[r-t] Consultation

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Sun Apr 9 13:40:10 UTC 2017

Sorry, that list at the end should be "Little Place Whatever-stage", not
"Little Bob Whatever-stage".

On Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 9:38 AM, Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Apr 9, 2017 at 2:29 AM, Robert Bennett <rbennett1729 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > As I understand the present rules, they are based on place notation.
> > If new rules were not based on places, what could they be based on?
> I believe that for many of us the problem is not that the choice of "rule"
> used for extension is the wrong one, and by implication, that all can be
> made well if we can just work out ​​the right one. It is the whole notion
> that there is a single rule that works for everything. I don't think there
> is.
> A simple example is the debacle of Penultimus a few years ago. Undoubtedly
> a single rule that covered both Little bob and Penultimus could be devised
> which would solve this specific case. At which point another, slightly
> different one would rear its head for which that single, slightly more
> complicated rule didn't work. And on we'd go, round and round forever.
> For those who weren't following at the time, or don't remember:
> Little Bob extends to all even stages in a way that I believe nearly all
> ringers find obvious and intuitive. There are probably very few ringers who
> having been taught Little Bob Major and Little Bob Maximus will have
> trouble working out Little Bob Royal. The Central Council, in its wisdom,
> decided that all little methods should extend in the same way. In
> particular, that if in Mumble Little Whatever Somestage the treble hunts to
> Nths place, in Mumble Little Whatever Someotherstage the treble also must
> hunt to Nths place.
> In 1994 a little, plain method was rung and named Penultimus Little Court
> Maximus. The treble hunts to the penultimate place (11ths) and back again,
> all the working bells plain hunting throughout, except that the bell above
> the treble as it makes 11ths necessarily makes four blows behind. This has
> an obvious cognate at any other stage (>= 3, at least). But according to
> the Central Council none of them can be called can be called Penultimus
> Little Court Whatever-stage. Though a completely different treble to
> eleventh's place method at stages above maximus can, even though that is
> now a different kind of construction than Penultimus was intended to be (no
> longer penultimate)*.
> This highlights, in a simple way, the absurdity of thinking that one rule
> fits all. It is, I believe, clearly wrong to insist that Penuiltimus
> extends, or more to the point, contracts, according to the same rule as
> Little Bob. But similarly it would be absurd to say that Little Bob should
> extend according to the same rule as Penultimus (that would have Little Bob
> Royal being what we currently call Gainsborough Little Bob Royal and Little
> Bob Maximus being what we currently call Burford Little Bob Maximus, with
> what we currently call Little Bob having new names at Royal and Maximus).
> As mentioned above, I've no doubt some more complex rule for extending
> little methods could be devised that would encompass both these
> possibilities. But that would be the wrong solution, simply kicking the can
> down the road a little bit until the next absurdity presented itself.
> We really should accept that different families of methods extend in
> different ways. Devising a good, new family of methods, potentially with
> its own scheme of extension, can be at least as creative as devising a
> good, new method. Allowing only a single rule for extending methods flies
> in the face of the Council's own objective (clause 2.(iii) of its rules)
> "To encourage development of the art of ringing through innovation".
> * Highlighting the absurdity of all this, the band that was interested in
> this family of methods rang and named the various contractions (each of
> which the Central Council insisted on having a distinct name) by a family
> resemblance-based set of names, which, painful as it is, does have a logic
> closely corresponding to the logic of how the Council insists methods
> contract, since the hunt bell gets littler and littler as the contraction
> proceeds:
> Little Penultimus Little Bob Cinques
> Little Little Penultimus Little Bob Royal
> Little Little Little Penultimus Little Bob Caters
> Little Little Little Little Penultimus Little Bob Major
> Little Little Little Little Little Penultimus Little Bob Triples
> Little Little Little Little Little Little Penultimus Little Bob Minor
> Little Little Little Little Little Little Little Penultimus Little Bob
> Doubles
> --
> Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
> "Logic could take you only so far, then you had to get out and hop."
>                -- Terry Pratchett, _The Last Continent_

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"After all these years I have observed that beauty, like happiness,
is frequent. A day does not pass when we are not, for an instant,
in paradise."
        -- Jorge Luis Borges, _Los Conjurados_, tr Willis Barnstone
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