[r-t] Blocks to be renamed as methods

Richard Smith richard at ex-parrot.com
Thu Apr 20 11:58:47 UTC 2017

Richard Grimmett wrote:

> On 19/04/2017 17:31, Philip Earis wrote:
>> I rang in the inaugural peal of Cross Differential.
> Is it possible to have a single row method, say with a pn of 123456 in 
> minor?

No, not at the moment.  First a method currently needs to 
have a true plain course.  If the propose motion passes next 
month to remove this requirement, I think Methods Committee 
will still assert it is not possible.  This is because at 
the moment the 123456 place notation is not a change 
according to the Method Committee current interpret of 
(E)A.1: "A change is ... effected by the interchange of 
bells in adjacent positions in the row."  In truth, the 
definition is ambiguous, and therefore not fit for purpose. 
It neither clearly includes the null change, nor clearly 
excludes it.

This is a good example of the sort of thing I think is 
fundamentally wrong with the current decisions.  I have no 
objection to someone saying they don't want to ring a peal 
containing this change.  Nor I strenuously object to the 
Central Council saying it won't recognise (sorry, include in 
the Analysis) peals containing that change.  But that's not 
what they're doing.  They're defining it not to be a change, 
which it clearly is.  Yes, it's a very special change in 
that no bells actually exchange places, but it's nonetheless 
a change.

Mathematicians have no problem with this.  The identity 
permutation is still considered a permutation despite not 
actually permuting anything.  They do this because it's 
frequently useful to talk about the effect of arbitrary 
permutations including the identity one.  The same is true 
in ringing.  It's sometimes useful to talk about sequences 
of changes that may include the null change.  It's not the 
Central Council's business to deprive ringers of the 
vocabulary to describe methods involving the null change, 
even if they do wish to discourage their use.


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