teach Yourself Complete Courses) + CD",
→ "Duolingo - Duolingo Turkish"
- Practice the oboe for 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. Working towards …
- Concert at Abbeyfield retirement home (date to be arranged).
- 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.
- Perfect all the 12 items in "Van Beringen (Robert) - Festive Baroque - Oboe Solo (with Piano Accompaniment; and CD)".
- Work through "Langey (Otto) - The Oboe: Practical Tutor for the Oboe and Cor Anglais".
- 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 1".
- 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 material40.
- 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 Footnotes:Footnote 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?
- 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 19: 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.
- 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 40: Ie. The following:-
- 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!
Table of the Previous 12 Versions of this Note: (of 73)
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Text Colour Conventions
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