[r-t] Null change poll

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Fri Jan 2 18:11:19 UTC 2015

On Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 11:51 AM, Tim Barnes <tjbarnes23 at gmail.com> wrote:
> As noted earlier, this poll is only asking for an opinion as it relates to
> β-methods.

I would, however, caution folks to think through the ramifications of
their choice here for other things (not just other kinds of methods).
No decision is an island.

For example, I could imagine someone thinking "well, folks do sometimes
use null changes as calls in doubles, and that's certainly OK by me*;
but I still don't really want them in methods, so, since this is just
about methods, I'll vote 'no'".

A perfectly rational choice (thourgh one with which I respectfully
disagree, as you'd probably expect me to), as far as it goes. But
think what happens if subsequently we do allow them in calls but not
in methods. That gets us into a situation where the same string of
changes is fine described one way but prohibited when described
another (or at least shunted off into some other land, where two
almost identical methods have to be described as completely unrelated,
one β and the other non-β). It's a lot like the silliness we have
today where you can't have five consecutive blows in a method, but can
have eight consecutive blows across a call.

Again, it is not irrational to choose to have such a result. But think
about it, and make sure it really is what you do want, so there aren't
nasty surprises later.

* "That's certainly OK by me" might be motivated by something like
"well, if I were ringing Bob Doubles and the conductor told me
'singles are just like in Bob Minor' that's exactly what I would do,
without even thinking about whether it's the null change or not".
Yet someone thinking such a thing might still be uncomfortable with
it in a different context.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"No man is an island, John Donne proclaims, and Charles Darwin adds
that neither is any clam or tulip--every possible living thing is
connected by isthmuses of descent to all other living things.
                        -- Daniel Dennett, _Darwin's Dangerous Idea_

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