[r-t] Triples and below (was 'Rules', and before that 'A date to pencil into your calendar')

Frederick Karl Kepner DuPuy neminicontradicente at googlemail.com
Thu Sep 10 08:22:17 UTC 2015

On 10 September 2015 at 02:35, Philip Earis <pje24 at cantab.net> wrote:

> Frederick Karl Kepner DuPuy:
> “We should choose between these on their own merits...I don't really care
> about the implications...it doesn't seem important to me...if consistency
> is an important concern, it could easily be accommodated by making 5040 the
> peal threshold (on all stages) rather than 5000. Why not? Sounds like a
> fair compromise”
> Oh dear. You seem to have fallen into so many traps and logical fallacies
> I’m even left wondering whether your message is tongue-in-cheek.  I’ll give
> you benefit of the doubt and respond to your points.
> One of the purposes of improving the current Decisions is to remove the
> unhelpful personal subjective biases that still litter them.  These have
> been a problem hard-wired into the Decisions since the earliest days of the
> CC’s “Legitimate Methods Committee” diktats.
> Now I happen to think most surprise major methods rung for peals are
> pretty awful (and at times hinder ringing). Similarly BYROC 3-part
> compositions. I am hardly alone in these views. However, this doesn’t mean
> I feel such methods and compositions should be banned, delegitimised or
> whatever. Indeed, some ringers happily spend a lifetime predominantly
> ringing such drivel. Live and let live.
> It may just be clunky phrasing, but I can’t help but think your phrases “I
> don’t care about the implications” and “It doesn’t seem important to me”
> betray a rather self-centred view of the world.

I think that's quoting me quite unfairly out of context! Both of those
remarks expressed my *flexibility* on the subject of 5016 Minimus, in case
I had given the impression (in an earlier message) that that subject was
one I had strong feelings about. I was not being dismissive; I was simply
trying to pass on to my main point from a red herring which *I* had
needlessly and inadvertently raised.

It's obvious that I have my own particular hobby-horse which I am riding
here; but so do we all. I hope my friends will vouch for the fact that I am
always ready to give care and attention to other people's concerns as well.

> As for “making 5040 the peal threshold (on all stages) rather than 5000.
> Why not?” – again, I apologise if I am misreading your motives but it seems
> like you’re just trying to derail any progress here.
> There are currently large numbers of peals rung each year that are 5024s
> of major, 5000s of royal, 5001s of cinques, 5016s of maximus and so on.
> There are historical precedents for such lengths dating back nearly 300
> years. And your bright idea is to now suddenly delegitimise these? What on
> earth would this gain?

I am certainly not trying to derail progress, nor am I personally invested
in raising the threshold to 5040 for major and up. I am simply pointing out
(and, yes, perhaps this is a little tongue-in-cheek) that Tim's concerns
for consistency across stages could be served just as well by 5040 as by

(And doubtless there are many beautiful compositions of length 4992 which
are languishing due to the 5000-row threshold.)

> (Incidentally, I’m pretty sure there are old historical precedents for
> peals of 5012 triples etc – I’m sure RAS will be able to confirm...)

My understanding is that there are old historical precedents for peals of
720, or of pretty much any number. The word 'peal' only became a technical
term after years and years in which people used it more freely.

> The purpose of any Decisions should be to provide a simple framework
> describing change ringing, with as few arbitrary constraints or personal
> preferences as possible hard-wired in.  The approach Tim has been leading
> has various advantages.  It uses “true permutations” as its basic
> constraint.  It simplifies the current patched-up mess. It defines various
> terms used, to prevent ambiguity. And it splits the descriptive elements
> from the requirements / expectations of a performance. That you don’t like
> something isn’t reason to try to ban or delegitimise it.

I like Tim's approach very much, and I agree that the definitions should be
as simple and coherent as possible. Nonetheless, many arbitrary constraints
do remain in his document; and one of them is the number 5000.

I would have some sympathy for a return to the radical liberty of the 18th
century, when the word peal could mean anything that anybody wanted it to.
As I remarked before, that idea has a certain nobility to it!

But as long as we intend to keep limits on the word 'peal', I just don't
understand why my preference for 5040 (on triples and below, at least) is
considered outrageous tyranny, while a nearly-identical requirement of 5000
isn't similarly tarred. This would seem to be one of Sir Humphrey's
irregular verbs.


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