[r-t] Definitions so far

Alexander Holroyd holroyd at math.ubc.ca
Sat Jan 17 08:41:31 UTC 2015

> Method: A process for generating a sequence of Changes at a given Stage.

As I tried to explain before, I think this one is absolutely nuts.  I 
think a method should be defined simply as a sequence of changes, not an 
(ill-defined) process for generating it.

To do otherwise is a typical example of trying to create extra complexity 
for its own sake.  The whole debate is plagued with this disease, but this 
seems to be the most extreme case yet.

It appears I'm in the minority on this list on this issue, although I am
virtually certain that the vast majority of ringers would agree with me.

Rather than starting with obscure or hypothetical examples, consider 
something as familiar as plain bob minor.  (To emphasise again, we are 
talking about the _method_ here, not any composition of it.  Everyone is 
aware that the plain course of plain bob minor can be regarded as a touch 
of original, while a certain extent of plain bob can be regarded as a 
plain course of I Can't Believe It's Not Plain Bob Minor.  These facts are 

Here are three different "processes for generating the changes" of plain 
bob minor:

1) Plain hunt except when the treble is leading; then ring 12 place 
2) Place notation &-1-1-1,2.
3) Treble plain hunts, all other bells ring the line: 34 down, 56 down, 
etc, with appropriate starts.

According to what is being proposed, these are now apparently 3 different 
methods.  (I'm not sure which of them is intended to be plain bob under 
the "new regime", and what the others would be called).  Since "process" 
has not been defined, perhaps another "method" might even be:

4) Look for the page in diagrams with the heading "plain bob minor", and 
ring what is written there.

These 4 "processes" are not hypothetical - they correspond to how lots of 
ringers think of the method.  According to what is being proposed, these 
should not be different methods, and one has to know "how a ringer is 
thinking of it" to know which is being rung.  Apparently it is even common 
that different members of the same a band are ringing different methods at 
the same time.

Like I said, this is nuts.  To any normal ringer, these are simply 
different ways of describing one method.  If you want a formal 
rationalization of what most people think, in this case it is very simple: 
*a method is a sequence of changes*.  The above are 4 different ways of 
describing the same sequence (and anyone is free to come up with other 


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