[r-t] Blue Line Difficulty

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Tue Aug 29 15:04:14 UTC 2017

‚ÄčI think perhaps the reason we've kind of got two groups of people talking
at cross purposes here is that the tool being proposed is a bad match for
the problem being solved.

What is hopeless is coming up with a fine-grained, mathematically pure
metric. But that's not what is wanted. Something more coarsely-grained is a
better fit for the job at hand. Few, if any, ringers would argue that Rigel
is no more difficult than Yorkshire, or even Bristol. But at the same time,
what value is there in worrying over whether Lessness or Uxbridge is the
more difficult method? Or Strange versus Charm versus Albion?

We need just a few suitably sized buckets to drop methods into, with the
explicit recognition that the borders between neighboring buckets are not
clear. If we've got six difficulty buckets a method in bucket 5 is pretty
clearly more difficult than one in bucket 2, but a pair of methods in
buckets 3 and 4 respectively may actually not be that different from one
another in difficulty.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"There are four kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics, and
    -- Nathaniel Borenstein, IBM internal blog post, 2006
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