Monday, June 27, 2016

Where am I going?

Where have I been? Here's my current status by subdivision of books. Torah, for instance, has 187 chapters, 5843 verses, and constitutes 25% of the Hebrew Bible by verse. Of these I have read 26 chapters and reported my reading on this blog. That's 13.9% of Torah. 4,940 verses have no draft text in my database though they may have a number of reasonable automated guesses in the word table.
Books Chapters Verses by verse Final % 'done' no draft
Torah 187 5843 25% 26 13.9% 4940
Former Prophets 147 4297 19% 16 10.9% 3731
Later Prophets 166 3923 17% 17 10.2% 3607
The 12 67 1050 5% 49 73.1% 278
Books of Truth 223 4502 19% 185 83.0% 781
Scrolls 39 745 3% 30 76.9% 135
Other 100 2791 12% 13 13.0% 2456
929 23151 100% 336 36.2% 15928

My strategy has been concentrated on the poetry first. So there's a possible continuation: find all the songs and do them. We are nearly at the song of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy. Genesis 49 is another song. There are sections of Chronicles that reflect the Psalms. Some of them are done. The Proverbs and the rest of Job beckon (after a fashion).

A second possibility is to attack one book at a time. That works for shortish books and I could concentrate on finishing the Twelve, only two books to go (Hosea and Zechariah). And the scrolls, only Esther to go. That still leaves me with massive unknowns particularly Samuel and my impression of its disjointedness, the major prophets, and Torah. Kings and Chronicles are sometimes difficult, but when you work through one, a chapter in the other almost translates itself.

And what about my pace? It has varied and it will vary again. I cannot say how much time I will be able to spend. Other responsibilities often come first. Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood are very busy at the moment. I may even have to get the iron out, not to mention the vacuum, since my cleaner is on holiday. And when my wife is out of hospital, running meal supplements, which has improved my cooking skills, will be replaced with catching up with her on all the mysteries we have missed. I simply can't watch some of them alone. It's not as much fun without a companion. Mind you, I can read and translate while watching TV I suppose, but it is distracting.

Over the period of my measurements, October 26 2015 to date, 245 days, I have averaged 9 verses a day. This varies widely. In the first quarter of this year, I was writing a book and read only selective verses based on my writing. So my reading rate was 16 chapters in the first quarter compared to 56 to date in the second quarter. The verses per day was roughly 4.5 in the first quarter, whereas in the second quarter it is at the moment roughly 14. That translates into 5 years remaining in this project, longer than I thought it might be but possibly achievable. 

So given the length of the project, I really should take my time. That number of verses per day translates into 3 hours per day in a 5 day week and a 45 week year at a rate of 4.5 verses per hour. Some days I go much faster than that rate so it might be 9 per hour at 1.5 hours per day. It really depends on how distracted I am from this goal. If I really got 3 good hours in per day, the project would be done in half the time. 

But it's not just verses, it's words and semantics and tone and guesswork and programming and data controls. These need the passage of time and repeated views of the same data. So on a word by word basis, determining the fundamental stem and clarifying the semantic domain and subdomain, I have touched well over 200 chapters this month, some only by automation, but many with deliberate individual word or punctuation changes. But the verse and chapter changes are converging so it is likely I am being more consistent.


I might make faster progress if I stopped testing my vital signs every few days. The reason I do it is twofold: 1. have a reasonable backup and restore capability, and 2. check your data and software by measurement to make sure you are not missing something. I do have these control problems. I wonder what the ancients did for project control. You can clearly see the numeric controls at the end of any book in a printed Tanach under the חזק. With the computer it is relatively easy to calculate such things, but how do you know you are not simply missing something? Some redundancy in the design of the data is needed so that you can compare and test differing patterns of control after all the manual interventions that are required. Then you find the missing bits.


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