[r-t] Proportion of Surprise Methods

Robin Woolley robin at robinw.org.uk
Sun Mar 22 07:49:24 UTC 2009

The criteria for deciding whether a method is to be regarded as Surprise or 
Treble Bob were laid out in 1906. In the report on Classification, available 
at methods.org.uk, Surprise methods are those which have internal places at 
all cross sections, whilst Treble Bob have no internal places. The 
intermediate case - some but not all - is well worth reading for yourselves.

As I have mentioned before, it does not help that the lowest stage, Minor, 
is atypical of stages as a whole; in this case since all such internal 
places are adjacent (to the treble). I have posited elsewhere as to whether 
the 3-4 places in Kent TB Minor are 'counted' from the front or the back. 
Either is valid - rather like Schrodinger's cat, the theorist cannot be sure 
until the experimenter decides. In the case of Kent, they look as if they 
are 'counted' from the front. (We think of it differently these days).

It is worth remembering that, even before 1906, some Surprise Major methods 
without all adjacent places being made had been rung: Yorkshire (1903), 
Oxford (1897) and London (1835).

PJE does have a valid point when thought about at leisure not usually 
associated with these e-lists. I cannot see whether it is any more correct 
than the current situation, however. To justify any wholesale renaming, the 
Exercise at large would have to be persuaded and I suggest the case would 
have to be overwhelming for the effort involved, which I do not see that it 
is. Reading the arguments put forward, it seems that is comes down to the 
way an individual thinks of a method.

Anyway, wouldn't the answer to the original question - the proportion of 
TDMM methods which are Surprise - be better found by counting through the 
Collection? (Two, three or four consecutive places at your choice.)

This reminds me of the dicsussion about 9 months ago. That essentially came 
down to replacing rules which are 300 years old by those which wrere at 
least 340 years old.

Best wishes


PS - I tried Richard's methods in Don's prog. The first was returned as 
Treble Place 

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