Author Topic: Knots and language.  (Read 2603 times)

X1

  • Inactive
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1200
Knots and language.
« on: September 30, 2012, 12:05:59 AM »
   One might think that by verbally describing concrete objects / by talking about concrete objects, ( instead of showing them, with the help of gestures, rock carvings, engravings...- or 3d holograms and computer graphics ), he contributes to a noble cause : the defence and preservation of the language as a tool of thinking and communicating, against the cntemporary monopoly of the image.
   However, language is much more than a means of description of concrete objects ; it also describes feelings, emotions, values, ideas ...- it creates a whole world of its own. Literature, poetry, drama, philosophy, those are the things that are created by language, and, by their turn, create and enrich language. A tangled poetic sentence can reveal much more than the sum of its words; it is a work of art, a part of an imaginary universe.
   Even if we insist in using a thousand words where one picture would be enough, I do not see why we should keep those two worlds - the world of language and the world of image - isolated, and separated from each other. We memorize, imagine, think, and communicate by using both means, words AND images. Is IGKT Forum a sacred temple where there is a curse in order to prevent the use of images ? Or anything that could be learned about knots is known already, and now we are trying to find a new pleasurable passtime, " knottoloquence ":)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 12:07:19 AM by X1 »

swanoonie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
    • Flickr Photostream
Re: Knots and language.
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 07:25:37 PM »
As a co-linguaphile (and don't tell me that you're not one after expressing the sentiments of your middle paragraph!!!), I too chafe at the virtual monopoly of the image. But it's a certain type of image that preponderates.

Perhaps I'm woefully out of date here, my visits having been somewhat sparse over the past spring and summer, but I've always seen lots of photos. What I do miss (excepting a few notable posts that I must exhume) are hand sketches; those are what really, in my opinion, exemplify the qualities you note. My own sketches never really reveal anything astonishing, but I enjoy them and strengthen my knowledge of knots while creating them. Sometime I'll dig some out and/or create more to post.

In the meantime, see Marc P. G. Berthier, L'Art des Noeuds, Paris, 1974: ?ditions Maritimes et d'Outre-mer (or the translation I used, The Art of Knots: A Sailor's Handbook, New York, 1977: Doubleday & Co.) for examples far surpassing my own humble work. A sample image is attached.

Also, for the amusement of it, here's a (video) image that really puts the 'monkey' in monkey fist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBHt14YmJdM. Enjoy (but, as always, beware of ignorance on display in the comments below it).
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 07:31:02 PM by swanoonie »

X1

  • Inactive
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1200
Re: Knots and language.
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2012, 10:53:02 PM »
I've always seen lots of photos.

I have seen lots of words that ONE single picture would have made redundant...The ratio of words to pictures has gone out of the window... :)

What I do miss are hand sketches;

You are right. However, sketches require a certain dexterity or talent... They are more abstract forms of pictorial representation - so they are more difficult. Some CAD programs can "interpret" and convert even the most rough sketches to nice, smooth linear diagrams, but I have not seen anything like that in this Forum. Another easy way to show the path of the line into a knot, is to draw " natural cubic splines ". We just have to place points/dots along the path, and let the program to connect them.Then we can move those points, in order to draw the precise curvilinear diagram we wish.
http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/splines/natcubic.html
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 11:31:59 PM by X1 »

Dan_Lehman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3959
Re: Knots and language.
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2012, 03:24:57 AM »
   One might think that by verbally describing concrete objects / by talking about concrete objects, ( instead of showing them, with the help of gestures, rock carvings, engravings...- or 3d holograms and computer graphics ), he contributes to a noble cause : the defence and preservation of the language as a tool of thinking and communicating, against the cntemporary monopoly of the image.
   However, language is much more than a means of description of concrete objects ; it also describes feelings, emotions, values, ideas ...- it creates a whole world of its own. Literature, poetry, drama, philosophy, those are the things that are created by language, and, by their turn, create and enrich language. A tangled poetic sentence can reveal much more than the sum of its words; it is a work of art, a part of an imaginary universe.

One can make inferences based on the coincidence of this post
with a certain other thread.  I should say, if one asks a person
to go change a lightbulb from the current 60-watt incandescent
to one of these modern, low-wattage & long-lasting bulbs,
it ought not to require the reference to a picture book for this
simple message to be made!

It was more a matter of describing an act than a knot;
yet, amazingly, several ran aground or adrift with it.
And now we get yet further rumor that the world of Man
might come unhinged if our smart-phones are not ready
at hand to light The Way!

 :-\


knot4u

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1076
Re: Knots and language.
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2012, 06:47:04 PM »
Dan, that's funny. You can take or leave the advice of providing pics. It's up to you. I will say that on the scale of people who can understand technical descriptions including words only, I rank rather high. So, if I don't understand your word descriptions of a new knot, you can be sure that most people aren't even attempting to try. So, your audience is rather limited. Most times, I'm sure the audience comprises only you.

Anyway, why would you want to take the chance that some people are misinterpreting your new knot? Don't you intend your knots to be used for an important application? A smart person is not going to try out your knot they are only 75% sure they got right from your word description. If your knot is not to be used for an important application, then there is no use bringing it up in the Practical Knots Forum.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 07:17:03 PM by knot4u »

swanoonie

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 28
    • Flickr Photostream
Re: Knots and language.
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 08:48:23 PM »
I do believe that nomenclature is (or at least should be) as much about actually understanding and remembering things as it is about anything else. Being pressed to state something in words often deepens or clarifies one understanding thereof.

Dan_Lehman

  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3959
Re: Knots and language.
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 02:09:28 AM »
I will say that on the scale of people who can understand technical descriptions including words only, I rank rather high.

!!!  ::)

But that misses the point : there was no "technical description"
--I didn't try to describe how to form a light bulb, but merely
said to replace one well-known entity (which was a component
of a noose structure) with another well-known entity; it wasn't
a matter of understanding some description of the entities.


--dl*
====