[r-t] Methods Committee

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Wed Jul 16 18:49:05 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 2:23 PM, John Camp <camp at bellringers.org> wrote:
> I wonder whether members of the Methods Committee should (mainly) be
> people who have rung some really complicated stuff and understand how
> it works in practice.  Or is it only necessary to understand the
> concepts?
> What do those who have rung the hard stuff think?  (And anyone else?)

As an "anyone else":

This seems rather like suggesting that there should not be civilian
oversight of the military. Or that pharmaceutical companies should
be regulated by a consortium of pharmaceutical companies.

On the other hand, I think there might be great merit in expecting
that a majority of members of the committee have rung in at least one
peal that did not conform to the Decisions providing automatic
inclusion in the analysis, so they have some first hand experience of
how the process of innovation is helped or hindered by the efforts of
the committee. This is not the same as "really complicated stuff".

On the other hand, recent experience indicates even that might not be
enough. In the past two triennia there have been at least two new
members voted to the committee who were nominated precisely because
they did have a history of crossing swords with the committee. Despite
that effort at cross fertilization it appears the committee is still
viewed by many of those outside it as virtually unchanged for at least
two decades. If anything, I think the moaning one hears about it has
become more strident and anguished as time has gone on. No hard data
to back that up, of course, just my own subjective opinion.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"I can see everything once it's already happened -- I'm very good
at the past. It's the present I can't understand."
                                   -- Nick Hornby, _High Fidelity_

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