Author Topic: Our Guild Mission  (Read 49891 times)

squarerigger

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2006, 12:41:58 AM »
Excellent KC!

This is exactly the kind of thing that should be in an area of its own on our web-page - how about it Mel?

Lindsey

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2006, 12:57:38 AM »
Thanx; i sent this to you in a PM earlier; it is an application from a book, that i dug up to prove / show the theory, but have met much opposition on elsewhere's anyway.  

From "The Marlinspike Sailor" of the great knot author Hervey Garret Smith; a ship's use of this prinicipal i thought you'd like.

i've always been the little guy; and have pulled many a bigger man over with this principal ever since a teen; shen force applied like below.  There'd be a sudden stop of their laughter as i switched from the strategy in the top of the picture, to the strategy in the bottom of the picture; though you use the same amount of effort!    More power available by pulley on anchor, not load here; seems to be a brain teaser causing disbelief!

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squarerigger

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2006, 01:26:10 AM »
Thanks again KC,

Of course, as an engineer, I would say that the effort expended is greater, to achieve the apparently greater pull, based on the principle that energy is neither created nor destroyed.  However, your point is well taken - thank you!

Lindsey
PS - If anyone has a different point of view, or would like to discuss this further, what about starting a new thread?

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2006, 07:06:47 AM »
Quote
Your sense of how the cataloguing and identification would go - do you have a specific set of knotbooks (or rigging books or sailing books or safety books or camping books, etc.) in mind or do you think we should start arbitrarily with ABOK for instance, or should we somehow use a list derived by the "committee"?  Organization IS important, as is definition, but we also need to be able to retrieve the information

This touches back to the prior thread, where I gummed up the works with issue
of (even) What IS a "knot"?--which seems the foundation on which to build.
But for getting off the ground (which process can help show up issues needing
resolution, to find actual paradigm problems / case studies, so to speak),
one might begin with some Annotated & Extended Ashley:
"crunch" all in-hand documents (books, WWWeb pages, ...) to extract the names
that are given to Ashley's set (and the Extended superset) of knots.
Products would be a set of knots each with a list of citations for names attached
to it;
and a set of knot names, each with a list of knots (& referenced sources) so noted.
(E.g., the Scaffold Knot's list would cite works that named it "Fisherman's Knot",
and under "Fisherman's Knot" there'd be a citation for the Scaffold.)

And pretty soon, it should be perspicuous that knot naming is mass confusion!
(And knot users cross various application fields, where such confusion is quite
detrimental.)

Quote
You may be right that the IGKT is not sufficiently separate from the "authority" to be impartial.  I think that a separate body of people would be better (so they would have to be paid, of course)

I'm lost as to what this reply attaches?  (My only thought re IGKT appropriateness
was in terms of liability concerns for much consultation.  I see no problem
with the quite factual compilation of aspects of knots literature, or even of any
recommended nomenclature that might derive from that analysis.)

Quote
Get a group of IGKT members to put together a suggested method for consulting and then get Requests for Proposals (RFPs) out to interested parties?  Perhaps a university group of anthropology Master's students might find this interesting?

Anthropolgy?
I've mused about perhaps helping to define knots-testing projects such as are
occasionally conducted in university settings.  Such help could be to broaden the
literature the tester is familiar with, and to provide some better set of knots (where
this might be some knots whose differences are slight & focused and thus maybe
better at highlighting some aspect, than knots more broadly different).

continued ...
[POST CHOPPED FOR SIZE (DARN!)]

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2006, 07:10:53 AM »
Quote
I think that, for people to firstly admit themselves interested in knots, and then to pay for that privilege year after year, speaks of quality.

A couple years ago there appeared in KM a somewhat favorable review of one
of the worst knot books I've come across--Derrick Lewis's Great Knots and How
to Tie Them
.  I think of the IGKT (obviously not the reviewer!), I was alone
in objecting to this review, even though I appealed to several fellow members to
join in the condemnation of the book.  The IGKT's KM is the LAST place one should
find the sort of rubbish that pops up (one might be suspicious!) on Amazon.com,
where at least a couple members entered sharply critical reviews to counter the
nonsense ones (by "Top 100/500 Reviewer"s).  That speaks of "quality" only in
the sense of poor quallity--very poor.
FYI:
Quote

Negligence or Deceit?! [this refers to Top Reviewers!] , March 31, 2005
Reviewer: Dan Lehman (Falls Church, Virginia United States)

I cannot stand to let any positive review of this book (even one
implying some acceptability of it) risk influencing a potential
reader: this supposed book on knots is beyond the pale bad!
One reviewer remarks that the book shows "a few knots that you
probably will not use (Hangman's Noose...)", and this helps show
one (of many) egregious flaws: the photo of the supposed Hangman's
Noose is in fact of a simply coiled hank of rope--you know, with
multiple loops at each end, and a couple lines that suspend this
hank running up out of the picture. In short, it's nothing at all
like the alleged knot! That is the nature of this terrible book.
How can anyone giving even cursory review of it not see this at
once? --(gross) negligence, or deceit!

KM also carried my objection to its review & the book, to be fair.
Against this, you see, comes a strong desire for translating what CLDay called
perhaps the best knots book, Om Knutar, 2nd ed. 1916--something
all who aspire to knots understanding should have the benefit of reading.  It
would be well worth the effort; we do have Swedish members.  (I don't know
how well e.g. Sten Johansson might feel about spearheading such an effort,
though he provided a bit of it in one or a couple articles in KM?)  It would
be worth vastly more than yet one more book in the bargain bin full of color photos
of knots often in most UNtypical cordage & settings--pretty for publishers' sake.

Quote
In countries around the world, the dedication to the art, craft and science is amazing, from what little I have seen

What, re science of knotting, have you seen to amaze you?

One thing that might help knot testers would be a resource that presented knots
in different orienations/settings, which could be referred to by testers.  A common
case of ambiguity I point out is for trace knots (e.g. Fig.8 loopknot) where
one has a choice of ends to load (unlike for a Bwl)--test data usually gives no  hint
of which choice was made.  The Net (e-mail/WWWeb) is a powerful resource for those
wanting to collaborate.  "Special Interest Groups" is a form of association used by
some professional groups to focus efforts.  There might be something there for us
to build on.

Quote
I was not unduly impressed, nor convinced that the Guild had much for me.

I've thought about making express invitation to those practitioners of knotting in
various fields such as rockclimbing, caving, SAR, arborism(?), ... , but came to believe
that they'd have just such an opinion of IGKT literature (and, egads yes, what have
*I* done about that--touche'!).
Yet I continue to believe that there is some big step that can & should be taken,
to move knotting beyond the historical nonsense parroting of those who have or
affect typically maritime/nautical connections, to a higher level of understanding
and awareness.
(E.g., after Jimbo's slight of the Granny for shoelaces, I've been tying my shoes
. . . with the Granny!  "untied" ?  --not!  And I learned a bit in so doing--Granny ends
need to run opposite to Reef ends, which is awkward for tying; but it holds
(one should note, precisely this is a Doubly Slipped Granny, and the extra material
in the knot matters, methinks).)

--dl*
====

squarerigger

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2006, 10:06:02 AM »
Hi Dan,

First, let me say that I am beginning to get the hang of these tag-tools on the bars at the top of the box - watch out now!  Your posts inspired me to look, so please don't think I am just trying to look good - I'm trying to get the message across more clearly.  Let's see:

Dan, you have many points that need airing and that also need better responses than I can give.  I would like to think that I have all the answers, but I do not.  I wish I could wrest the sought improvement from your obviously keen mind - could you come up with some more specific suggestions as to how this will work?  You did make some good suggestions...

You suggested:

Quote
Yet I continue to believe that there is some big step that can & should be taken,
to move knotting beyond the historical nonsense parroting of those who have or
affect typically maritime/nautical connections, to a higher level of understanding
and awareness.
[/color]

OK - let's look at what that might encompass.  Do you have a specific idea as to how one might improve the basis that this entails?  You appear to suggest that the majority of knot books are crap, because they parrott what has gone before without thinking and that color photos are put in to sell books.  I am not wealthy enough to publish books under my own name as a publisher and hope to have it sell, thereby rewarding myself for the effort involved, even if I am parrotting (which I do not think I am).  Therefore I need to follow to a certain extent what the publisher wants to have, because they are taking the financial risk.  So, in my search for the Holy Grail, what is it that such a publication would include to promote "a higher level of understanding" such as you suggest, presumably meaning higher understanding on the part of the knot-book author?

Then you suggest:

Quote
One thing that might help knot testers would be a resource that presented knots
in different orientations/settings, which could be referred to by testers.  ....

"Special Interest Groups" [SIGs] is a form of association used by
some professional groups to focus efforts.  There might be something there for us
to build on.
[/color]

I agree that SIGs would be good and that such a resource would be good to have, if a little limited in scope to what is thought worthy by the compilers of such a reference.

Now, I am going to do just what you have suggested is a really bad thing - I am going to ask our readers to focus on just those two ideas for now - I feel sure that others will come up.  Based on those two ideas only, that small quantity, what do our readers think?

First: Could SIGs work?  How would the reference work be compiled, who would compile it and how would it be paid for?  Is this a worthwhile resource?

Second: What is the big step that could be taken to prevent or improve the parrotting?  How could quality be improved?  Is that really necessary or will individuals find their own value - after all they have a brain and can pick out what they like and do not like or that they think works or does not work.

Just focussing on those two ideas, could anyone suggest some real-time solutions?

Thanks again for your input Dan - you have very valuable questions that cause us all to think.

Lindsey

DerekSmith

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2006, 08:03:19 PM »
Hi Lindsey,

Yes I believe that SIGs can work.  They require a champion, a goal, a team of 'activists' and a means to meet/share work, ideas, results, review and conclusion.

I can't provide the first three, but I have added a SIG section to the Wiki and popped a couple of possible SIG goals in there so the place is not quite so empty and foreboding (very few people like an empty sheet).

You can get to the SIG home page from the Menu sidebar through this link  http://igkt.pbwiki.com

If your rationalisation was Step 1
and the provision of the Wiki SIGs section was Step 2 in this long journey, then possibly Step 3 would be to see if readers have ideas for topics they would like to see set up as SIGs.

Derek

KC

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2006, 10:04:05 PM »
i think that the field specialists should come in.  The mechanics of knotting betwixt the seperate fields be examined.  Then, the 'binding' elements of this mechanics be distilled out.  Then, this place would be the holding of the comprehensive overview; of the continuity of these mechanics in their simplest and evolved forms.

At least that is what i looked for here, a few times over the years as i stopped in.  i was looking for the elemeants of working knots; to progress my own understandings, and found mostly discussions on a few ornamental knots and meetings.  Not that there is anything wrong with that; jsut not the comprehensive view i suspected; from what i'd thoght would be the world's leading authority on knots!

Derek, once again i think the Wiki is great; i have more than a few things on knots and pulleys i've maid; just kinda wondering what fits etc.  There is a link in my signature to a page on my web sight for knot links, and index at base of each page; if anyone wants to take a look and give guidance on what fits here or there.  Dan has sent me great hand drawn knots through email and snail mail over the years.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2006, 10:14:27 PM by KC »
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squarerigger

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2006, 04:24:32 AM »
Thanks Derek!

I'll continue to watch and see what happens.  You have sung the praises of Wiki very fully, so for now I'll wait to see who else signs in.  Thank you

Lindsey

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2006, 10:09:53 AM »
Point made Lindsey,

I'll give the voice a rest.

Derek

Jimbo

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2006, 09:33:12 PM »
Quote
Here are the three parts of our Mission:

1. To promote the art, craft and science of knotting, its study and practice
2. To undertake research into all aspects of knotting.
3. To establish an authoritative body for consulting purposes.


Hail and howdy, fellow kinkers of cordage!

OTOH (On The One Hand), This IS the "Great Work" which the world wants the IGKT to produce.

OTOH (On The Other Hand), I'm but one of many who has piped up with suggestions, etc. toward this very end, which inevitably die "in committee", as it were, when the threads either get hijacked by some spammer, poisoned by a petty squabble, diverted by a stray unfocused reply, or otherwise snubbed before any progress can be made.

This is all Good, as a "false start" is still a "start", just lacking a "go".  Maybe SquareRigger has the "go" this time...

Meanwhile, scientists, engineers and "computer people" have figured out the analysis process pretty well over the decades, as analysis to us is like knotting to sailors: it's an inscrutable, seemingly-small part of the job, but a part without which the job itself would not exist.

The "analysis methodologies" used are many and varied, and I won't bore anyone here with that distraction, but using the techniques can still be handy.  One design methodology is called "Bottom-Up Design".

Bottom-Up:  'Define atoms with which to build molecules with which to build chains with which to build ...'

Problem:  Words:
Kinkers of Cordage need a major vocabulary overhaul!!

Examples:
If the lead is melted, a leading rigger, rigging leaders, can lead the lead into the lead.  Take the lead in using more lead for the entire leader's lead.  Did you follow that?  Or shall I lead you through it again?
Hitch up your britches & hitch that wagon to that star, with a hitch.  If the hitching doesn't go without a hitch, you can hitch a ride home.
You can whip with a hitch, or with service, but stopping isn't whipping, serving nor hitching.  Am I stopping this whipping or whipping this stopping?  I started marling, but I'm about to have a seizure, just wrapping this rope with string!
Why do you "bend" to a spar (a horizontal piece of wood) but you "hitch" to a rail (yet another horizontal piece of wood)??
Why do sailors "tie up" at the end of a voyage?  It looks like "mooring" to me!

EEEEK!!  Holy impediment to effective communication, Batman!!  The word "definition" has a specific meaning, so should the words the IGKT uses.  PS: Let's not forget that a huge chunk of our terminology came from a bloodthirsty horde of ignorant, superstitious men with nothing better to do.  And no, I don't mean PABPRES!!! ;) I'm talking about sailors!  Not that tree- and rock-climbers have been any help!

Solution:
Pick one meaning for each word and find new words for all the other "meanings".

(Snipped for YaBBc, Pt. II follows)
Thank you all, for everything.  As of 6/6/6, I have changed my password to a random string (which I forgot), thereby assuring that anyone posting as "Jimbo" in the future will NOT be me.  Good luck!!!

Jimbo

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2006, 09:37:52 PM »
(Part II, YaBBc workaround)
Problem:  Knots:
"What is a knot?  What isn't?  How can I tell?"
Even if we assume a basic level of functionality (e.g. "a clever kink in a cord") in response to these customary (quasi-rhetorical) questions, that's not even a start, if knots are the IGKT's raison-d'etre.  I'm not just punning here, without a definition of what is and is not a knot, how can anyone hope to eliminate the dizzying ambiguity used throughout this field of study??  Without a clear (language-independent) method for determining "knotness", how can IGKT hope to be "International"?

Sub-problem:
Why do some knots have so many names, yet some very good knots have naught but a number in ABoOK?  Specifically, how can I tell you to tie a ______, unless we each have the same reference?  Numbers are OK, if there's a list somewhere with one number per knot, one knot per number (unlike ABOK).  That same list with names might be an impossible dream.  But a Bowline by any (of a half-dozen) other names will still "untie itself" if you don't properly finish tying it.
Sub-solution: break down knots into their atomic (i.e. most fundamental) aspects - turn, bight, strain, nip, cross, tuck, etc. - define those and how to link them together to define the knot(s).

And that leads to a bigger "knot" problem:
The vast array of "almost like" knots (this one is almost like that one, except for this wee twitch in the kinking) leads -- pardon me, "procedes in like fashion" -- to such a scrambled state of nomenclature (names of things within a category) that I personally can't see how (without detailed drawings which are impossible for some of us to render) this subject can be communicated in the first place!  From history (Day, Bowling, Smith, Ashley), it appears it cannot be!  Even CWA introduced errors into the information stream, despite his extreme level of care, interest, and concern!  And that's just on the knots with names!
And that problem has sub-problems too:  The "Sailor's Hitch" and the "Icicle Hitch" don't appear in the "standard reference" ABoOK, but there are useful alternatives, e.g. ABOK#1743, 1760 - 1764, etc.  (If new, named knots come along, how do they get "hallowed" into the "standard reference"?  Also, if old knots get "rediscovered" & subsequently named, how does the "standard reference" get updated?)

Examples:
Why is a "Flying Bowline" called that??  It's cuteness hardly justifies the ambiguity it introduces into what's already an "information-light" world.  I can see where "Angler's Loop" might seem passe' on the docks, but "you can stand in the garage & holler, but that doesn't make you a car."

I'm sorry, as I know this isn't much help.  The answers are the responsibility of the IGKT, as I really don't care what you call them, as long as they come out of my hands when I need them, and I can teach them to the hired help.

IMNERHO (In My Not Even Remotely Humble Opinion), the only valid reference on Knots should be the IGKT.  Not Ashley, not "Mr. Complete" Budworth (though each should get due credit for their contribution(s)), not any of the others, but the Guild itself.  IGKT "needs" (IMO) to "step up" and make this happen.  If not the International Guild of Knot Tyers, then whom?

Nice start, SquareRigger, but you're refreshing tracks laid down by a lot of us.  Good luck and keep going!

Jimbo
Thank you all, for everything.  As of 6/6/6, I have changed my password to a random string (which I forgot), thereby assuring that anyone posting as "Jimbo" in the future will NOT be me.  Good luck!!!

KC

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2006, 11:11:31 PM »
In short; i think it is just a tough problem that will take a number of times of hard headed peoples running into the wall to knock it down.  Perhaps this is the time it will happen, perhaps not; but i hope for no loss of the energy of enthusiasm as it is pointed out to what depth, width and height the wall to overcome is.

Personally i think that knots are so simplistic and commonplace as to be tough, even though the answers lie right before us in examples all around, like other mechanics that we blindly use everyday.  This is not the fault of anyone here, but rather jsut what has been handed down to us over the ages for one of the most elemental, yet seemingly intricate machines known.

i think that knots (at least the working class) should be broken down, not into their uses, but their mechanics.  At least in naming, it is alas a little late for that now, as would only add to the confusion; for would be a total overhaul to what is already known and understood in most cases.

i am a tree climber; i've climbed on both the Icicle and the Sailor's Gripping hitches as friction hitches for ascent and descent.  i've even modified the Sailor's Gripping Hitch to end with a Backhand hitch rather than Half; and think it is great.  Many friction hitches in the DdRT (Doulbed Rope Technique of 2:1 mechanics as opposed to the SRT 1:1 of Singled Rope Technique that you can't descend on friction hitches in) require a hardware 'tender' to serve the hitch upward/ keep slack out of the line on ascent with 1 hand.  These mentioned moslty self tend without the hardware.

i think in the working class, it is all mechanics of these knot machines that do work for us.  That is why i think that knots should be broken down by these mechanics.  i think Ashley tried to serve some towards that end; with chapters broken down by how some knots grab a spar by parallel or perpendicualr use, and that there is a great key to the mysteries in that, by their mechanics.

i think a bowline should be seen as a sheetbend to self to form eye; and how that changes the mechanics to make a bowline safer.  i also think that a clove/ cow is not 2 opposing half hitches, but rather a leading (closest to initiating pull) crossed turn; that then leads to a hitch.  In short all mechanics, and the secrets can't be found until that view is taken.

In short, it is all just a knotty problem; but is no time to give up.  i think rigging is jsut enalrged knots, with the same working forces, with the same linking material.
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We now return you to the safety of normal thinking peoples.
~ Please excuse the interruption; thanx -the mgmt.~

squarerigger

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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2006, 04:22:11 AM »
Thank you KC and especially thank you Jimbo!

You have brought the knotty issue to a very fine point viz:  what are we talking about, how does it work and why do we care?  I am all-fired transposed about the subject of Mission Statement and where it goes.  Some others obviously care (including the non-web-enabled), and some like just to tie the darn things, never mind the names and mechanics of it.  All views are important and that means that all require attention.  KM has done a fine job for the IGKT in having members' expressions put in print, but where does the rest of it go?  We are in a communication-filled age and it should assuredly not be beyond our capabilities to arrive at a means to include all the reasonable parts that will help to:

a)   Define what we do
b)   Define what it looks like
c)   Define how it works
d)   Name people or groups to deal with things
d)   Tell it like it is, in a language that all can see and understand.

I want to be a part of the answers to this and I think right now that the IGKT is a good place to start finding the answers, with like-minded souls, having a more or less common language, using tools available to all.  We could spend a VERY long time trying to please all, or we could spend a reasonable amount of time trying to do a bang-up job with what we have, in a direction that looks right for now, leaving the door open for future changes.  I vote for the second alternative (there probably are more alternatives, but I have not tried to put them on paper as ideas yet).

How can the IGKT start be brought about?  One way would be to look at the Mission Statement and get some things more clear, like:

1.   How long is this Mission supposed to take?
2.   Have we bitten off more than we can chew?
3.   If not, who is chewing and who is doing?
4.   Have all reasonable parts been included (see above a through d)?
5.   Is there a mechanism for adding something we have yet to see or might want to include later?

I am putting together a Word document to submit to the IGKT at our meeting in UK in May, which submittal I would like to use as the springboard for getting 'er done!  I will be happy to use your information (yes, this includes the information you still want to include but have yet to put on paper or the web-page) or to leave it at the dock for another voyage.  The ship (putting the message together) will be leaving the dock at 1200 GMT on April 30, 2006 so that I can be sure the sailing time is sufficient to get to the Guild for the May meeting.  Want me to add your two cent's worth?  That's the deadline!  Thank you ALL for your contributions.  If you prefer to have your contribution not aired in front of the WWW then send me an IM or private e-mail.  Cheers!

Lindsey


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Re: Our Guild Mission
« Reply #44 on: April 20, 2006, 12:32:15 AM »
Dear lindsey, I have quickly read your thoughts on the direction that the guild should be going in. I will read it in more detail latter, I have been trying for some time to push the guild forward  Its been a struggle. Please kick my back-side if you think I could do better, all thoughts and ideas will be gratefully recieved and I, as long  as I am Chair of the committe, will be put to the committee.
Iwill read your comments in more detail and get back to you .
                  Happy Knotting,
                   Dave Walker,
                              Chair IGKT