[r-t] Philip's new Decisions, including Wiki page

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Sun Aug 3 19:05:58 UTC 2008

On Sun, Aug 3, 2008 at 9:34 AM, Philip Earis <pje24 at cantab.net> wrote:
> I've replied to your earlier points on the wiki.

Apologies. I now think my choice of replying in-line in the Wiki was A
Bad Idea. It doesn't give sufficient bandwidth* for properly
discussing things, and may have led to my not being clear. Sorry.

In the Wiki on the first points, I wrote 'What is "different" meant to
encompass in this context? It appears that this is prohibit peals of
stages below triples, or even long lengths of triples, which I'm sure
is not your intention' to which you replied "not at all! This is
covered by the second point, immediately below".

My apologies, I missread the beginning of the section and didn't
notice the "either" in the shared part of the sentence preceding the
bullets. Once I note that that is there all becomes clear; I had been
interpreting the two bullets as conjoined by an implicit "and", which
made them conflicting for small stages or long lengths.

I suggest adding the word "Or" at the beginning of the second bullet
item, so it reads "Or a round block containing...". This will prevent
others from making the same mistake I did.

Also in this section I wrote 'This appears to require the convention
that a vacuous part-extent is by definition "true", which may not be
obvious to all readers; less unobvious is that 0 is an integer, but
even there it may be a little confusing for some readers. It might be
better to make these somehow explicit' to which you replied "I
disagree with this. I don't think true part extent implies that all
part extents are true."

I'm sorry, I don't think I was clear here. My issue is that some
readers might interpret "a round block containing an integer number of
extents on that stage, plus a true part-extent" as *not* allowing just
an integer number of extents without also including a non-empty
partial extent.

Looking at this further I see several further, related issues:

- When you say "on that stage", what stage are you referring to? I
  don't think there is any antecedant stage here.

- The word "stage" has not yet been defined. I do think "stage" needs
  to be defined, as it's kind of technical and many practical ringers
  do not know the word in this context--I caused no end of trouble
  recently by using it myself without defining in some didactic
  material I put together for a course coming up here in Pittsburgh in
  a few weeks.

- This appears to be more prescriptive than the current Decisions
  about covered peals of small stages. Since, for example, you are
  viewing covered doubles as formally minor, I believe what you have
  written here requires a peal of covered doubles to include multiples
  of six of what we would today consider extents of doubles, one with
  each bell in turn covering. Otherwise you don't end up with an
  extent of minor, which it is my understanding you are asserting
  covered doubles will be viewed as. I doubt this is what you intend,
  but it appears to be what is being said, at least when I combine the
  language here with your explanations elsewhere.

- When remedying the preceding defect (assuming there is such a
  defect, and I'm not simply confused) we need to also be sure to not
  proscribe what is currently allowed in mixed stage peals, where you
  can have a number of extents of covered doubles, all with the tenor
  behind, and a number of extents of minor--we do not end up with
  equal numbers of all six bell rows in such peals, yet they are
  allowed today and it would be a mistake, I think, to reduce the
  scope of what people are allowed to ring, and, indeed, do currently
  ring, albeit rarely.

- Do we need to define truthiness** ? What about "extent"? I don't
  know, maybe they're fundamental enough they don't need definition,
  but I worry that they may not be.

* Yea, I know, I waste considerably more bandwidth than most people
  need. Sorry.

** Just in case this allusion is not cross-cultural, and John Camp is
   apolplectic at what he thinks is my own ghastly neologism: this is
   a quote from a current bit of US popular culture, and parodies many
   of those currently at the top of the US political food chain.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"That's the great thing about ignorance -- the world is so full
of wonders!"         -- John F X Sundman, personal communication

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