[r-t] Method difficulty

Chris Poole poole at maths.ox.ac.uk
Thu Mar 10 09:26:56 UTC 2005

> I agree that some methods are so dull and repetitive it is impossible to
> remember them correctly especially when ringing. However, I suspect that
> the "harder" spikier methods seem to be easier to ring because you
> actually bother to learn them properly. I certainly find it too easy to
> learn a method as some place a bit of hunting with a dodge in somewhere
> which I'll sort out by the treble (or whatever) ie I don't really bother
> learning it properly. So I think it probably is the case that genuinely
> difficult lines to learn are difficult so you put more effort in to
> learn them.
> I had forgotten about Method Master's difficulty index because I don't
> know what it really measures. Here are some statistics for Belfast &
> Glasgow
>               Belfast      Glasgow
> Right places    58%           52%
> Changes of
> direction        40            20   (where do these numbers come from?)
> No. of blows
> between chg of
> direction         6            11
> Difficulty index  4340        2512
> But I don't know that I woudl say that Belfast is nearly twice as hard
> as Glasgow.

It's not clear that the index is linear, so this doesn't necessarily say
that Belfast is nearly twice as hard as Glasgow.  Surely the hardness of a
method must be some function of how long it takes to learn the method
_well_.  But, saying that, learning Strathclyde S Max with knowledge of
Glasgow S Major would not take too long.  Learning an unfamiliar, new,
simple surprise Max method would take longer to learn, even though it is
'easier'.  I guess once things become more familiar, then your own
personal hardness index for methods in general decreases.

Out of interest, how does Method Master compare Phobos and Strathclyde?
Both have formulaic backworks, Strathclyde with a familar frontwork and
Phobos with a less familiar one (unless you know it of course!)?


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