Author Topic: A "new" knot, or not.  (Read 12725 times)

xarax

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A "new" knot, or not.
« on: June 06, 2011, 11:12:10 PM »
   A "new" knot, or not.
  
   I have submitted a number of pictures of "new" knots in the "Practical Knots" section of this forum the last one and a half year, and it is time for me to pause a while, and look back. I have tried to organize this material a little bid, and, like it happens all the time when we try to put some order into the chaos, I run into problems !
   What is a "new" knot ? Is a particular knot "new", or not ?  
   Fortunately, I have come to a definition that greatly reduces the number of "new" knots, and that is good ! I would like to share this definition, and possibly start a dialogue about it, based on specific examples of "would-be", or "could-be" new knots that I have published in this forum.
   First, a "new" knot is something different from a known but unpublished knot, and different even from an unknown knot. Also, a "new" knot is something different from a knot that it is unknown if it was ever tied by somebody or not, and different even from a knot that, most probably, ( as much as we do, or we can, know, if this makes any sense...), was never tied before by anybody.

  A "new" knot is a knot that is unpublished, unknown, untied AND it is not an obvious variation, or even alteration, of a published, known, tied knot.
    
   What is an obvious variation or alteration of a knot ? I have examined the knots I have taken and published pictures of, especially the many bends : No wonder there were many: it is very easy for one to imagine a tangle of two ropes that prevent them from slippage, simple enough so we can claim it to be an "interesting" , and possibly, just possibly, a "practical""knot" as well.
   So, regarding bends, I think that the obvious variations or alterations of a knot are, obviously, the following :

   Retrace the path of the line of a knot, or double the line of a knot.
   Re-tuck or un-tuck a knot.
   Inter-change the free ends of a knot : turning the standing part(s) into the tail(s), and vice versa.
   Manipulate the free ends, the Standing ends or/end the Tails of a knot, so that they make one or more turns around each other ( twist or untwist one or both free ends, brought from a state where they are parallel to each other, to a state that are in an elbow configuration to each other, or vice versa.)
   Inter-lock two hitches in a straightforward way, to form a composite bend out of their link / combination.
   Dress a knot differently, when this dressing retains the essential aspects/looks of the knot, so it is an obvious variation, via dressing, of the knot.
   Tie a knot by a different tying method, which can, actually or potentially, result in a different dressing of the knot.
  
   So, I have come to the conclusion that a knot that seems to be a "new" knot to everybody, should not really be called a "new" knot, even if it is unpublished, unknown, or not tied ever before, when it is a knot "produced" by a variation or alteration of a knot, with the obvious knot manipulating techniques mentioned above.
  
   Now to the specific examples of my personal collection of bends:
   I have published pictures of those not-new, by my newest definition, knots :

   : double line Zeppelin bend, double line double overhand bend.
   : re-tucked Hunter s bend, true lover s bend, Rusty s/ ABoK#1450 bend,
   : un-tucked Sidewinder s bend, un-tucked 88 bend (S88 bend)
   : interchange free ends in the Rusty-S88 bend
   : twisted Hunter s bend, Hunter X bends, Zeppelin X bend, Water X bend.
   : interlocked trefoil (double overhand) hitch, interlocked clove hitches, interlocked cow hitches, interlocked strangle hitches, fig S or fig 8, interlocked with clove or constrictor, midline bends.
   : different dressings of the double 8 bend, of the Water bend, of the Diamond/75 DSC bend.
  
    I am very glad that, using this "new" "new knot" definition, I got rid of the burden of giving birth to so many "new" bends ! So, the order established via a more general definition, pays a lot. It achieves great economy.
   I have a couple of problems, though. I have met a most peculiar dressing of the fig 8 bend, that I have called 4 Rings bend, one greatly altered Water bend ( by a multiple twist of the Water bend ends ),  that I have called Water 8 bend, the bowline B bend made by the interlink of two loopless bowline structures, and three double-tucked Reef family bends. Are they new knots, or not ?
   Do I claim that I have met any new knots ? Yes, I do, because it is most improbable to one that ties many not-new by the new "new knot" definition knots, not to meet, by pure chance, any new knot ! I think that the 88 bend and the Oyster, and the B bend, and the recently presented family of the not-obviously interlocked overhand knots in general, and the lR-uL most symmetric bend, in particular, ARE new knots, indeed ! At least, for the time being, because time makes new things old, in many different ways !  :)
   Are those "new" knots an "invevtion" ot a "discovery"? My 2 pence oppinion is that, when something is so elementary and simple, it belongs, somehow, to the same field with the basic mathematical theorems : it can be thought of as a "pre-existing", Platonic-like entity. It would be, eventually, discovered by any intelligent being that manages to, or is lucky enough to, survive in the unverse. So, when somebody "discovers" them, he does not do anything more than meeting them. He does not deserve any special credit : he was just the first to be there, at this right meeting place, the right time, and at this point in the universe. Now, when something is more complex, a free combination of pre-existing basic elements, a combination made possible by the free imagination of an intelligent being, then we can speak of an "invention". This invention is the brain-child of its inventor, and, in a sense, it belongs to him more than it belongs to others : he could claim some sort of ownersship right on it. This happens with the complex mechanical and chemical inventions, and the works of arts. The simple knots, and especially the practical knots, do not belong to this category, I believe. They are discoveries of potentialy existing entities, and, if we search a ltttle deeper, we find the one and only cause that made them actual : pure luck !  :)

   Note: ( The problem of what is a "new" knot is of a general nature. I have used the knots that I had the chance to meet only as examples, to help me clarify the issue. I will not annoy the reader here with a boring long catalogue of the references of the above mentioned knots. The knots, and their pictures, are all are posted in the "Practical Knots" forum, and they are easily available. If an interested reader wants a particular reference or information, he is kindly requested to ask it from me, and I will send it to him immediately.)
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 03:34:25 AM by xarax »
This is not a knot.

squarerigger

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2011, 12:04:51 AM »
Xarax,

I like that you are trying.  Let's try your new definition out - first:

 
Quote
A "new" knot

Why the quotation marks around the word new?  The word itself is not new and the quotation marks indicate to me some alternative use of the word new.  Is there an alternative use of the word new here that you are proposing?

Second, what is a knot?

There may be other unresolved parts of your definition for me (some people may understand it perfectly, but I do not - hence my asking for further details) about which I may ask more later.

Please let me know.  Thanks,

SR

xarax

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 12:30:46 AM »
   Thank you, squarerigger
  Why the quotation marks around the word new?  

   Oh, for two reasons. The one is to notate the ambiguity of the use of this adjective, as an adjective of the word "knot". It is a way of inserting a question mark into the word, and into their combination...The second is more serious : By the incompatibility of the Word with my browser and the writer used by the forum !  :) I usually write the texts in the Word, and then, when I copy them here, there appear question marks in the place of quotation marks ! When I edited the text and re-typed those quotation marks, I typed them only around the word "new", and not around both words, as I had done in the first place. I liked the ambiguity, so I left the things as they are now.

  Second, what is a knot?

   Oh, this might be a most difficult question for me to answer, if I would like to be sure that I would be precise. Derek Smith offered a distinction between knots and weaves, that had never crossed my mind - and doing so, he gave a really good reason in favour of the Carrick bend : It transforms a weave into a knot, without any additional re-tucking.
   I only repeat my naive answer above : A tangle of one, two or more flexible cylindrical rods or rectangulary cross-sectioned straps, that keeps the pulled free ends from slipping through it, and let themselves free. as they tend to be ! If this tangle is simple enough, it is an interesting knot, and might, just might, in the course of time, become a practical knot as well.
   My only prolonged experience with knots is the frequent use of the bowline. I can feel, after all those years, what a bowline really is, but I can not tell the same for any other knot. I am still a newbee in the field, very far from the minimum of 10.000 hours required to be a master in anything !  :) I do not know what a knot is, but when/every time  I see one, I learn something more about the essense of this question.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 12:35:29 AM by xarax »
This is not a knot.

Dan_Lehman

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 07:23:42 AM »
 Firstly, this thread / topic should be filed under our Knotting Theory & Computing
sub-forum, infusing that with some deserved life --this putting philosophy
of knots & attempts to articulate/define concepts as "theory".
We are reaching for fundamental (and very tough) ideas here!

Possibly some of our old threads can be MOVEd under that sub-forum
as well; I think that, in general, such MOVEments can help to enrich
the newer sub-forums and sort threads beneficially.  Otherwise, there
are some expressed thoughts that can be captured and echoed in
new posts.

In short, my thoughts on "new" are to make it pretty easy to do,
and possible to re-classify upon new information --in short, NOT
to make a big deal of it (which is a natural consequence with a
low bar to cross).  Because, I find it simply too difficult to establish
a higher bar for "new"ness; so, be broadly accepting at THIS point,
and let tougher discriminations about some knot's *value* come
in further evaluations.

Consider Xarax's ...
A "new" knot is a knot that is
 unpublished,
 unknown,
 untied
 AND it is not an obvious variation, or even alteration,
 of a published, known, tied knot.

::
The initial trio of qualities strike me as redundant; if a knot
is unknown, how could it have been published or tied?
(Well, I can think of things that trouble this rejection,
but I still find the latter two conditions subsets of the first.)
As for "obvious", that calls for a judgement, and I think for
a dubious one --one person's obvious is another's eureka.

I prefer to be more objective.  (But there is no easy way out
of it all --problematic cases can arise.)

What is a "knot"?!
Yes, this is most fundamental, and most difficult!
It is interesting to read Xarax's musing, which ismuch
as I have long ago expressed here, myself.

Quote
A tangle of one, two or more flexible cylindrical rods or rectangulary cross-sectioned straps,
 that keeps the pulled free ends from slipping through it, and let themselves free.

vs.
[cf. http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=168.0 ]

Quote
| ON DEFINITIONS OF RELEVANT TERMS FOR KNOTTING
|
| knot ::= A curvilinear structure that can be realized
| in one or more pieces of some flexible material(s)
| of uniform crosSection, incorporating or not some object(s),
| under tension, and independent of torsion

Very interesting indeed!


 ;)


xarax

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 08:33:03 AM »
   Thank you,Dan Lehman,

  The initial trio of qualities strike me as redundant; if a knot is unknown, how could it have been published or tied?
 
   I used an figure of speech on an escalation of "not-new-ess" here :
  1. Unpublished it might be, but known. 2. unknown might be, but tied, somewhere, by somebody. 3. Untied might be, but also be just an obvious variation, or even alteration, of a published, known, tied knot, so it is still not new.
   In short, every set is a subset of the previous one.
  
   There is an obvious problem in the definition of a knot, with the word "flexible".    
   Should one think of a flexible material that. also :  
   1. has a flexible cross-section, meaning a flexibility that transfigures a circle not only to an oval (what happens with ropes ), but also to a much flattened shape.
   A flexible tube, a hose, is cylindrical, but its cross section deforms so much, that the "knots" tied with it are very different ( and hold better ! ).
   2. has a flexible length, meaning a flexibility that, as a consequence, increases or decreases the length to a high degree.
   A very elastic rope is flexible, but the knots tied with it are also different ( and hold even better ! ).  
   I believe we should think of "knots" tied on the kind of "flexible" material described above, as a different animals altogether...
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 08:31:40 AM by xarax »
This is not a knot.

ianxm

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 09:28:54 PM »
I don't what a "new" knot is, but I think that it would be a great benefit to all if the "previously undocumented but useful" knots that have been posted here could be gathered together and documented.  Either on the igkt site or wikipedia or elsewhere.

-Ian

Dan_Lehman

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2011, 07:46:09 PM »
I don't what a "new" knot is, but I think that it would be a great benefit to all if the "previously undocumented but useful" knots that have been posted here could be gathered together and documented.  Either on the igkt site or wikipedia or elsewhere.

-Ian

Ian, while you mean to point to some beneficial utility (with your
qualifier "useful" --an eye-of-the-beholder sort of assessment),
your idea taken w/o such judgements (i.e., compiling & expanding
some catalogue of knots) could become an operational definition
of "new" : "not in the CoK (Catalogue of Knots).
(And one might hope that it was made obvious that a great many
dubious knots ARE in the CoK and --thank you-- we don't really
want the bother of adding a bunch more --if you please--, so do
try to make "useful" part of the thinking!
And such a CoK could be an on-going project of some knot-discovers
taking some *motifs* extracted from knots and used to project a
great many more --perhaps by verbal means, pointing to entire series
of knots, to save the bother of individual illustration.

--dl*
====
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 06:24:02 AM by Dan_Lehman »

xarax

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2011, 08:43:54 PM »
--thank you-- we don't really want the bother of adding a bunch more --if you please--

 I do not know who is, or are, referred by this plural "we", but "I" want to learn ANY new knot there is, or might be.

 do try to make "useful" part of the thinking!

  Do try to make "thinking" part of the useful. A more difficult task, but a more beneficial as well.

  Practical, useful knots is a subset of interesting knots, which is a subset of simple knots. An interesting knot might be proven to be practical some day, but we can never know it in advance. There are so many factors that will determine it, far from our  influence. Some knots could even have been practical already, but, for reasons beyond their quality, are not, and might well never come to be.
   The practical knots is a field a little more complex than arithmetic, lets say elementary triangle geometry. Imagine a geometer in the 350 B.C, thinking about triangle geometry, and trying to discover new theorems. Can this man judge, in advance, which out of all those theorems would be proved to be useful, when and where ? Could the discoverer of theorems about conic sections knoe, in advance, that Kepler and Newton will use those theorems to study the motion of planets in the solar system ?
   When a student of elementary geometry asked Euclid, what is the "use" of the theorems he was learning, Euclid ordered a servant to offer him a penny, so he would have gained something...There would always be an uninterested or disinterested Roman soldier that will step on the drawing of a geometrical theorem, and kill the man who studies it.
   It is not the "use" that makes the knots. Knots exist because nature is built that way...and because knots exist, they can be used, for good or for evil, as all things can.
   I tend to believe that there is a lot of fear of people in the sight of a new knot, a fear especially effective on older and more knowledgeable and experienced knot tiers. This fear is giving birth to insecurity, and insecurity to fanaticism, hostility, aggressiveness. I have been a victim of such behaviour, and I know.
   However, there will always be a plethora of young, interested, "creative users" ( not "customers" ) of the knotting ideas. When I meet a new knot, I see them in the eye : To them, I dedicate every new knot I might have tied.
   There will always be "new", and future, as there will always be "old", and past...We can afford the latter, because we are paid from former. "New" is a most useful thing !  :)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 09:28:48 PM by xarax »
This is not a knot.

knot4u

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 12:23:14 AM »
If we're adding knots to an "official" public library, my preference is for practical, simple knots with known qualities.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2011, 12:37:47 AM by knot4u »

xarax

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 03:05:51 AM »
If we're adding knots to an "official" public library, my preference is for practical, simple knots with known qualities.

   Of course, but to reach the point where those qualities will be known, we first have to meet the knots, and then to test them...When we refuse beforehand to explore new knots, as we often do, we will never be able to find out if their qualities would have proven to be good or not, will we ?  :)
This is not a knot.

ianxm

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 09:07:24 PM »
Ian, while you mean to point to some beneficial utility (with your
qualifier "useful" --an eye-of-the-beholder sort of assessment),
yes, "useful" is subjective, but are you suggesting that new knots shouldn't be documented because it would be too difficult to decide if a new knot was useful?

(And one might hope that it was made obvious that a great many
dubious knots ARE in the CoK and --thank you-- we don't really
want the bother of adding a bunch more --if you please--, so do
try to make "useful" part of the thinking!
documenting dubious knots is not as important, but I don't see that as a bad thing either.  For one thing, if there was a CoK and it contained both useful and dubious knots, people who think that they've discovered a new knot would have another place to check to see if it's been done before, and on finding it, can find out if it's any good.  If only useful knots are documented, all dubious knots will seem like "new" knots to discoverers every time.

roo

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 09:42:50 PM »
documenting dubious knots is not as important, but I don't see that as a bad thing either.  For one thing, if there was a CoK and it contained both useful and dubious knots, people who think that they've discovered a new knot would have another place to check to see if it's been done before, and on finding it, can find out if it's any good.  If only useful knots are documented, all dubious knots will seem like "new" knots to discoverers every time.

It seems unlikely that anyone would have success finding a knot in a catalog of thousands or tens of thousands of knots.  I would think it would be easier and quicker to first see if the knot in question has good properties, and then search through a much, much smaller catalog of good knots.

Besides, in the grand scheme of things, novelty is not nearly as important as quality.  Novelty really only appeals to a knot tyer's vanity.

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SS369

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 11:55:57 PM »
Quote: "Besides, in the grand scheme of things, novelty is not nearly as important as quality.  Novelty really only appeals to a knot tyer's vanity."

Hi Roo,
I think we should explore all knots and not be so quick to shut down the process because there may be some that are not immediately found useful.
Early in our history there were those who thought the horseless carriage was a novelty.

Some times a knot that might not be cared for by some or have no initial practical qualities (deemed by those who deem), could be the catalyst or springboard to one that really has merit.
In this day and age of computers, thousands upon thousand of knots could be compiled and searched if there was a will for a person or persons to do some of the "scut" work.

My vote is for all and any knots to be presented for study and comment. And maybe one day tested (?).

And to those who like to fiddle with tangled cord, photograph them, share them with us with intelligent commentary, go forward undaunted.
;-)


P.S. I personally don't think there is a "dubious" knot.

roo

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2011, 12:05:17 AM »
Early in our history there were those who thought the horseless carriage was a novelty.
It was novel.  But it was important because of its qualities, not because of novelty.

Note that no one keeps a catalog of tens of thousands of useless mechanisms, just so someone can see if the useless mechanism they came up with yesterday is novel.

P.S.  If you want to make a collection of all possible rope tangles, I won't stand in your way.  We've had people attempt that before, and the effort always fizzles remarkably fast.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 12:10:56 AM by roo »
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SS369

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Re: A "new" knot, or not.
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 12:27:40 AM »
Hi roo,

Quote: "It was novel.  But it was important because of its qualities, not because of novelty."
 
I agree with that in small part, but, there were naysayers who didn't think it would last, regardless of what they deemed were the important qualities. And you are citing from a future proven perspective. Easy to do.

Quote: "Note that no one keeps a catalog of tens of thousands of useless mechanisms, just so someone can see if the useless mechanism they came up with yesterday is novel."

The Patent Office is such a place. But then the inventor thinks it is important and just might get someone to the moon or some such. Lots of attorneys getting thick checking these useful facts out for some creative people out there.

Who can make the claim that the knotting novelty is useless? An expert? A prophet? A gaggle of armchair twiddlers?

Quote: "P.S.  If you want to make a collection of all possible rope tangles, I won't stand in your way.  We've had people attempt that before, and the effort always fizzles remarkably fast."

I am glad you had no influence on Clifford Ashley.
And you "standing in my way" is no impedance if I were so motivated.

Let's Not hinder those who might contribute though. It would be a whole lot better to encourage and help.

SS