I spent some of today daydreaming about CN. With all the buzz about it these days I thought that I would commit my thoughts to the forum.
I find it quite funny how people say that CN is hard. Or that it's 'especially hard' with Roux. It's extremely easy to be CN, all you have to do is chose CN when you are starting.
Back in mid-2005 I was a CN petrus solver. I remember having a conversation with Paul Nixon, another UK cuber and petrus solver. He told me about how he was colour neutral, but would always extend his 2x2x2 so that his last layer was always either white or yellow. I couldn't understand why you would want to restrict yourself like that at the time.
So obviously at some point I'd switched to Roux. Gilles Roux advises to have yellow/white on L/R for better recognition of block colours. This also seems to help during LSE as tracking UL/UR pieces during EO (or CLLEO) is stupid easy. So I'd made my choice and I am now stuck with it.
I don't regret it.
I'm not convinced that CN is outright better than non-CN. Is my recognition better than it would've been if I'd've been CN? Maybe. I have less opportunity to build efficient blocks, but perhaps the effect is negligible. Perhaps I'm better at handling bad block configurations as I'm slightly more used to them.
Anyone wanting to refute the above points will be missing the point of what I was trying to say.
The thing that people find hard about CN is switching to it. This is something that people seem to think is always a good idea. People advocate switching as if it's accepted as a good thing to do. No fast cuber has ever switched to CN and surpassed his nonCN speed. (Fast is a relative term? Let's say sub10 for now.)
Switching is extremely hard, and will take you a long long time and a lot of effort. At faster speeds it hasn't even been shown to be possible. You may think that it is worth it, but I certainly do not. Why spend a year or more practising something that at very very best will give you some perceived advantage that may or may not exist when you could spend in on... actually getting faster?
The effort people are putting into CN is way higher than it's value.
This switching discussion applies mostly to people wanting to go from Fixed Cross -> Full CN. I think there are types of switching that are possible that require a lot less effort.
The modern BOY colour scheme helps faciliate this easier form of switching. With colours that are opposite to each other being 'similar', switching from something like fixed cross to dual cross because a lot easier than going to full CN due to only having to reverse colours.
I kind of did this very thing.
For the first few years of my Roux usage, while I would have either white or yellow on the side of my first block, the bottom would always be blue. About two years ago when I started messing with non-matching blocks I had started to make blocks with green on bottom, to allow myself to create pseudo blocks. I was quite bad at it at first, eventually getting to the point where I could sort of do solves on green at a similar sort of speed to blue on bottom. There's an average video of mine from a year ago where just a single solve was with green on bottom. However, OH is quite good for practising this, and I had switched to dual colour U/D in OH at this point that really helped me get used to it a lot. I then went through a period of starting to throw more and more green bottom solves into my 2H solves, occasionally messing up during F2B because my recog wasn't yet up to scratch. Time goes by and those problems are pretty much gone. I still have a slight blue bias, but I can execute solves on green with no problems. I realised that this had happend when I caught that I'd done it without even noticing until after I'd finished the solve.
Was it worth it? Eh. Sometimes I'll get a random fast solve from solving on an easy block I got used to.
That also happens when a case comes up that I learned an alg for in 2 mins.