[r-t] History

Mark Davies mark at snowtiger.net
Sat Jun 7 10:30:18 UTC 2014

JEC writes,

> Think of all those people defiling themselves by ringing impure peals
> on 8 or more.  Disgusting, I call it.

I think you are still thinking of the wrong definition of the word 
"pure", John. In mathematics, a "pure" concept is one that is simple, 
elegant, and uncontaminated by unnecessary or unrelated factors.

In terms of our discussion, the contamination is that of base 10. A 
number such as 5000 appears neat, whole and round to most people's eyes, 
because we are used to counting in base 10. But base 10 is just a way - 
one of many ways - of representing a number in symbols. Counting in tens 
has no relationship to the underlying mathematics of changeringing, so 
to impose it on our definition of a peal is in a sense impure.

5040 might not look like such a nice round number, and may look 
certainly no better than 5000, but in fact it is your base-10 prejudices 
which lead you to conclude that.


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