[r-t] Candidate definition #10

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Tue Aug 12 21:00:54 UTC 2008

On Tue, Aug 12, 2008 at 3:30 PM, John Camp <camp at bellringers.org> wrote:
> But (and I'm being serious) I can't see how this debate is going to get
> anywhere.

If we're lucky, we'll get to a point in a few months where we have
something many of us are happy with. We may be able to find two people
on the Council* to propose and second the appropriate motion(s) to
implement whatever we suggest. I hope if we do, we will behave
responsibly and ensure that it is presented long before a Council
meeting, invite comments on it from the various committees, and also
from a wider sampling of the ringing community that lurks on this
list, probably via the RW. And undoubtedly make modifications based on
their feedback.

While I am hopeful that the above can produce something many of us
will support and be proud of, I do understand your skepticism about
how likely it is to be accepted by the Council. But even if rejected,
if we produce something worthwhile and ensure worthwhile discussion of
it with a wide audience before the relevant Council meeting, I believe
it will have some good effects:

- At some level it is always good to educate ourselves better about
  the foundations of our art.

- It will encourage more folks to think about stretching the
  boundaries of what we do. To some that is undoubtedly a bad thing,
  but I think of it as a good thing.

- I suspect simply having the discussion will encourage a few more
  people to say "you know, *(*&^% the rules, I'm going to go ring X
  'cause it sounds like fun, and I'm content to have the Council view
  it as an unanalysed peal". Again to some undoubtedly a bad thing,
  but I think a good thing.

- Probably most importantly it will contribute meaningfully to future
  discussions, much as Mark's Norwich Axioms do today. The desire to
  move beyond the structure of rules we have today may ebb and surge,
  but it is not going away.

As to the practicality, I suspect most of those contributing
substantially to this discussion do so because they enjoy it. Journey
versus destination kind of thing. It's certainly not less practical
than, say, constructing an extent of Yorkshire Max, and I'm confident
many folks on this list would not consider the time they spent
analysing such a thing wasted, if presented such a thing for

And if you're looking for practical results, what on earth are you
doing looking at ringing theory. Or just change ringing in any sense,
for that matter. Morris Dancing and train spotting probably have more
practical consequences in the world.

* It does intrigue me that, to the best of my knowledge, none of the
  people taking active part in this discussion are currently members
  of the Council. I don't know what that means, but there is irony of
  some sort there, I'm sure.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"The most likely way for the world to be destroyed, most experts
agree, is by accident. That's where we come in. We're computer
professionals. We cause accidents."      -- Nathaniel Borenstein

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