Author Topic: Knots : tools or structures ?  (Read 12621 times)

SS369

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2010, 03:34:08 PM »
Am I the only one in the knotting universe that still uses knots on a daily basis? I have to tie down loads of furniture, building materials, raise things, clamp wood for gluing, steer trees down, etc. Sure I have some fabricated ratcheting web tie downs and they get used, but more times than not it is rope/knotting work that gets the tasks done.
In my humble book knots are tools, even when decorative (which I tie on a weekly basis), because they are therapeutic tools.
Knots started out as tools to accomplish a task and still hold true to this.
They have structure as do all tools, but in the end they Are tools.
An exception(?) may be when the knot (tool) is art, part of spiritual endeavors or being studied and discussed, but that is strictly a perspective call, though may still be tools.

May the knots be with you.

Scott



 

knot4u

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2010, 06:51:01 PM »
I use knots as tools everyday, several times a day.  Here are some examples:

-For the past month I've been putting together various survival kits to go around my neck.  The neck lanyards involve various knots, such as, for example, the Butterfly Bend, the Zeppelin Bend and various stopper knots.  I'm happy to have these secure knots that don't jam because I'm constantly tying and untying the lanyards to modify the kits.  Before I was a student of knot tying, I wouldn't have enjoyed these features without using other tools.

-This past summer I've been using various Trucker's Hitches and various loops to secure loads of landscaping material on my truck.  I've also been using various anchor hitches to secure trees around the yard.

-I tie my shoes with a Square Knot that's slipped on both ends (a basic bow).  It wasn't until I started studying knots when I discovered I was previously tying a Granny Knot on my shoe laces for about 30 years.  I try to explain the Square Knot to people who aren't into knot tying.  They look at me with blank stares, or they get irritated with me because they think they learned how to tie their shoes correctly when they were 5 years.

-I use an Square Knot to secure a bandana around my head when I go snowboarding.

-I use knots when I go fishing.  Before I was a student of knot tying, I had to get someone else to secure the hooks for me.  Imagine that.

-I use an Overhand Knot to secure bags of bread and to secure garbage bags.

-I just used an Overhand Knot to secure the hood on my sweat shirt.

Perhaps some people here take such knot tying for granted because it's probably second nature, or maybe they view such tasks as menial.  For me, the analogy to the slide rule or other relics is misplaced.  Knots have real, actual, necessary use as tools in my current world everyday.  In fact, knots are probably the most used tools I have, more used than my screw drivers and hammers sitting in my garage.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 12:00:42 AM by knot4u »

SS369

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2010, 09:53:25 PM »
I just intend to refrain from buying those shoes that employ "Velcro" or just slip on.
Maybe I should cinch them closed with digital locking pliers.

I really do think that the "antiquating" knots here is not a true reality. Yes some are from a time long ago, but then some have been around just briefly, since the invention of modern cordage.
Yeah, knotting is lapsing into the realm of prehistoric, but whose fault is that?
Thank goodness that there is the Internet so that all the old knotting fogies can pine away, but thank you to them as well.

Regardless, I have no need personally to go out and purchase other tools to do what my smattering collection of knots (tools) can do with just the purchase of the medium to tie.

For me "tools" or "structures" "?" are two distinct avenues of pursuit that interest me for the best of reasons.

SS369

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2010, 03:33:57 AM »
Evolution is going to happen, it always has, good or bad.
We must make sure that history, knotting history in this case, is taught so that at least the young shall have a choice and a chance.  ;-)

No, I am not 15 nor are any of my offspring. They have been taught enough knots that with a little wit about them and some free thinking they will be able to use these tools.

You're only as old as you pretend to be.
Keep studying and teaching.

Sometimes a knot is the best tool in the "box".

knot4u

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2010, 07:51:47 PM »
Xarax,

I get it now.  You're reacting to people wondering the use of each knot pic you post.  You're OK with having the structure of a knot being the main event.  While many others would rather have the application of a knot as the main event.  However, as you noted, the recent applications posted on this forum are rather mundane.  So, you're saying it's OK to discuss structures for academic purposes.  It's kind of like calculus in high school.  Most (or all) students don't have a present use for it, but calculus is mentally stimulating.  Even if you never use calculus as a tool, the mere study of it keeps the brain active and often leads to other discoveries that would not have otherwise surfaced.  There, I just summarized the thread for you.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 07:54:31 PM by knot4u »

SS369

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #20 on: October 26, 2010, 12:16:39 AM »
In short it is therapeutic.

knot4u

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #21 on: October 26, 2010, 05:13:53 PM »
"Theoretical"/knowledge problems posed by the knots studied as structures, are, nowadays, greater/more important than "practical"/application problems solved by knots used as tools.

Now that I understand your angle, I agree that's true most of the time.  However, when a person absolutely needs a knot that works "right now", the more important thing is just knowing the knot for the particular application, not the general understanding of why the knot works.  It's kind of like an IT guy who works at a law firm of 900 attorneys.  If the firm's system goes down, his general knowledge of computers is not so important at that moment.  The application of his knowledge for the particular task at hand is more important at that moment.  If he has to call his old college professor to walk him through it quickly, then that's a better course of action than spending three days understanding the problem and then solving it himself.

Learning the use knots as tools is like learning various cooking receipts to be a household cook- studying the working of knots as structures is like studying to be a chef.

Yeah, I suppose.

The general knowledge of the knots as structures helps us, most of the times, to solve particular problems that require the use of knots as tools, but knot the opposite.

I agree somewhat.  However, given the way I learn, I have to see an application of a knot for me to understand the bigger picture.  In all the knot pics that you post, if I see a pic of a knot in isolation without discussion of its application, I don't understand the knot and I won't remember it.  Given the way I learn, it's usually best for me to see the application FIRST and then the theory after.  I do agree that knowledge of an application, by itself, does NOT lead to a broader understanding of knots.  It's only until I analyze the structure that I begin to acquire a general understanding.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 05:49:32 PM by knot4u »

SS369

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2010, 05:39:07 PM »
Let's see, I was tying knots long before I ever thought about studying the structures. So by my first educated guess I would deem knots to be tools for use.
Knot theory and its cousins are too mathematical for Me to have any enjoyment or therapeutic value.

I cast my vote - Tools.


roo

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1795
    • The Notable Knot Index
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2010, 04:28:23 PM »
their (critical) applications as tools is an art that belongs to the past.
If you are of this opinion (despite repeated contrary evidence), it makes me wonder why you keep participating in the Practical Knotting forum, as opposed to the Knot Theory forum.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 04:31:12 PM by roo »
If you wish to add a troll to your ignore list, click "Profile" then "Buddies/Ignore List".


Transminator

  • Exp. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 144
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2010, 09:31:49 AM »
Till you are kind enough to provide us some stronger evidence about the question posed, we pass your unsympathetic rhetoric. :)

I am getting tired of this thread, frankly.
Most people here seem to be of the opinion that knots are tools (mostly so) as well as structures worth studying.
Yet you keep insisting that practical knot tying (using knots as tools) is a thing of the past and you dismiss any "evidence" posted as irrelevant or not holding up under closer inspection.
As most posters here give you that much that, repeating the above, knots are also structures worth studying, you don't give an inch.

Ask a professional fisherman if he uses knots, mountain climbers, firemen, arborists, farmers, surgeons. I tie my shoes with a knot. I use the constrictor as a tool in fancy knotting, people put a knot in their ties, knots are used for fishing. And even if, as you claim above, some people don't tie their own fishing knots as they buy them readily tied in the shop, who tied them? Somebody tied them and that does not contradict by any means that they are used as a tool.
Even though the old fashioned sailing ships (such as the "Bounty") have mostly been replaced by motorized version in the navy and industry etc. they have not vanished at all on the oceans. The German navy uses one to train their officers and there is a lot of knot tying going on on that ship. Smaller, more modern versions are used for sports. Regattas take place every weekend somewhere and all those ships require knots being used as tools.
 Have a look at any harbour and you find lots of little sailing yachts and boats. Believe it or knot, the owners use knots when they sail them and tie them to a cleat. And even the big commercial motor ships have mooring ropes with a knot at the end.

I consider this as overwhelming evidence that knots are used mostly as tools.
But you will probably look at these examples closely again and find that the knots in these examples are knot really used as tools, right?

nuff said, over to you (as you are going to have the last word anyway)

DerekSmith

  • IGKT Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1518
  • Knot Botherer
    • ALbion Alliance
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2010, 01:00:59 PM »
Are knots more interesting, today, as tools for practical applications or as structures ?

My dear Xarax,

As much as I would dearly like the latter to be the case, despite your attempt to redifine the term 'tool' to be only something which is mainstream and important for life saving issues (my PIC Sliderule is still a tool even though I never use it for what it was intended, just as my Grandfather's boxwood profiling plane is, even though today I would use a router), there remains a veritable ocean of proof that the former is indeed the status of the matter today, and likely to remain so for some considerable time into the future.  So long as man has a use for cordage, he is likely to have a need for knot tools to fully utilise that cordage.

For proof, we could cite numerous daily uses of knot tools (as a gardener I use them daily), but perhaps it is more telling to look closer to home - this very Guild and indeed to this forum - look at our News Magazine Knotting Matters - 80% to 90% decorative, the rest practical and virtually nothing on the area that you and I find most stimulating.  Look at this forum, the greatest number of posts are to practical and decorative with very little to the 'Theory' board.

Consider for a moment, what sort of response you might have had if you had posted this on the Theory board - possibly a couple of "Yes it should be shouldn't it" remarks and that's it, but here on the Practical Board, you have run up nearly three four pages of strong opposition and many many examples of daily knot use as tools.

If man manages to survive a self created technological extinction, then maybe in a few more generations when we move into the post technological era we might have humans with sufficient time and interest and ability to find much greater merit in knot structure than in using string to hold up their bean canes.

Derek
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 09:34:27 AM by DerekSmith »

knot4u

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2010, 08:24:20 PM »
i]"knots solve some problems, not in serious, life threatening situations any more..."
"They do not solve any major problem, they are not useful in any serious situation."
"we do not need them to solve problems posed in critical situations -(like the situations addressed by Heraklas, at 100 AD, read the reference in the relevant thread )"
"Do I actually use them, to solve crucial every day problems ? No !"
"their (critical) applications as tools is an art that belongs to the past."[/i]

???  I recently read a case where a climber applied a Prusik Hitch somehow to save the life a climbing buddy.  (He called it a Prusik hitch anyway.)  Apparently, all the other tools on the rope had failed.  The climber buddy was slipping to his death, and the climber needed to apply a knot then and there QUICKLY.  This case isn't the only one of it's kind that happens regularly.  I won't bother to find the case because you'll dismiss it somehow.  So, I don't want to waste my time.

Further, in average rock and tree climbing, application of properly tied knots is a life or death matter.  It doesn't get anymore critical and serious than that.  No, the stimulation you get from analyzing knots as structures is NOT as important, sorry.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 09:32:36 PM by knot4u »

knot4u

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2010, 12:11:38 AM »
I guess military mountaineering is unimportant according to Xarax.  :-\

We might as well add search-and-rescue to the list of unimportant applications too.

SS369

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1803
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2010, 03:21:11 AM »
Knotting adds to my happiness level.   ;)
If that is not a tremendous good use then there is none.
The activity of knot tying has brought me together with likes of skilled men and women who have become a network of minds that, who knows, may influence the world some day.
Knotting is a happiness Tool!

May the knots be with you.

SS

DerekSmith

  • IGKT Member
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1518
  • Knot Botherer
    • ALbion Alliance
Re: Knots : tools or structures ?
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2010, 09:52:21 AM »

... the most useful practical tool in life is knowledge itself.

Oh YES - I so do sign on to that one (with perhaps a bit of cordage as well - just in case like...)

Derek