RIGHT / LEFT
CLOCKWISE / ANTI-CLOCKWISE or COUNTER-CLOCKWISE
WITH THE LAY / AGAINST THE LAY
WITH THE SUN / AGAINST THE SUN
different contradictory interpretations can be found about these topics
naturally I want to add my two pence to that mixed lot.
A little warming introduction :
short digression on handedness
There is an almost constant
proportion (10 to 15%) of left-handed persons in a human
population. The reason why is not really known.
This trait is more a male attribute than female one.
Do you know what being "Kerr-handed" means ? (Scottish) BODMER, W. and McKIE, R. : The Book of Man: the Quest to Discover Our Genetic
Heritage. London: Little, Brown
and Co. (pub.) 1994. Pp. 1-5 [begin quote]
"Whereas in most castles staircases spiral clockwise,
Ferniehirst has counter-clockwise
ones, providing left-handed swordsmen
with an advantage, the bends giving a defender's left
hand freedom to
move over the open railing. The association between the Kerr name and
left-handedness was such that throughout Scotland the expression
Kerr-handed, or kerry-
or corry-fisted, is said to be commonly used to
Of course this left-handedness could very well have been
acquired by swordsmen by
Beware of attribution of "right-handedness" to palaeolithic
made by looking at their
They may have been in fact, in some cases,
preference but with a right hand
allowed them to work with it ; the use of the right hand
the direction of the source of light or some other
All that can be stated is " done with the right-hand" which do not give
the right to state
"done by a right-handed" artist.
Contrary to what some persons wrote on the Net non human primates do
Even non primate animals show it.
- - - Cats have "paw dominance" similar to the right-handedness and
Owners will have noticed that some cats tend to
prefer one paw over the other for
manipulating objects while others use
Studies indicate that 20% of cats are right-pawed; 38.3% of cats are
left pawed and the
remaining 41.7% are ambidextrous. Preferences are
determined by the part of the brain called
the sensori-motor cerebral
Paw dominance is fixed and can be modified only slightly by
environmental factors, such as
convenience for reaching something
- - - There is genetic variation in paw preference (so called
in the mouse
- - - There is laterality (asymmetry) in sea-urchins internal
Writing of the above using the word 'handedness' will just
sign at best a total absence
in the observer who is attributing to the 'observed' what
one of his own attributes.
Invoking our human primate lateralization under "right / left"
dichotomy is just a commodity
conventionally admitted but by no mean
'universal' : just an example taken in
Napoleon's army .
( A. PIGEARD : L'armée de Napoléon.
Organisation et vie quotidienne,
2000, p. 194-195. )
In this 'Grande Armée' that swept all over Europe, the
conscripts were so lacking in
that they had no concept of 'right / left'
though they had a clear notion of their
lateralization : so
galoshes small bunches of straw and hay were put to
side and the command instead
of gauche / droite - right/left was
peasants this was as clear as the day.
In later armies the 'straw-hay' were put under the
"épaulette" / shoulder straps.
End of digression
Handedness is neuro-behavioural laterality
asymmetry - some pathologies are
more frequent in left-handed
Handedness is manual specialization .
Are you ready to attribute 'neurobehavioural' as a
a cordage or a knot ?
Why this persistence in using 'handedness' ?
Is it out respect for
If that is the motive well I suggest to bring light to houses
with resinous torchlights and only use
'herbal lore', that should show the respect in which tradition
handed down is held.
By the way no electric current, no TV, no computer :
go the backward way in time, that is it!
No man-made fibres for
cordages : only vegetable or animal.
Even using the word 'handedness' in the study of animals (
or non primate ) instead of the word
'lateralization' just makes it easy for another confusion of
logical planes to happen :
handedness hides that it is necessary to separate what is
anatomical, structural...) from preference
(psychological choice, behaviour
what ever the source).
Manual lateralization, specialization, has two components :
It does not seems to me a so good idea to use a "reference
point' resident in
speaker or the
of taking it in a larger frame common to all interacting persons.
( that is showing great 'hubris', hubris in the
modern meaning of the word, not on its original
one of course)
This is self-reference or auto-reference, it is a road leading to
paradoxes and fallacies.
How would you like to be issued road maps with "Front, Back, Left,
Right" instead of
North, South, West, East ?
Do not guffaw at my preposterous idea please.
People using 'handedness' for
cordage and knots are issuing such maps !
To my way of thinking it makes better sense to put
points of reference on a larger frame,
was a 'constant'.
At least use a 'process' that does
depend on the 'internal' attributes of the observer /
user / speaker but
on something 'external' that can be thought of 'as if'
it is non
The 'concept' behind this misnomer 'handedness' is that despite change
of its position, an
entity that has 'handedness' can always be
'oriented', it has 'in-built orientability' :
- - take a billiard ball without any mark on it , after it
been made to roll ten persons
could not to save their lives show which point of it
was up before the roll ( changes of
- - Now take a plastic model of a hand, surface perfectly unmarked :
make those persons take note of the part that point up (even a blind
person can) throw it
in the air twirling like a
stick (changing many time its position) and catch it.
Even the blind person will be able to point the part that was up before
the throw : this is
Take note that this is not dependent on geometrical properties but on
topological ones :
use a small or a large ball you get the same
Change the size of the hand small or big or use a hand with
long pianist fingers or
with short fingers orientability will still be
there even when geometry that is 'length and/or
angle' have been
A Möbius band is non
It has no right and no left edge for instance.
One face and one border so were is the left (right)border ? or the
recto (verso) ?
If its surface is unmarked you
cannot tell which part was up after having had it rolled like
belt between your two index finger.
Yet there is a left
and a right Möbius band readily identifiable one
from the other ( mirror
one of the other ) depending on the way the
torsion by an half-turn is.
Use the template I give in another page to do the two forms of Möbius
strip and play
You will not need to eventually use the
special ink to put a mark visible under 'black light'
'tails' will give you a mark that signal a very special place on the
surface ; that is the
difference between ideal theoretical object and a
Right/left is not very "robust" to change of perspective,
clockwise/anticlockwise is a bit
more robust, Compass points (magnetic)
are still more robust ...
DOES IT REALLY MAKE SENSE TO USE "RIGHT" OR "LEFT"
KNOT : JUST TWO EXAMPLES !
'Right" is the side where most people have their dominant (most often
Still some ( 10-15%) are "Left" ;-)
As already explained I would rather not use 'Handedness'
for inert entities.
I think this word should
creatures having hands.
Handedness is a psycho-motor attribute about
which side of the body to
put to use, this side is called
Instead of handedness, better use :
- "Z" / "S"
- Indirect ( that is clockwise)" /
"Direct or Trigonometric...
rotation, migration, lateralization
as is the case.
I prefer 'direct' /
'indirect' as it take minds off their set way with 'left'
/'right' or clockwise /
anti-clockwise and force to 'think anew'.
"Z / S" is a standardization that any
specialist working in the field of "textiles" is using with
thought' to avoid
Why not use Z/S as everyday language with cordages and
Rule : sign all the crossings , then sign with highest
frequency is the
Equality of "+" and "-" = achirality.
Note : count
can only be done with correct answer on a "final stable
Against the lay = that is with a Z cordage going as an S
strand is going ; with an S cordage
going as a Z strand is going.
With the lay = with a Z strand it is going as a Z strand is going, with
an S strand as an S
strand is going
Note that to get a "Z" strand or so-called 'right' or 'clockwise' while
holding the strands
between your two hands, you have
- - -either to keep one extremity of the strands fixed with the left
turn the other extremity opposite the direction in which the
hands of a clock move, that is
anti-clockwise ( alternatively
using your left hand for the
torque applying a clockwise
twist , the right hand maintaining the
- - -or apply a torque to both extremities so that
hand is giving
a clockwise twist while
applying an anti-clockwise torque.
This is hopeless as some will take the move of the left hand as
reference and other
the move of the right hand. as 'denomination'.
Better not to qualify the "lay direction" with the words 'clockwise' or
'anti-clockwise' as this
refer to a twist /torque/rotation direction
direction such as 'right'
and 'left' (result obtained) are
words used to state lay direction too .
The 'lay direction" is the resulting fixed state after 'laying' while
refer to the direction of the movement used
in the procedure
applied to obtain the result.
Confusion of logical planes it is in my mind map that mix of result and
Like confounding the recipe with the dish.
Just try it next
you are hungry if you think the distinction is pedantic or finicky.
I do think it is " grand temps" / 'high
time' for the ISO standard
"Z / S" to be fully
acknowledged by people
who should have been the first to pounce on it : knotters! BISFA- Bureau International pour la
Standardisation des Fibres Artificielles is an association of
fibres producers founded in 1928
Muddle happen too when stating that
must be coiled "with the
Fat precision it is when one is not even sure that the lay is to
be said clockwise or
anti-clockwise and that anyway that is only half
the parameters needed.
This will works only with learning the way to do it "par
coeur"/"by heart" or rather
for you "by rote", and the best way is to
put in 'in the muscles and ligaments memory banks',
thinking brain is
With the 'right' tool ( "Z" "S", sign of crossings,
centripetal or centrifugal
the coiling ) it is easier to 'understand'
rather than to simply 'remember and recall'.
CLOCKWISE / ANTI-CLOCKWISE - COUNTER-CLOCKWISE
WITH THE SUN / AGAINST THE SUN to keep this file 'light' and fast loading
this is on the following page