Author Topic: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!  (Read 15898 times)

Dan_Lehman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3956
Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« on: July 27, 2009, 10:50:53 PM »
In a roundabout way, from the researches of sometime participants in
this forum, Jimbo & Nautile, come this gem of knots-nonsense, spread
now with the reach & speed of the WWWeb:  The Bull Hitch, according
to the unexposed wisdom of eHow @www.ehow.com/how_2246978_tie-bull-hitch.html
Quote
A bull hitch is so-named for its use in tying a rope to a bull's nose ring
(!)

This is an insight I cannot confirm; I know that it surfaced in km47:13-5 (1995-01)
from Robert Pont of France, and was mused to come from a native Canadian
boy, Piwich; to which Heinz Prohaska reported its use to tie on small Overhand
stoppered pull tabs of nylon tap on clothing (IIRC); perhaps there were further
sightings trickling into KM which I've forgotten.  In one of his numerous books,
Geoffrey Budworth took a bit of whimsy in naming this more secure variant
of the Cow Hitch "Bull Hitch" .  I'm unaware of other bullish involvement.
But now on the Net I can learn that it was so-named for tying to a ring in a
bull's nose!  Imagine!

It all gets the more enjoyable when reading tying step #3, which advises:
Quote
... Make a half-twist with the loop, bring it over the ring and push the ring completely through it.
... and the bull will be sure to follow!  remarks the sage Nautile/Jimbo !!  :o

RE-MARK-A-BULLLL...feathers!!!   ;)     :D       ;D

And a bull-feathered fantasy takes flight?!  ::)

So much for the rigor of knots research, eh.
It's not unprecendented, unfortunately -- rather, it's more the rule.
Here's one of my favorite nuggets of flying bull from the make-believe world
of "Hansel&Gretel" (viz., EncycKnots&FancyRopework) :
Quote
[p.64#65,]
The Turkish Archer Knot is said to have been used over one thousand years ago by Turkish
archers, who were capapble of shooting an arrow eight hundred yards with the attachment
illustrated in Fig.65.  ...  Incidentally, the remarkable distance the ancient Turks were capable
of shooting an arrow has never been equaled, probably because the unusual method of using
this knot apparently has been forgotten.

    [!!  How lucky for us H&G bring it to us, then, eh?!  8)  ]

I'm drawn back to EKFR now upon seeing that it enjoys a similarly
remarkable high (4.5 stars) rating after a good number of reviews on Amazon.com,
including a 5-star one from the IGKT-PAB's Joe Schmidbauer, and even 3 stars
(and expressed concurrence w/Joe's review) by ... ME !  Egads, this cannot stand!
Really, the more I look at the oddball stuff in this tome, the more disgusted I am
with myself for having ever swallowed the thought that this work was worthwhile;
really, it is at times most appallingly bad, and never -- at least re practical knots --
much good.  I have found some cases of copying (from Hasluck & Biddle) and
can thus know the source before them and see the nonsense that emerged (they
managed to change both copied nonsense, Wot?knots (my/Geoffrey's name),
and yet have no better variant resulting, and nothing --as usual-- to say about them.
And this book is one of few knots books that has (1) been published and (2) been
reprinted, for a half century!!  Are knot tyers commerce's biggest dupes?
Makes ya wonder!

Time to redress the Amazon reviews.
 :(

--dl*
====


« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 05:13:10 AM by Dan_Lehman »

roo

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
    • The Notable Knot Index
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2009, 11:21:37 PM »
Are knot tyers commerce's biggest dupes?
Makes ya wonder!

If it makes you feel any better, I don't think I've yet come across a textbook that doesn't have some blunders in it.  Think of it as a means of testing your proofreading and critical-thinking skills.
If you wish to add a troll to your ignore list, click "Profile" then "Buddies/Ignore List".


squarerigger

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • IGKTPAB Immediate Past President
    • The Knot Guy
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2009, 12:20:08 AM »
To all the willing critics and others who have denigrated various as-yet unnamed "knot-book authors",

Maybe you could do us all a favor by pointing out the chapter and verse wherein lie these blunders and mistakes that you so reference but without ever saying what they are and where they are? ???

Roo said:
Quote
I don't think I've yet come across a textbook that doesn't have some blunders in it.
:-\

I would be very interested in the interests of fairness to the errant authors of those blundering books to learn what the specific mistake(s) is/are so that we can all learn, instead of having these thinly veiled ruminations as to all knot-books are trash nonsense?  Dan, thank you for pointing out chapter and verse of EKFR - very helpful in some respects, but how do we do something about it (apart from bewailing its inaccuracies?).  Should we advise the publishers and offer to correct the book?  You suggest you might change your review - will that right the wrong or simply intrigue people to buy it so that they can try to meet with your erudition?  Maybe this posting topic in Chit Chat is the right place, maybe there should be another.  But let us have specifics please so that we do not all have to wonder "What are the mistakes and where are they?"  How can we learn from these erudite gentlemen of distinction what errors have befallen those wayward miscreants who have so dared to abuse the public in this fashion?  Awaiting your specifics gentlefolk....

SR

Dan_Lehman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3956
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2009, 05:56:15 AM »
To all the willing critics and others who have denigrated various as-yet unnamed "knot-book authors",
Maybe you could do us all a favor by pointing out the chapter and verse wherein lie these blunders and mistakes that you so reference but without ever saying what they are and where they are? ???
This goes a bit off this topic but right to some remark I made elsewhere.
Yes, it might do to produce Errata for some growing list of books,
as was pretty well done for ABOK -- a book also long-published,
and an accepted standard reference.  (BTW, I am tardy, but yet clinging to
furthering the indexing there.)

More to the point here was pointing out both the hilarity of the stated
purpose of a knot enjoined with a tying method, and the seeming birth
of a knot myth (use w/bull nose rings (punk bulls)) -- like CLDay cited
re Stevedore's knot :  named for a company, not profession.

Quote
I don't think I've yet come across a textbook that doesn't have some blunders in it.
:-\

But it's not a mere blunder but some ya-gotta-know-they-didn't-know
hocus-pocus.  (Unless someone can turn up an actual bull-ring practice ... .)
And re EKFR, I'll --yes-- enumerate, for it's that sooooo MUCH of that
book just begs the question Why is <this knot> here?!.  -- along with
obvious, traceable mistakes in some cases of known knots.

Quote
Maybe this posting topic in Chit Chat is the right place,
I thought it a more general topic than Practical, and good here.
(Btw, I posted a note about how nicely our limited segregation of forums
is working  -- go there for a healthy richness of decorative ideas, or over
there and immerse in practicalities, or generally talk about events in this
old forum.  It's a nice time to step back an appraise that organization.)

Really, Roo & SquareRigger, I should assign to you each a starting page
in EKFR and challenge you to progress from the first numbered
knot with some understanding of What it is and Why it's presented and
What value do you give to it .  Say, p.84#198 & p.600#1, respectively.
Care to take on this exercise?

I'll start here at p.60, and later try to set out more of my long collection of
scribbled notes on EKFR -- but the more I thumb back'n'forth in this tome,
the more notes I see to make (cross-references for the same or like knots,
e.g.; other oddities).

0)  A general failing is the text's near complete lack of any useful information
regarding a knot.  Often there is some simple assertion that the knot can be
easily tied by looking at the photograph; this is in fact not always true.  But
the big thing is that for the bulk of the *things* in the book, the text really
does little than give a comical, nonsense name, and often match that in the
*explanation* of the knot.  E.g.,
Quote
pp.102-3pl.48#348  "The Overhand Sheet
Bend
has an Overhand Knot formed in one part, with the other part passed
through the body of the Overhand Knot, as indicated by the illustration."
a) Huh?!
b) There is no hint of which of the 4 ends is to be loaded, although being called
a "Sheet Bend" we might presume that one end on each of upper/lower sides is so.
c) In fact, there are some workable knots that can result from this tangle, no help
to Hansel&Gretel though.  Loading the top two ends works (and brings to mind
a Rob Chisnall-cited (or "invented") "Technical Hitch" (perhaps it was that he cited
another's work as inspiring his discovery?).  Again, no help from this book to What? !

Quote
p.61/3pl.24#33 The Topsail Sheet Bend is similar to the Midshipman's Hitch.  It is
used as another method of securing a sheet to the clew cringle of a sail, and will not come unfastened,
no matter how hard the sail may flap.
Well, bullfeathers!  The photo appears to show the end seized to the S.Part,
so I hope that that damn well stays flappingly tied; but any knot works if seized.
Otherwise, I say bunk:  the finishing round turn is hardly an assurance of security.
Quote
p.60pl24#36 The Single Bowline on Bight.  Another Method, can be tied quickly,
and forms a secure loop capable of being untied easily after having been drawn tight.
Hmmm, looks quite dubious, and begs the ol' question, Which end ... ?
Quote
p.60pl.24#47 The Dutchman's Knot is a relic of bygone sailing ship days,
and is now a curiosity.
Ha!  This one could be the prize winner.  "A curiosity" indeed -- now and ever.
Well, we have Dutch posters, maybe they can reach into salty imaginations ... .

Quote
p.62-3pl.24#38 The Clevis Knot is another rare (!) form of knot, which can be easily duplicated
by closely studying the illustration.
Okay, what is this?  Which end is to be loaded (either or, both, neither)?
It looks as though it would be handy for a mid-line eyeknot, except that
it's not TIBight -- a rather important aspect for such knots.

Quote
p.62-3pl.24#39 The Interlocking Overhand Knots is a simple method of uniting two Overhand Knots.
Except that is is not -- not so simple, and definitely not two Overhand Knots
(lost count after "one").  Beyond this, ... what???!!  Is uniting Overhands some
common desire (even if one had a whole two such knots)?

And then the rest of the plate covers a bona fide, Farmer's Knot, then
indulges some old sailor nonsense of the Jury Mast knot -- a most unseemly
supposed solution to rigging, but much razzle-dazzle of shifting bights.
Well, Charles Hamel tried chasing this myth to some firm ground, but he
was left still on shifting waters of just aggregated beliefs that it probaby
was used, but ... .  I remain skeptical, as CLDay came to admit.  These
knots don't so well grip and hold the supposed mast.

--dl*
====
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 05:35:39 AM by Dan_Lehman »

J.Knoop

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 80
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 09:46:29 AM »
Gentlemen Knotters,

What is the problem in creating a new category on this forum (KNOTTING LITERATURE), itemize per source-title, and let everybody publicly name & shame the knotbook author sucker(s)?

If the poor knotbook writing souls decide to sue the guild, no problem, we can back up with rock-solid evidence. Verifiable propagated nonsense. Ofcourse somebody else can start a website (IGKT-KNOTTING-GAFFS for example) and nail us experts to a tree for verifiably propagating knotting nonsense.

Joop Knoop.

roo

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
    • The Notable Knot Index
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 04:27:56 PM »
and let everybody publicly name & shame the knotbook author sucker(s)?

Perhaps the aim should be a charitable pursuit of truth rather than a personal attack.  How would you prefer to be corrected when you make a mistake?
If you wish to add a troll to your ignore list, click "Profile" then "Buddies/Ignore List".


squarerigger

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • IGKTPAB Immediate Past President
    • The Knot Guy
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 05:16:39 PM »
My dear Mr Knoop,

Quote
publicly name & shame the knotbook author

My aim is not shame but education and erudition.  Ultimately the aim of the IGKT is to educate
Quote
so that we can all learn
and the audience includes knot-book authors.  There seems little point in berating dead authors, so initially it would be helpful to point out, chapter and verse in their books, which errors, in our never-less-than-humble opinions, have crept in by printing error, publisher error or popular understanding at the time based on an inexact science?  Perhaps, therefore, a more positive approach would be in order (thank you for your suggestion Roo) rather than the pillory?

Dan, you have selected some excellent places to start - do you have a pattern that may be followed thereafter?

SR

J.Knoop

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 80
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2009, 05:37:56 PM »
Dear Mr. SR and Roo,

Quote
How would you prefer to be corrected when you make a mistake?

I think the issue is more complicated than that and that you gentlemen are missing the gist of my remarks. Either deliberately misinterpreting or not, shall be of no concern right now.

Roo, it is not a matter of me coming under fire for what I  write about knots, as I have long since passed that stage. My point is more ironic, rather than a personal attack on people who write about knots, my alinea's last sentence will tell you that you should brace for impact from the rest of the world. After all, on what do you base your collective expertise? 

The subject of knots is hard for many reasons. The trend on this forum is getting facts right in a field where there is (1) no tradition of "facts" nor (2) finding them and (3) eventually "getting them right" an even more elusive exercise.

Mr. SR claims the aim is education and erudition, and that

Quote
ultimately the aim of the IGKT is educate

All in all aggregating to a contradiction in terms, as over 25 years into its existance the IGKT has nothing to present as a basis for its educational aim nor for its "authority". Yes, they are a registered charity for the sake of collecting UK taxpayer's money, but where is the erudition SR speaks so praisingly of? How come the world does not automatically make the link KNOTS-IGKT? Let me guess, the world does not respond in Pavlovian terms.

Apparantly, gentlemen, a turn has been missed during your self-proclaimed knotting expertise. Setting it right for the world to accept will turn out a daunting task.

Have a nice day.

Joop Knoop.






roo

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
    • The Notable Knot Index
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2009, 05:49:44 PM »
Dear Mr. SR and Roo,

Quote
How would you prefer to be corrected when you make a mistake?

I think the issue is more complicated than that ...
Would you like to answer the question anyway?

Quote
Apparantly, gentlemen, a turn has been missed during your self-proclaimed knotting expertise.
Where was my proclamation of knot expertise made? ???
If you wish to add a troll to your ignore list, click "Profile" then "Buddies/Ignore List".


J.Knoop

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 80
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2009, 06:00:17 PM »
Dear Roo,

Reading and comprehending are two different things, I know.
Perhaps you might be able to understand that too?

Quote
Would you like to answer the question anyway?

Try and spell out the following words - i-t i-s o-f n-o (and now a big word) c-o-n-c-e-r-n :).


Joop.

roo

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
    • The Notable Knot Index
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2009, 06:02:45 PM »
...
Quote
Would you like to answer the question anyway?

Try and spell out the following words - i-t i-s o-f n-o (and now a big word) c-o-n-c-e-r-n :).

And that's the problem.  :(
If you wish to add a troll to your ignore list, click "Profile" then "Buddies/Ignore List".


J.Knoop

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 80
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2009, 06:13:31 PM »
Roo, yes, that is your problem indeed. Responding w/o reading. I am ever so happy you cottoned onto that.  :D

And will you be able, after your bout of sarcasm, to come with some constructive response? Mr.SR tried, what about yourself?

Joop.

WebAdmin

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 285
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2009, 07:52:56 PM »
Good evening gentlemen,

It seems we have all sorts of feathers in the air here.

To take up two points of interest:

1 - the Guild has historically been uncoordinated over its charitable aim of Education.  However, a sub-committee of the Council has been formed, and is now at work determining how the Guild can best fulfill this function.

2 - There have in times past been references to errors in books, and I must admit I have been hesitant to purchase a book without having some knowledge that the author is held in good standing by other knot tyers.  Publishers' or typesetters' errors can easily crop up, and adequate proofreading really is the only way of overcoming it.  But following the directions for every single knot in order to proofread them would probably add a few weeks to the deadline for a detailed book like an encyclopedia.  I expect it depends on the workload and proficiency of the proofreader themselves.  I personally find it hard to proofread my own work without a couple of days break.  I know what I meant to say, and that's what I read.

How about an experiment?  Initially starting as a thread, and perhaps moving to its own board if it becomes workable, a set of posts detailing in full (not with abbreviations) the publication, the page or other reference, the error and its correction.  Make the word ERRATA the first line of the subject, so as to distinguish the post.  I would suggest putting these under Knot Theory and Computing, for the reasons that:

1 - I can rename the board if need be to reflect its enlarged role,
2 - That board doesn't hold so many messages, and so it will be easier to find the thread quickly
3 - The board's description of getting your teeth into a knot figuratively or literally seems to me to go a long way towards describing this as well.

However, I suggest that these pro bono errata - that is, corrections for the public good - should be just that: statements of error and correction.

Regards

Glenys

Lesley
WebAdmin

squarerigger

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • IGKTPAB Immediate Past President
    • The Knot Guy
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2009, 08:34:02 PM »
Thanks Glenys for your erudition and for showing us what we might do, rather than attempting to merely nay-say another.

BTW, for those who were perhaps unaware, the word Alinea [used in Mr Knoop's post earlier] is the Latin term for the paragraph sign.  This may or may not have been his intent, but, in Latin it means ?off the line? - just thought you might like to know.

You, Mr. Knoop, also reference that the IGKT has nothing to produce - au contraire, mon frere.  When you become a member of the IGKT you will see what 25 years of work has produced with continuing demonstrations of knot-tying, freely given to those who arrive at our various displays throughout the world.  Try it - you may like it and could perhaps be of some use to others, instead.  :P

When posting, I would ask you to show some better accuracy.  While interesting to note your stance of apparent disagreement with every posting, barring only a few minor allowances that someone else may have an equal and similar opinion to your own, your continuing accuracy and a reduction in sarcasm, reportedly the lowest form of wit, would be better appreciated.

SR

J.Knoop

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 80
Re: Bull Feathers -- How Bull Flies w/o Hitting the Fan!
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2009, 09:03:04 PM »
Thank you Glenys for your wise words and proposing the experiment.

In the thread named "What if Clifford Ashley had been into Scouting instead of Whaling?" (http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1405.0) the subject of knowledge management has passed the parade a few times. The suggestion was already uttered, by Dan Lehman, to start a new thread for the errata-topic. The central question inquires into what constitutes "knowledge", as this is the crucial ingredient of what constitutes "errata".

Aside from all issues on IGKT being a registered charity, self-appointed authority and a little thin on reputation, things can change for the better. Once a reputation of reliable knowledge-provider is established things certainly will be different, but this requires the taking of a hurdle. Two hurdles actually.

The first hurdle relates to the nature of knot-knowledge and how to ensure that you know that what you state in that respect is verifiably correct.

The second hurdle relates to objectivity, which I shall leave open for the time being.

As for mr.SR I shall ask you to try and incorporate any form of decency in your future posts. If the following samples of intellectual snobbery illustrate your interpretation of welcome to IGKT, then my advice to you is: think again:

Quote
BTW, for those who were perhaps unaware, the word Alinea [used in Mr Knoop's post earlier] is the Latin term for the paragraph sign.  This may or may not have been his intent, but, in Latin it means ?off the line? - just thought you might like to know.


Quote
While interesting to note your stance of apparent disagreement with every posting, barring only a few minor allowances that someone else may have an equal and similar opinion to your own, your continuing accuracy and a reduction in sarcasm, reportedly the lowest form of wit, would be better appreciated.

Obviously you believe to recognize sarcasm, because it is your hallmark. Grave pity you wish to destroy what seems to be an honoust attempt by webmistress to move forth.

Joop Knoop.