New editions from RSCDS

M Davidson

Message 55230 · 8 Mar 2009 07:06:29 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Dear Anselm

Thank you for your humour, it engendered a good laugh.
Unfortunately I cannot send you the pony your heart desires! However I
would if I could!

Brisbane Oz

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anselm Lingnau" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2009 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: New editions from RSCDS

> Eric Ferguson wrote:
>> Are you saying that the RSCDS, when issuing new editions, is still
>> following the tradition of surreptitiously changing dance descriptions
>> without describing the changes? Improving descriptions is excellent,
>> but one must tell the reader THAT there has been a change, and WHAT the
>> change was.
> I think the main »change« to be expected in the recent book revisions is
> to
> align the dance descriptions with the new »standard terminology«. This
> will
> hopefully make explicit many of the things that you used to have to pick
> up
> from a teacher whose teacher happened to attend Miss Milligan's class in
> St
> Andrews in the year the book in question came out. So it's not as if the
> actual movements of the dances are changed, it's just that they are
> hopefully
> described more precisely.
> Then again, when the new Miss Milligan's Miscellany came out, the next
> thing
> that happened was that a largish list of errata in the printed book was
> published, because some of the descriptions printed in the new book really
> resulted in dances that were different from what people were used to. My
> suggestion to avoid this sort of thing in the future, by publishing better
> books to begin with, would be to post a draft of the new book on the Net
> and
> have a public review period where anybody interested could submit comments
> concerning the content and wording, and to sort these out before the book
> actually goes to print. This approach works for other standards bodies
> such
> as the IETF, so it ought to work for the RSCDS as well -- but if we're in
> wishful-thinking mode now I'd also like a pony, pretty please.
>> If the RSCDS treats its members this way, it is a sign of profound
>> disrespect and indifference to their interests. Quite unacceptable.
> I think Hanlon's Razor applies here. It's very likely not that the RSCDS
> deliberately *wants* to keep its members in the dark, it's really that
> after
> 80-plus years of handing down pronouncements from On High, doing things
> any
> other way probably feels profoundly uncomfortable. The people in question
> simply do what they and their predecessors have essentially been doing for
> decades without anybody complaining too much, so they're not really to
> blame -- there is an amount of institutional inertia that is very
> difficult
> for individual people to overcome. I have found that many of the goings-on
> in
> the SCD world are easier to understand if one thinks of the RSCDS as
> essentially the equivalent of the Roman Catholic church, except that we
> don't
> have to wait for our chairman to die before we get to blow smoke :^)
>> I hope I am misinformed, and that the new versions (booklets, MMM) do
>> spell out all changes.
> I'm not holding my breath. If we (the SCD community) want this we will
> likely
> have to do it ourselves, but fortunately it is not *that* big a project.
> We
> can go over the »books 1-6« booklet for practice, and I'd be happy to host
> the result on Strathspey. It is probably a form of literary criticism so
> copyright would be a non-issue.
> Anselm
> --
> Anselm Lingnau, Friedberg, Germany .....................
> The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that
> the
> Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the
> saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and
> becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd
> fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses
> of
> the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.
> -- Robert A.
> Heinlein

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