[r-t] How much of a method do you need to include? (was Proof of twin-stage peals)

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Sun Aug 10 14:09:28 UTC 2008

On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 6:02 AM, Mark Davies <mark at snowtiger.net> wrote:
> If you don't like the idea of having to rely on leads, can you suggest
> something else?

"Something else" is what I was trying to do, I'm not sure how
successfully though, in my original formulation (the definition(s)
with the ~10 items) when I talked about "stage fragments". The
intention was that the band needs to specify at any time what stage
they are ringing.

As part of his reply Matthew Frye wrote:
> I know it's not particularly nice, but could you embed the stage in the
> definition of a method?

I think this is completely reasonable, and not in any way un-nice, so
long as you adopt the "type (2)" definition of "method", the one that
says a method is any process for generating rows. You can't if you
adopt the "type (1)" definition, as then you couldn't then include,
e.g. Dixon's, in a multi-stage peal. Indeed, while I wasn't explicitly
thinking about it at the time I wrote my message with the type (1) v
type (2) stuff, in the back of my head was an implicit belief that a
method, in the type (2) sense, *does* always occur at a definite
stage. If a you change stages, you have changed methods (in the type
(2) sense, as well as the type (1) one, if that latter is applicable).
This, at least in my perhaps naive view, is how you partition a
mutli-stage touch into the bits that are at each stage.

I think those folks that want to set a lower bound on the amount of
something different you include are worried about people otherwise
"abusing" the rules to get effects they'd prefer not to have included.

But if you try to legislate it out, you're not solving your perceived
problem, your just forcing people to be clever in contriving ways
around it. For example, if we had a rule that you have to have a whole
lead of something, and someone wanted to embed just a fractional lead
of Cambridge Minor, they'd just pretend they were ringing Original
with four kinds of call. When they actually rang it, the conductor
would say "Cambridge" and everyone ringing would think "Cambridge",
but what the Decisions would insist be recorded would be "Original".
This is exactly the same sort of foolishness that goes on now with
some link methods. And it's not because the bands ringing this
exceedingly worthwhile peals of spliced want to pull something over on
the Council--it's that the Council insists that if it's going to be
willing to recognize (or whatever the euphemism du jour is) them it
insists on pulling something over on itself.

Thinking about this further, this using tiny bits of place notation is
not a contrived example. I have a real world example. It is single
stage, so the truth issues don't come up, but if it were multi-stage
they might. And it was not contrived for this discussion, it was put
together a couple years ago because I thought it a good idea, and that
something around this idea could be worth ringing. Have a quick glance


In reality it (and several others like it on the same page) uses a
tiny, two change long, chunk of random place notation to join up the
parts of a cyclic peal of spliced with a near minimum length link.
Really it is just random place notation, but because of the way the
Decisions are written it has to be described as a method in the Type
(1) sense.

Even worse, the method it has to be described as doesn't feel anything
like what you're ringing. Original, to folks actually ringing it, has
its places made hand and back, but this "method" has the places made
back and hand. But since that's just a rotation, the Decisions require
we pretend it is the same as Original rung backwards with unusual
bobs, and those bobs occurring at a different point in the division to
where they usually would since we're ringing it backwards.

A further amusing bit of fallout from the having to stand on our
heads, chew gum, and whistle backwards to make it fit within the
Decisions is that we have to describe this peal of 10-spliced as being
in 11 methods. I'm pretty sure that in ringing it it would feel much
more like 10-spliced, with a funny bob that happens to interpolate a
couple of extra rows, but that's not legal, so....

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"Nobody dies in chamber music (as opposed to opera)."
                -- Arnold Steinhardt, _Indivisible by Four_

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