[r-t] nths place

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Wed Jul 16 12:23:32 UTC 2014

On Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 7:25 AM, Matthew Frye <matthew at frye.org.uk> wrote:
> On 16 Jul 2014, at 12:09, Robin Woolley <robin at robinw.org.uk> wrote:
>> Are Cambridge and Primrose the same method or not?
> This isn't quite the same situation.

Though Robin's basic point is still sound: the root cause of folks'
differing opinions on this issue is the tension between some wanting
to describe what most ringers actually practise, and others to have a
tidy, unambiguous taxonomy.

Which, I think, leads to the question: when folks make rules, are they
doing it so that the record keepers can serve the ringers, or so the
ringers can serve the record keepers?

(Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, that's not an unbiased formulation; more
a statement of my view of the root cause of the root cause. And I
don't mean to impugn people's motives -- I'm convinced everyone
believes what they say they believe, and is diligently working towards
what they believe is the good of the exercise. It's just a question of
folks' perspectives, and the ease with which one can slip into a
position from which to lose sight of overall goals.)

One further point on all this: most of the arguments on both sides are
being made from the position of methods rung today, or close relatives
thereof. Many of the existing rules that have caused turmoil in recent
decades have done so precisely because they were codified as tightly
as possible around current practice. That is, they largely said
"whatever is commonly done today is OK, but anything that diverges
from that is not." While thinking about the application of proposed
rules to current practice is important, it is just as important to
recognise that we do not want to hinder innovation, and so should be
wary of rules that proscribe, even if only in the eyes of those
running afoul of them, things we've not yet imagined.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"I don't understand why people are frightened of new
ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."   - John Cage, _Silence_

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