International Guild of Knot Tyers Forum

General => Chit Chat => Topic started by: Brian_Grimley on September 21, 2005, 06:53:18 PM

Title: Naming with Knots
Post by: Brian_Grimley on September 21, 2005, 06:53:18 PM
This forum has had interesting information and great discussions on the names of knots and on naming knots. What do you think about naming with knots?

"A series of three figure-of-eight knots tied into strings may be the first word from the ancient Inca in centuries." from the Associated Press. (ref: http://www.smh.com.au/news/science/researchers-close-in-on-inca-knot-code/2005/08/12/1123353501662.html )

"Moreover, all 21 khipu featured an 'arrangement of three figure-eight knots at the start of the khipu,' which the researchers believe represented 'the place identifier, or toponym, Puruchuco.' " from Discovery News. (ref: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20050815/incaword.html )

The Discovery News article refers to the current issue of the magazine "Science" as a source.

Cheers,
Brian.

Ps. We reference knots appearing in Ashley by ABOK #xxxx. Some of those knots have no known name applied to them in English (or any other language). Is ABOK #xxxx the knot name? On the other hand, the answer to the question, what is the name of "A", is A. Perhaps, the answer to the question, what is the name of a specific knot (which, in no language, has a widely agreed upon name), is the knot itself. For example, in the thread "What's it's name?", started by ptitroy, everyone refered to a graphic of the knot when making a point. ABOK #1021 refered to a graphic. Ashley's "An Adustable Loop" (ABOK #1021) is not an accepted name of the knot; but, rather, it is used by knotters as a generic term. In fact, there are few agreed upon knot names (in any language) that refer to a specific knot. A graphic of most knots is (should be) referenced when a knot is discussed. One could say, for most knots, that the knot (or a graphic of the knot) is its name.
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Lasse_C on September 22, 2005, 11:13:59 AM
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We reference knots appearing in Ashley by ABOK #xxxx. Some of those knots have no known name applied to them in English (or any other language). Is ABOK #xxxx the knot name?
This is perhaps slightly off-topic, but I have come to consider the "ABOK#xxxx" as a sort of universal "omniglot" reference in the same way that species names in Latin is in biology.

French, Swedish, Japanese and English gardeners may use different names for the same plant in their own languages, but by using the name in Latin they all know exactly which plant they are talking about.

A common reference is a very useful thing, in my opinion...

LC
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Jimbo on September 22, 2005, 08:51:58 PM
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What do you think about naming with knots?

I think you need to expound on this idea some.  I mean, if lumberjacks did that, you'd hear hollers in the woods like "Hey, Rowan Loblolly!  Time for lunch!"  "Thanks, Larch Holly!  As soon as I cut down this ...uh... 'Bob'!"

:D

I'd put a lot of confidence in a mechanic called "Ratchet Wrench"!  Especially if his dad were an Automotive Engineer called "Torque Wrench".  <ROTFLOL>

I mean, didn't "The Artist Formerly Known As Prince & Now Known By A Spoken Word Again" try something like that?

I probably wouldn't mind being "(http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/76/76247/folders/199907/1521081MarlinspikeKnot.gif)", as that puts a handle on a rope; but my so-called friends might start referring to me as "Granny"...   :P

Sorry, Brian, I'm not making fun of your idea, just some of the images it conjures up in my empty head!

Even my jokes don't "get there", though, as "naming with knots" is a lot different that "using knot names in lieu of something else"!  That's the mistake "Prince" -- uh, sorry, "Squiggly Line" -- made.

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Ps. We reference knots appearing in Ashley by ABOK #xxxx. Some of those knots have no known name applied to them in English (or any other language).

Ah!  The nucleus of the atom!

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Is ABOK #xxxx the knot name? On the other hand, the answer to the question, what is the name of "A", is A. Perhaps, the answer to the question, what is the name of a specific knot (which, in no language, has a widely agreed upon name), is the knot itself.

You took my 'Zen' comments to heart, didn't you?  If not, you have some "gift".  As some dead guy said, "The more you talk about it, the further from it you go."

IMNERHO, Mr. Ashley's Gift was the documentation of the visual appearance (and "A" method (or two) of tying same) of as many knots as possible.  It saddens me to think what he could've done, had he lived another decade!

But I digress...

Programmers (ahem) deal with this issue all the time.  In our world, the "A" would be "the storage area designated by the symbolic name 'A'"; and the contents of that storage area could definitely be the pattern of bits which is used by agreement among us humans to designate the letter 'A'.  So, not to upstage Ayn Rand, "A is A", but only if the initialization routines set it thusly.

To put it another way, how is uttering "God D@mn it!" taking the Lord's name in vain??  Isn't "God" just his job title? ? ? ? ?

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For example, in the thread "What's it's name?", started by ptitroy, everyone refered to a graphic of the knot when making a point. ABOK #1021 refered to a graphic. Ashley's "An Adustable Loop" (ABOK #1021) is not an accepted name of the knot; but, rather, it is used by knotters as a generic term.

Ditto likewise for PABPRES' contribution, and your more-symmetrical upgrade, both of which are known as "A True Lover's Knot".  Ditto also for the earlier thread re: the horde of loop knots known as "Bowlines".


Taxonomy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy).

It's what separates us from the Animals. (With apologies to Eric Burdon (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=%22eric+burdon+%26+the+animals%22))


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In fact, there are few agreed upon knot names (in any language) that refer to a specific knot.

YES!!!  I think you have it now!

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A graphic of most knots is (should be) referenced when a knot is discussed. One could say, for most knots, that the knot (or a graphic of the knot) is its name.

And what better way to do so than an "Online Reverence" (props to Willeke)??  The pixtures could be printed, E-mailed (by value or by reference), or linked in a chat.

This dovetails nicely into another "problem" we Kinkers of Cordage have: the depressing lack of unique words to use in this field!!!  I have poked jesticular fun at that on occasion, as in: "The Monkey's Fist thus presented has an excellent lead as the leads lead the lead end around the lead core, which leads to an excellent lead!"  (extends finger, purses lips, flaps same with a "buh-buhbuhbuhbuh" noise)  :P  Puh-leeeeze!  Just so you'll all have someplace to throw stones, Jimbo only sees "3L" on a THK if I double it twice (which is actually "tripled", but apparently we're knot supposed to say it that way).  (Not to brag, especially in this crowd, but in the last few weeks I've tied a bunch of THKs: two 7Bx27L, one 7Bx20L (ran out of cord), a "Three-Legged" THK in a 5Bx4L configuration (thank you, Brion Toss), a double-handful of 5Bx4L "dresser-uppers", and a stack of Thump Mats, on which I see no "Leads" at all!)  What everyone else calls "leads" look like something else to me!  "Wraps", maybe...  (No, I won't name it, because I'm not "that guy" and Basho says that once you name a thing you lose it.  But then, I have yet to see anyone else give a meaningful "definition" of "lead" in re: THK's either, so there!)


Sorry, stack fault.  Nomenclature Overload.  System Halted.

(Reboots head by kicking same with hobnailed jackboot.)


And now for something completely different...

Does this mean we can't Name with Bends or Hitches ???
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: nautile on September 22, 2005, 11:25:02 PM
This Basho's haiku for you
" Quelle est agaçante
Où est sa tete où est sa queue
Beche de mer"

"How annoying she is
where is the head, where is the tail
Sea-cucumber"

Cheers ;D
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Brian_Grimley on September 22, 2005, 11:48:23 PM
Jimbo,

I expound on: What do you think about naming with knots? The question was really an introduction to the example of three figure-of-eight knots that researchers suggest represent the palace of Puruchuco. Since there was not an Inca written language, the three figure-of-eight knots is the same as the word "Puruchuco" written with the Roman alphabet. The three figure-of-eight knots is the name of the palace "Puruchuco". The three figure-of-eight knots is a word; it is a "written" name.

Continuing on, in the island of Okinawa, there was a population which couldn't read or write; yet, they needed to record material transactions. Here, http://www.napcoti.com/culture/kihouin01.htm#top , we see examples of the records. The pictures show, for example, the reception of a number of eggs and sake. There is a knot for eggs and a knot for sake. A knot, then, names an egg and a knot names sake just like the word "egg" and the word "sake" do using the Roman alphabet. (I don't know anymore about the knots in Okinawa than I have written! If you have more information, please post it!)

The Chinese written language is said to have been originally recorded with knots. I have not seen any details or examples. However, knots must have named items.

End of the first thoughts on "What do you think of naming with knots".

As requested, I expound on ... the name of a specific knot ... is the knot itself. If you and I just met and were sitting together over a coffee table and I wanted your opinion on an adjustable loop, I have a problem. What should I use as a name the knot? What would you call this knot? I would tie the knot in a piece of cord and ask you what you thought of this knot. The name of this specific knot is then the knot itself! It is the only way to communicate until we agree on a name (using the Roman alphabet) and then we will only be able to communicate between ourselves (perhaps a good thing! walls have ears! ;D).

You give an example of the lumberjacks calling out to each other. This demographic has an agreed upon name, in their language, for a specific knot. However, for a larger demographic, as witnessed by this and other forums, there is no agreed name for most knots. That is why, I think, that for most knots, a knot name has little value unless it is with the who, what, where, when and sometimes why of the name. Today, the only reliable name for a specific knot is the knot itself, or a graphic of that knot.

When one posts a question about a knot on this forum, it is clear, whatever name you use, you must post a graphic or a reference to a graphic of the knot to be understood. Without a graphic (or reference), at worst, the name used only contains the information that this is what the poster calls a knot (which knot?). The information we need is in the graphic of the knot. Effectively, a name, alone, is valueless for communication with the readers of knotting forums. I would say (as a catch phrase) that the name of this specific knot is the knot itself.

I am "iffy" on the value of programming as a metaphor for knotting. None-the-less, in OOP (Object Oriented Progamming), the "A" could be or do many different things. What it is or does depends on the object to which it refers. It is like a knot name, what the knot is depends on who you are talking to.

I agree with Willeke and you. We need graphics to which posters and readers can refer. For up to about 20 knots this is no problem: a user can look at a page of thumbnails and choose the knot. For, say, 500 knots, there needs to be an organization of the knots to lead the users from a "root" to the knot. To design this organization, I think, one needs to define who (ie skills and knowledge) is to going use the resouce and what questions they are likely to ask.

For example, if the user is a knowledgeable knotter who wishes to refer the poster to a graphic of a knot in ABOK, then a simple database (or perhaps even a simple hyperlink system) is effective and appropriate. However, if the user knows very little about knots and wants to find a knot, the organization can become very interesting and very challenging. (Was there once a Chinese curse - may you live in interesting times?  :))

Well, I'm done ... that will teach you to ask me to expound!
Cheers,
Brian.
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Willeke on September 23, 2005, 12:53:59 AM
I have had a few discussions about knots that would have been imposible without a bit of string. If the names of knots are hard in English, they are harder when talking across borders and even so when talking with people from an other craft disipline. And when you have a set of traditional names, a set of poorly translated names and on top of that the knots for which you can not remember the name in the language you are talking, (or they may not have a name in that language) a visible aid is indispensible.
The web is very friendly for interlanguage knot discussions, we can show the knots, either in photos, drawings or even animated form.  So we all talk about the same knot. ABOK numbers only work if the other has a copy of ABOK, in whatever translation, if we get that database working we can simply link, direct to or quote that bit of web in whatever shape the discussion takes.

I knew about the quipu the inca used, but as far as I know the position of a knot is as important / or more important than the actual knot. But the information I have is sketchy at best.
It is very interesting to learn that there are other knot records, with their meaning, saved for the future.

Willeke
Title: Knot-ku
Post by: Jimbo on September 23, 2005, 01:34:28 AM
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This Basho's haiku for you

I'll see your Basho & raise you a Jimbo:

Anonymous knots
Yield conversations with Friends
Are names what matter?
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Jimbo on September 23, 2005, 03:14:22 AM
Once again, Brian opens the oyster, draws back a gob of gelatinous goo, and shows us all the Pearl...

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The three figure-of-eight knots is the name of the palace "Puruchuco". The three figure-of-eight knots is a word; it is a "written" name.

Okay, consider my head beaten!   ;)  I'm embarrassed to say I never made it that far.  It's a grammar you're after, aren't you?  A meta-language which describes a language, specifying the order, grouping, and syntax of knots and collections of knots, thereby imparting into said collections, definite meaning.  As to the Incas, we need a proverbial "Rosetta Stone", but the concept of using collections of knots for designations as well as values (as the "A" as well as the A) would tend to indicate the Jesuit Conquistadores who slaughtered them may have killed off more than just an entire Race!

The Sumerians first used the symbol of an ox head as an atomic component (we eventually just called them "letters") of a larger structure known as "a written language".  So if they'd used a double-shamu knot instead, that "ABC" song would have been a lot different!!  And tree choppers would have no reason to cut pulp wood!  (You can't tie a knot in paper -- well, you can, but it won't mail well...)

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Continuing on, in the island of Okinawa, there was a population which couldn't read or write; yet, they needed to record material transactions. Here, http://www.napcoti.com/culture/kihouin01.htm#top , we see examples of the records. The pictures show, for example, the reception of a number of eggs and sake. There is a knot for eggs and a knot for sake. A knot, then, names an egg and a knot names sake just like the word "egg" and the word "sake" do using the Roman alphabet. (I don't know anymore about the knots in Okinawa than I have written! If you have more information, please post it!)

Yep, twist the knife, willya?   :-*

It's a code.  It's also a Very Interesting way to both develop and encourage that Taxonomy I mentioned, vis-a-vis knots aplenty!

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If you and I just met and were sitting together over a coffee table and I wanted your opinion on an adjustable loop, I have a problem.

No you don't.  If we're at breath-smelling distance, you can just tie the knot & slap me with it.  It's when we're separated that the problems arise.  This reflects why English is the primary language of the Internet.  The rules (i.e. "The ABC Song", "I before E" "subject-verb agreement" and all that rot) are pretty well "cast in stone", and the atomic components (letters, dipthongs) don't change much either, making them easy to map to small, simple bit patterns.

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What should I use as a name the knot? What would you call this knot? I would tie the knot in a piece of cord and ask you what you thought of this knot. The name of this specific knot is then the knot itself! It is the only way to communicate until we agree on a name (using the Roman alphabet) and then we will only be able to communicate between ourselves.

I tie my knots 'round eggs and ham; I tie them tightly, Sam-I-Am.  I tie my knots in bits of string, but PABPRES can tie knots in any thing!   ;D  Sorry,  I just didn't want you to think I wasn't cheerful about all of this.

I'm starting to see a "blurred line" here.  You seem to be talking about a language, where the component "words", or "unique concepts", are made up of knots or collections of knots.  Basically using knots as "letters", but with the capability of using them as "words" as well.  Kinda like the use of the letter/words "I" and "A".

But asking what one thinks "of this knot" is like asking what you thought of "G".  Okay, it's a pretty letter, curly and kinky at the same time.  Woo-woo.  That threw me.  The thing is, you don't really need to wonder about "the letter 'G'" to know how to use it to build words -- unless you're one of those "type with one hand" chatters with their bizarre abbreviations -- you just need to recognize its shape and (if you're speaking) its pronunciation.  Which means you'd have to be shown a "G" at some point.  By a guy sitting in a booth at the Diner, perhaps, or by a Priest at the Temple of Mammon...  (It was commerce, don't ya know, that fueled the Sumerians, the Incas, the Okinawans, etc.  Capitalizm R00Lz, D00d!)

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You give an example of the lumberjacks calling out to each other.

Okay, I apologize for being silly, but just look what it got us!

More to follow.  Silly YABBC!
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: nautile on September 23, 2005, 03:16:54 AM
Raising ut the ante to tanka ( nautilian!)

Of which matter
names are made of
convenience
What are friends for
leniency

Cheers
Charles

PS not so off topic as it may seems
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Jimbo on September 23, 2005, 03:24:44 AM
YABBC Coping Strategy Continues:

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This demographic has an agreed upon name, in their language, for a specific knot.

That hardly explains why they still call a "Bowline" a "Bowline".  Shouldn't they have their own name?

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However, for a larger demographic, as witnessed by this and other forums, there is no agreed name for most knots. That is why, I think, that for most knots, a knot name has little value unless it is with the who, what, where, when and sometimes why of the name. Today, the only reliable name for a specific knot is the knot itself, or a graphic of that knot.

IMNERHO, having only lightly scratched the surface of ABOK, that's only True because Clifford Ashley died too soon.  I'm guessing he had a Tolkein-esque "Silmarillion" in mind as an "ABOK Concordance".

But still, when you see the word "Concordance", you don't pause to speculate on the various aspects of the letter 'd' in there, do you?

Likewise the Inca probably just threw a "Figure 8" into their quipu and said "llama" (or "rutabaga" or whatever).  They didn't worry over such trivialities as whether this end went that way or the other, they just did it, like I type a 'd'.

The main "problems" with such iconic languages have to do with distance and complexity.  It's hard to convey, say, a figure 9 knot (IIRC a Fig8 with an extra twist?) from a mile away in Real Time.  Secondly, as the Knot Theorists will secretly admit, there are only a (relatively) small, finite number of ways to kink a cord; which means the 'language' of knots has a "glass ceiling".

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When one posts a question about a knot on this forum, it is clear, whatever name you use, you must post a graphic or a reference to a graphic of the knot to be understood.

Just as when I question a writer about their use of the letter 'w', I show them a 'w', just like this one: W
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Without a graphic (or reference), at worst, the name used only contains the information that this is what the poster calls a knot (which knot?). The information we need is in the graphic of the knot. Effectively, a name, alone, is valueless for communication with the readers of knotting forums. I would say (as a catch phrase) that the name of this specific knot is the knot itself.

Here's where our prolific Nautile will puff up with Gallic pride.  Have you looked at the French names for knots?  Unless I'm just stupid (stranger things have happened), the French names seem to have the most functional descriptionality (I just made that up, can you tell?  Ain't English fun?) built in.  "Le n½ud de halage" just trips off the tongue much more sweetly than "Jimbo's Jug Sling #2" (a "Single Bottle Knot" - props to Bazz and the RAN - with an extra flip), but they're identical.  And if you translate, "The Knot for Towing" is a heck of a descriptive name, to boot!

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I am "iffy" on the value of programming as a metaphor for knotting.

Is that the "IFF" (meaning: "If and ONLY if") of logicians?  Good one!  In the spirit of this thread, programming is, indeed, by necessity, a metaphor for _______ (you fill in the blank).  That's its job.

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None-the-less, in OOP (Object Oriented Progamming), the "A" could be or do many different things. What it is or does depends on the object to which it refers.

Holy Overloaded Operator, Batman!!  And you wonder why Microsoft software is so weak!  >:(  One of the "rules" has to be: "A is A".  IOW, we really do need "rules" and not just "suggestions".  It's no coincidence that "OOP" is the first part of "OOPs"!!

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For, say, 500 knots, there needs to be an organization of the knots to lead the users from a "root" to the knot.

Taxonomy.  Where have I heard that before?

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To design this ... what questions they are likely to ask.

Like, for example, "How in the world was Clifford Ashley (or any ordinary human) able to pull that off? ? ?"

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...a knowledgeable knotter ... simple database ... user knows very little ... very challenging.

That's only until the "50th Monkey" learns to wash his potato.  One other problem is, you gotta "run what you brung", meaning what you start with has to take you all the way to the end, or else you get this hodgepodge, back-and-forth-referenced mess like ABoOK!! (Okay, I'm sorry he died!  But CWA, you must admit, was much more of an artist than, say, a librarian!!  Where's "Dewey Decimal" when you need him??)

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Was there once a Chinese curse - may you live in interesting times?

Hey!  That's a blessing!!   ;D

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... that will teach you to ask me to expound!

Glad I did it!!  Looks like there's a lot of "deep end" in your pool, too!!
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Brian_Grimley on September 23, 2005, 08:00:27 AM
Jimbo,

Perhaps I could clearify my first post by asking: what questions did my first post, in this thread, answer?

The first question was: what use of knots has been uncovered by modern research? An answer was the use, by the Incas, of knots as names in the khipu. This was new to me and, in case it was new to other readers of the IGKT Forum, I decided to post it.

The second question was: is there a unique name for  all the known knots. The answer was no. And, in the postscript, I tried to argue that the only way to identify most knots was to show the knot itself or a graphic (picture etc.) of that knot. With the idea of knots used as names in the khipu, I suggested the thought that the "name" of most knots was, by necessity, the knot itself or a graphic (picture etc.) of that knot.

Willeke pointed out that many of her discussions of knots would have been impossible without a "bit of string". I look at that as an example of the knot itself being used as its name (identifier). That is, an accepted word does not, at present, exist that will identify that knot.

As you point out, information has been recorded with a stick on clay. I only suggest that information has been recorded with a knot on string and that information included a name. I do not suggest any other relationships with the use of a knot or knots and the recording of a spoken language.

I do suggest, if you are writing about a specific knot, an accepted, definitive name will probably not exist for that knot. The knot will have to be defined by the knot itself or a graphic of that knot. In theory, that knot could be described in the text. However, looking at posts in various forums, attempts at descriptive texts have not been successful.

If I remember correctly, PABPRES was collecting the names for knots used by lumberjacks and timberworkers. I would be interested to know from him if they call the Bowline, a Bowline. If they do, it is not surprizing. The Bowline is a name that is accepted by a large demographic that includes lumberjacks. Why should they have a different name?

You state, that in organizing knots, "you gotta 'run what you brung'". If you look at "what Ashley brung": graphics and, where available for a knot, the knot's who, what, where, when and various hows, name, alternate names, references, bibliography, stories and application, I do not share your evaluation of his organization within his book.

In response to my suggestion that one should anticipate the questions a beginner might ask in designing the organization of knot information for beginners you replied: "How in the world was Clifford Ashley (or any ordinary human) able to pull that off? ? ?"  One suggestion is to read various knot forums and note the questions asked by beginners in those forums. Forums, other than knot forums, also contain beginners' questions on knots. Those questions are a start in understanding what beginners might ask. They are also a start in understanding the beginners' vocabulary about knots.

Without an understanding of the content of your database and your audience and objectives, I can not comment on the organization of your material. So there! ;D

Cheers,
Brian.


Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: nautile on September 23, 2005, 01:39:47 PM
Hi all of you !
Miscellany of the thoughts that popped ( non sequitur and no "immediate" logic, but somewhere my neural pathways ( do you prefer networks ?) made these connections.
( "tres decousu" : very much here and there, and nowhere. I fear)

...does the knot in the handkerchief the vestigial remnants of knotting notation ? the downfalled mnemonic trick sired by the knots used in Incas/Japanese ( but then Okinawa's population is quite particular just as "basques" are qui particular in spanish and french populations) as account ledger or "archival techniques" or "telling" or...

...in my african chilhood , with my aboriginal friends we used to mimic or drawn the animal we had no common name to name.
We surely went the way "man" went.
Pictures...pictograms...then more abstraction and ideograms...and then only a few letters that allow untold number of words, first consonnants and then adding vowels to make for "clearer" communication...

...are we looping back to the begginning of it all...what with logos, intending to convey a "logos" in a picture most of the time ( return of the pictograms or the ideograms ? ( an aside put the "v" of void at the begginning of ideograms ! see PABPRES how a turn can change the whole thing. See how with using videograms in a coded manner in a small community we could convey a judgmental value, without the un-initiated being the wiser.
All is about convenience, convention, agreed upon mind-map, and much more, but essentially "social" "things".
I fear that as soon as you utter a "sound" or write a "scribbling" you are fixing a "notion" in the mind of the other, notion he may not even have the choice to accept or reject as it is essentlly an "unconsious" process and very much deeply "ingrained" by all the previous experiences/interactions. Then with this notion came jugmental stance like/dislike. And there trouble flourished, rooted in the fact of "perceiving"...
So since all is about "aggreement" between interacting entities they can choose what ever they like :then why not naming with knots or designating knot with their own "lay-out" or "setting-out".. I find the idea to my liking. But how ones utter a "drawing".It would go only in "line of sight"( virtual or "real") based communication. Then what of the "blind" ? Are they excluded ? deaf can perceived vibrations on a phone and dumb can write and listen. So if the "naming of knot" is essentially visual then it must be provided for a sort of "braille" for knots...

...keeping in mind the chinese thought : "la ou regne le desordre, les mots sont les degres qui y menent", "where disorder if sovereign, words are the staircase that leads there" So the idea of a tautological naming of knots : the map being for once the territory and "vice versa", would seems a good idea...

...I think that when means of visual communication are available then surely the safest ( less noise to garble the signal) way to speak about a knot is to "give its lay-out" as naming procedure, better if visual AND physical proximity : go the full way and "do" the knot, do not accept a, may be, faulty or unsatisfactory, "representation...

...what with acronyms...and communication without failure at high rates...

...could not the alphabet we use be the "low level" tool and the ideogram, pictogram, acronym, the "higher level" ones ?
Where are the representation of, or the knot itself on this scaling ?
Does the knot become its own logo/pictogram. Interesting.
The older chinese ideograms are very near ( quite abstracted, granted) to be pictogram in design. Some part of a given ideogram is a graphical representation of a natural object or of its connotations, and then we are slipping into "ideas", and it is linked to the significance of the whole ideogram.
Can a knot drawing be its ideogram or its pictogram ?...

...very easy to use the drawing of a knot but then if we are discussing on a telephone line (internet definitely closed down overnight) how could we still discuss of a particular knot without an "letters-based" or a "numeral-base" agreed "naming value" for it ?...

...coud the Incas and Okinawa knots be a sort of "morse" ( see how with simply 2 knots for . and - we could "save" knowledge in hardware...

...these ( I am fascinated by them, in fact) knotting "scriptures" , cannot they be a "shortened" alphabet ( remember our 26 letters one can easily downsized as it was once to 21 and still maintain "sense" profided you put a "." or a " " (empty space to provide the information about the "eluded" letter position. I can imagine an alphabet base on  letters, sorry, knots as in the Quipus that seems to be comprised of only :

- FIVE type knots ( their combining may very well have "specially attributed meaning", therby extending the "letters". You must add SPACE as a "letter" not only space as such but its LENGHT.
- ONE "main cord"
- TWO sort of cords branching on the main : "upper cord" and "lower cord"
- On these upper and lower cords may be attached "secondary cords"
- plus use of COLOURS . (We use colours code everyday : e.g think of the coding of ropes, or of condensators or resistances)
Leave you to compute all the "arrangements that are "possible"

Make for something looking a bit like a sort of "chinese abacus" if looked at swiftly...

...do you know that the ZULU people use a colored code for making pearl necklaces or belts.
These convey very sophisticated messages, just as the "writing" in ours T-shirt.
( 7 colours used ). 7 basic "entities" and a mute communication is lauched. Understandable only by the "initiated"...

Bore you to death ? Swift recovery wishes.
It made sense while I wrote it and at the moment of hitting the "post" button. ( Stolen from Brian_Grimley, that one, Hi!)
Afterwards I am almost sure to have second thought on my wisdom!

Cheers.
Charles /nautile





Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: nautile on September 23, 2005, 02:35:59 PM
Last thought before driving to Burgundy in less than an hour:

Quipus and bar codes...
Bar codes ( the crossings of knots ? other entity) and naming of knots...and naming knots...

Cheers
Charles
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Willeke on September 23, 2005, 09:52:43 PM
One of the great things of using internet as our medium, there is nearly no space limit.

So we can have a single representive picture of the knot next to its name, and in the next layer we get a discription the scientific way, a set of instructions how to tie in words, a set of instructions how to tie in pictures, (either still or animated or both,) use, and other names / names in other languages and in an other layer we can offer more information, more ways to tie, stories, warnings and whatever we want.

But to get it running we need to start somewhere.
I vote for starting with simple information that is already available.

So it is not one or the other, it is all. And I would like to have the information Brian gave in the first post of this thread as one of the parts making the story of the knot.
As a footnote in the chapter 'fig. of 8 knot' there can be a paragraph "a knot spells a name".


Willeke
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Jimbo on September 23, 2005, 11:43:53 PM
Dear Brian (et al.),

I thought I was "getting it", that our "instruments" were coming into "tune"; but I get the distinct sense of "drawing up" or "reinforcement", indicating a feeling of beseigement...  Probably just a normal reaction to my usual brutish clumsiness...

Anyway, I hope I don't seem confrontational or diminishing in any way!!  As someone who has studied Communications Theory (and Practice) somewhat thoroughly, and who has actually written a rudimentary compiler (to convert human-readable instructions into something the computer can understand), etc., the idea of using knots to convey meaning (as in "The three figure-of-eight knots is a word; it is a "written" name.") literally struck a chord here!  That would make for a very powerful "language", IMO, and I'm excited about it!

As to any implied or perceived slight against CWA, I apologize!  My assessment of CWA is that he spared us all the effort and expense of travelling to some obscure hole-in-the-volcano there to integrate into the native society well enough to earn the honor of being taught some clever kink in a cord for ourselves.  And he apparently did this in every corner of the world!  He did all the work (with "merely" pen & paper!!) of acquiring the Data, now (IMO) it's up to the rest of us to convert it into useful Information.  What I meant by "run what ya brung" was that if you're building a language it will need to be as complete as you can make it, with enough solidity to permit extending itself into the future.  Latin was fairly thoroughly "crafted" and it didn't survive!  However, I do get the distinct sense CWA's commitment to organization was greatly overshadowed by his intense commitment ("obsession" might not be too strong a word here) to diligently record, graphically, each and every knot known, anywhere and everywhere, at that time.  That effort, and it's result (The ABOK), are awe-inspiring and deserve at least a permanent place in the History of All Mankind.

But I digress...

You and Nautile seem to be "on the same page" regarding what he calls "mind maps" (a grammatical concept), where -- to stick with the topic -- e.g. a set of three figure-eight knots would "map" to "Puruchuco".  This is the essence of creating any "language", be it spoken, written, or computer.  The "tokens" ("words", "knots", "opcodes") must relate to something IRL (In Real Life, which includes imaginary constructs) or they (by definition) have no "meaning".  Where the Jesuits sinned was in destroying the "map" the Inca used (their "Rosetta Stone") so all we now have are their quipu and the opinions of some modern archaeologists as to speculative associations therewith.  The articles you provided are quite interesting, but they seem to ask more questions than they answer.  And still, I only saw them as examples of your point.

The suggestion you made re: beginners hit home, too!!  I cheerfully admit I am a green, wet, yellow-pooping baby in this group, and how!! :o  It's an honor just to get noticed here, even dismissively!  If you want to know what questions a beginner would ask, I may be able to help!  One question I know we all get asked is "what's the name of that knot?"  (As I am, at best, "Rainman with a rope", I never know how to answer that.  Seeking the name of the Single Bottle Knot was what led me here in the first place.)  Question #2, if we're lucky might be "How do I tie it?"...

It just sounded to me as if you were heading for some sort of "knot language", which might answer both those questions at once; and I was happy to rush off thataway pell-mell.  I do happen to know a little bit about creating languages, so I hoped only to help.

In order to communicate, one needs four things: a Sender, a Reciever, a Message, and a Protocol.  The Protocol is all we need here.

To lean a little Nautile's way, what if we were to decide, say, that the bights, loops, etc. represent the "letters" of our "language", and the knots comprised of them would then be our "words"?  Wouldn't that start us off, or at least give us a toe-hold to work from?

Not to "kiss up", but I have a strong feeling you may have hit on a Very Powerful Way to overcome most of the problems we face when "sharing the wealth" of our knotting experience.  Trying to convey knots as 3D constructs does indeed limit us to face-to-face exchanges, with some extension provided by those few of us blessed with the Art.

By finding the "grammar" of a "knot language", we could finally break free of our bondage to pixtures.  I thought that was a Good Idea, and worth exploring.

(To offer a simile, ABOK is like a Dictionary: you can learn the "words" (the knots) and how to "spell" them (the bights, loops, etc. that comprise them), and a little about their usage (the stories & text).  But a dictionary can't teach you how to write poetry!)

We can now say "the" is a word, but "teh" is not.  If we could find your Way, we might say: the knot "the" can be tied, but the knot "teh" cannot, therefore "teh" is not a knot...

But that's just a newbie's opinion.

Please do continue to expound!  Prolifically, if such suits you!

Gan bei!

Jimbo


*What's a "double-shamu"?  In homage to the hilarious move "Gone Fishing", the double-shamu is the only knot that can currently be described verbally.  Here's how:
"When you can't tie a knot, tie a lot." <LOL>
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Brian_Grimley on September 24, 2005, 02:54:49 AM
Willeke,

I think your suggestions for the content of the "database" helps meet several aims expressed for this work.

One aim was to attract people who have interests where the knots they use are of secondary importance to them. If there is a catagory for each specific knot called applications, then a  way of accessing the information appealing to these people could be designed.  By applications, I mean how the knot IS used; NOT how we think a knot can be used!

For example, it seems that a mantra of canal boaters is: "I'm not interested in knots ... I just use them to moor my boat." Yet, on their forum, ocassionally mooring knots are discussed with the usual confusion over names and types and different suggestions. If the "database" contained several knots with information under "application" about their use in canal boating, an access to that information could be written geared to canal boaters. A boater says to his buddy: "Try here, quick access to what you want to know ... Oh, I didn't know that ... very interesting!" Very appealing, I think!

A second aim was to promote a proper knot name that hopefully will become universal. Attract people with different specific interests to the site and then to the knot information for what they want or need and they see: Name and Other Names. Perhaps, a proper name can become universal.

Built into the module for a knot there could be a "See Also" link to lead the canal boater to other knots and the rest of the "database".

Similarly, a access for archaeology could be built if the information was there. Why, even an access system for people interested in slinging and building slings could be built! (appealing to Willeke's interest in slings! :))

Cheers,
Brian.

Ps. "So it is not one or the other, it is all." - Willeke
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Brian_Grimley on September 24, 2005, 05:59:11 AM
Jimbo,

You said, "what if we were to decide, say, that the bights, loops, etc. represent the "letters" of our "language", and the knots comprised of them would then be our "words"?  

Ah, now I understand your confidence that the organizational structure would be a taxonomy.

Nautile posted a "Hommage to Frank Charles Brown" in the thread, "Can of worms:naming knots". Nautile posted some correspondence with Frank Brown on his yahoo site. When I read it, Frank Brown seemed to have ideas along these lines and referenced other works. What do you think of Frank Brown's ideas?

I have had fun with knots by undoing the last "tuck" of an established knot and seeing which knot was left. Then, l could "retuck" the running end in different ways to see which knots (in ABOK) were created. It was, at times, very interesting! It is sort of exploring a part of your taxonomy from the bottom up (and down one).  :)

I can understand that knots could be organized in this way. But, how to approach developing a set of rules or axioms or algebra that distinquishes between real and unreal knots leaves me cold. Any ideas?

Lots of questions!

Cheers,
Brian.
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Willeke on September 24, 2005, 10:58:54 AM
If the data-base has a search function as has this forum you can search for any word at the site. If we can make a double search function one level for the different headings of the "chapters" and the other for any word, we can have a simple find what you want for every body.

Willeke
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: Jimbo on September 24, 2005, 11:14:42 PM
Quote
Ah, now I understand your confidence that the organizational structure would be a taxonomy.

Actually, that's all a taxonomy is.  "...Division into ordered groups or categories..."  I made it a URL link the first time I used it, to point to the definition.

I was just trying to condense a lot of what many of us had already written.  Nautile tried to get "into the bights" of the thing a little early, IMO, but that's the can of worms he opened nonetheless.

Quote
What do you think of Frank Brown's ideas?

Well, I find his pixtures dizzying.  If I had to learn knots by them, I'd "tie a lot" ;) and you'd know me as "Mr. Double Shamu"!!  And I object to his use (http://charles.hamel.free.fr/FrankCharlesBrown/Frank%20Charles%20Brown%20-%203.jpg) of the arrow to indicate the SPart, and an eye to represent the tag end.  That's functionally inconsistent, but easily fixed.

Of course, in our mythical "whatzit", I'd definitely like to see his pix with Willeke's with Nautile's notations, with Ropeworks (http://www.ropeworks.biz/text/arch.html)' quaint antique-looking drawings, with whomever's whatever, and with photographs too.  Once we get to the point of populating the database, each item (knot, bend, whatever) could have multiple images associated with it.  There is no need to constrain those lists, so if "Knot A" had, say, 50 illustrations and "Knot B" had but six, both could be fully represented, with "growing room" for all.  Such is the power of modern database technology!

Speaking of which, Mel, our illustrious Webmistress, with the constellation of stars beneath her Username, hath spoken:

Quote
Given that I do not profess to be a knot expert (or even beginner) by any stretch of the imagination, please understand that I may be throwing yet another worm into this particular can.

However, my particular skills revolve around finding technical solutions to problems, so perhaps I can be of some use here.

It seems to me one possible option here would be to develop a standardised, image based, dictionary via the igkt.net site initially. As I see it, such a dictionary would comprise single entries of a standard, close-up image of each knot catalogued by it's most common (or IGKT voted) name followed by every known name variation for that particular knot. Entries could also include technical descriptions, earliest known usage, common current usage etc etc.

The entire dictionary could be database-driven which would allow the opportunity for the data, once entered, to be output in a variety of ways. Most useful of all, people could such search on any name variations and they would still find the appropriate knot entry (or entries). Other elements could also possibly be searched upon such as 'current usage'.

The technology to develop such an online project is currently available on igkt.net. All I would need is the official go-ahead from IGKT officials and a working group to  develop it with.

Mel


(sigh...  I think I'm in e-love! ... Pardon me while I go re-read that!)

I'd say we have all the cards, we just need to start playing poker!

Quote
I have had fun with knots by undoing the last "tuck" ... It was, at times, very interesting! It is sort of exploring a part of your taxonomy from the bottom up (and down one).

I became "hooked" on knots by stupidly kinking my pajama drawstring around a frob on the bedpost at age 2 or 3.  Droopy PJ's are a significant[/b] motivator to learn how to untie a "Double Shamu" like that!  Sorry, that fit the "bottom up" and the "down one" parts too well to leave by!   ;)

Quote
I can understand that knots could be organized in this way. But, how to approach developing a set of rules or axioms or algebra that distinquishes between real and unreal knots leaves me cold. Any ideas?

I'd say we need to get our Webmistress involved first.  She is absolutely invaluable as a guide to the technology we'll have to use, even if it's just "for starters".  If we already have the tools to make a prototype, why not start?  If Mel merely keeps her mind and the structure of this "database" open, we can adapt as we go.

She'll want data, though.  We all still need to find some good pixtures!!  I can't help but speculate that CWA's pix are the Very Best we can hope for for "Picture #1" of each knot.  "Picture #2" and so on could be whatever, from whomever; but (at the risk of deifying CWA ... Dan) I really do think his pix deserve the First Prime spot.

The only decent suggestion I have (parroting oh-so-many others herein) is to have each knot and all it's pix/drawings in its own "bucket", then use the Indexing capabilities of the DBMS to take care of your Volga Boatmen vs. Hairy Lumberjack nomenclature differences.  That's what (I think) Willeke meant, too.  The newbie looking for a knot could enter whatever name they think it's called & only the Index would be touched until they found what they were looking for.  The only other thing I'd like to see would be a "top-down" tree view, just to give the grazers (as opposed to browsers) the opportunity to explore the knots by category.

But it's still exciting, isn't it, to see this idea growing legs (http://www.ramalila.net/Adventures/Authors/1018055278_writing.html)! ? ! ?

TTFN.

Jimbo
Title: Re: Naming with Knots
Post by: nautile on September 28, 2005, 03:49:26 PM
ERRATA:It is not five but THREE types of knot ( sorry for my mistake, misreading/interpretation of a picture )


I wrote :
Quote
in the Quipus that seems to be comprised of only :

- FIVE type knots ( their combining may very well have "specially attributed meaning", therby extending the "letters". You must add SPACE as a "letter" not only space as such but its LENGHT.
- ONE "main cord"
- TWO sort of cords branching on the main : "upper cord" and "lower cord"
- On these upper and lower cords may be attached "secondary cords"
- plus use of COLOURS . (We use colours code everyday : e.g think of the coding of ropes, or of condensators or resistances)
Leave you to compute all the "arrangements that are "possible"




THREE types of knot, one of which use 8 modalities : figure of -eight knot, half knot, and "the long knot" (in fact the same knot as the "franciscan's"! with one 2 to 9 turns.
1 unity is the figure-of-eight knot ( so as not to be mistaken with the half-knot.
Half knot count tenths or hundreths.
There is a section for unity ( the furthest from the main cord., a section for tenths, one for hundreths ( the nearest from the main cord.
The upper cords are the sum of the lower cords ther are attached to.

Use of colours : the QUECHUAN language ( Incas) recognize 24 colours.

On these upper and lower cords may be attached "secondary cords"  and there can be secondary cords on secondaries!

Even the way the rope is laid is taken on account : turning right : propicious things ; turning left ( sinistra - sinister) ominous things.

The system is credited with 1536 different "information" signs ( greater than the Mesopotamian cuneiform or the Egygtian hieroglyph.)

The numeral content is considered as "known"
BUT
There is an extra-numeral content that is not really know as yet. ( seems that the Quechuan language has characteristics that help to be an easily encoded language : paucity of words,  and provison to modify ( modulate?) a given term with "particles" and "suffixes".

An aside ?

In West Africa, at the beginning of the european colonisation it was quite "ordinary" to find "african quipus" : strings with knots used to account or to "tell".

Few are left in museum for one reason : as as soon as their use was at an end they were mandatorily destroyed by burning.
Just as if we were to burn the calendar  day leaf as soon as the day is ended.
Those remaining are rarely exibited : not really "spectacular" enough.