Nautile aka Charles Hamel's personal pages
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Digression as introduction
It is often somewhat of a surprise that one set of data can leads to different analyses which
in turn lead to different interpretations (perceptions / opinions / actions).
Just think about the way people perceive 'colours" or "smells" or "words".

o   p   i   n   i   o   n   s
I think that we Humans (and may be all living creatures !)  have to function with them on a
daily basis, it is what our brains produce in fact. 

The whole way a living creature 'see' the world is only opinions, that is facts, data filtered,
deformed, altered, amended, translated, transduced (energy to chemical to electric to
chemical again)....what ever type of modification you want to conceive of.
This is done by hard wiring in neural or even non neural "reception apparatus watching at
the frontier " plus 'existential'. Existential = what has been done to it by what we have
experienced in body and mind or body neural ganglia or even simply changes in proteins.

Pure thought devoid of "appreciation" (putting a price on literaly) does not exist, no
'native' state ;  it is a refining process product in the best of the cases.
As soon as 'qualifying', 'labelling', 'choice', 'sifting' happen it is 'opinion' appearing.

I have no  quibble with opinions that have been cleaned and cleansed by carefully checking
(weeding those found) for 'distortions' :  'affective', 'visceral', 'spinal cord level' or coming
from primitive neural structures that are able to short circuit  the brain cortex upper grey
layers. Perfect for survival when tackling an  emergency but makes for trouble when it is
'run of the day things' that are parasit-ed.

Humans look to me as rather well geared for thinking in 'opinions'.

So, well chosen and well delimited frame are " a must". In every domain, right down to
cordages and knots.

There are no facts, only interpretations" - Nietzsche

Another way to see that is to think about the Buddha way of  "seeing" things :

The Five Skandhah or Five Aggregates :

- Matter (be it material matter or psychological / mental / spiritual matter) gives rise to
Sensation (pleasant / unpleasant / neutral - without identification of nature in our senses
 (mind being a 'sense')
- which leads to Perception  (reception of stimulation with identification and recognition)
Till this point all is 'no worry', but Perceptions give rise to
- Volition, Move in Consciousness that is 'act' (with merit / without merit / neutral) and
this in turn leads to
- Consciousness, a focusing of Attention on the presence of Matter  ; a fixed label put on
the whole process with "all that was previously registered" acting to make the "labelling".
This leads to believing that what is Labelled Consciousnesss is identical to what was
Perception which in turn is equated to Sensation which is in turn equated with Matter

example :
- - - Matter : object coloured in blue  ;
- - - Sensation = colour is present ;
- - - Perception : this is blue ;
- - - Move toward Mental Formation : I like, I dislike, this is neutral ;
- - - Consciousness : THIS IS good, bad, neutral.
Attribution to the external 'what is giving rise to a sensation' of something that is in fact
only an internal attribute of the  'what is doing the perceiving'

So it is best to keep a "garde-fou " ( 'keeper of the fool' ; it is what English language denote
with parapet / guard-rail ). That consists in making sure of the frame of reference every one
is using.
Keep the 'interpretation' under constant scrutiny and well  critically 'bracketed' by logic.
Interpretation can be the latest advance in Science or only an 'opinion' or worse a
'pre-judice', a judgement without examination , a "passed on, quite unexamined, predigested

Would you dream of not checking your knots ?
So why not maintain this discipline about "interpretations" and always check them for validity.

Imagine this situation  :
Algeria, skirmish, paratroopers climb a small cliff and succeed  to take a prisoner.
Immediately communication is made with the commanding officer who orders :
- " Put him down" meaning take him down from up there on the cliff.
Soldier " Can you confirm Mon Capitaine" ; "Confirm : put him down immediately".
Ratatata ....soldier shoot down the prisoner with a short burst.
In this soldier's frame to put someone down was to shoot him without more ado, what he
did. What he did even if astonished enough that his Captain was giving an order so out of  
character that he bothered to ask for confirmation.
Both men were perfectly clear with their meaning, only they were both in different "bubbles".
"Bring him down from the cliff for interrogation" would have save the day for the Captain's
honour !

End of digression

Recall to your mind the celestial and earthy cross.
How the perception of the Extra-Galaxian observer, of the man standing on Earth and of
the man lying under the projection drawn on the transparent glass differ about the very
same set of external 'facts' or rather 'given'.

Now imagine a circular wall in rotation about its centre.
Inside the wall the floor is not moving and an observer is there.
On the inside wall a red circle is painted.
On the outside wall a green circle is painted for the outside observer looking at the rotating
Inside observer can only see red and outside observer can only see green.

Wall is in rotation : inside observer says "it is moving from Left to Right ( or The Left to
The Right)" ( incorrect statement : it should have been "it is moving from My left to My Right") but
the outside observer then retorts " No it is moving from Right to Left".

Realizing that something is wrong  Insider say " I tell you I am right, it is turning clockwise",
Outsider rejoin "that I can agree on, it is indeed clockwise".
Rotation of wall has not been modified, yet situation has changed between those two, they
are not any longer of opposite opinion.

Manager of experiment ask to two new observers to replace them but the new comers are
to stand upside down now.  Rotation is unchanged.
New Insider has been enlightened about the Left-Right problem and has been told the
"cheat" by the previous observers : ' it is clockwise".
So not wanting to fall prey to the right-left mistake and seeing a change says " Ho! it is
turning anti-clockwise", Outsider says "yes they changed the direction, you are right it
is anti-clockwise that I see it turning".
Yet the wall is still rotating in the same direction as before.
They are in agreement but giving an answer in opposition the the one given by the
precedent pair.

Now both Inside observers and both Outside observer are paired.
They know that the answer cannot be different coming from inside or from outside.
So one say "what about using compass points ?"
Now they can all agree that it is turning West to North to East.

See what I mean about being careful with choosing how you express your point of view ?

Now a little silly story with knots for you knotters.
Imagine a giant turk's head knot, the template of which is disposed (correctly oriented by
the experimenter) on both faces of the wall.
Of course using the precedent trick of compass points they could pull at the same time in the
same direction on the huge cordage making the THK.

Only problem is that they are not allowed to communicate between them, they have to obey
one order and one only, so it had better be correct first time. This order comes from Below, 
n observer that is below them looking upward.

If Below says "go from left to right" each cordage puller will understand " from My left to
My right" and they end in a tug of war on the cordage.
Same thing if the guy tell them "go anti-clockwise".
Then they will go to what is for them, on the other side of the floor, anti-clockwise which
happen to be what is the clockwise of the guy giving the order.
Then a  bellow from  by Below ! :  Eureka!
 "go from West to North to East to South and then again".

Always beware of how you are choosing your frame of reference.

Laying on another course of bricks ! ;-)

A small historical one for the road. TRAGIC !
From " InfoSense - Turning Information Into Knowledge" by Keith DEVLIN,
published by Freeman and  Company.

BALACLAVA and L'Héroique Charge de la Brigade Légère.

March  1854 - Crimea - British and French forces are fighting against Russian forces.

25th October 1854 Russians launch an attack on the British positions near BALACLAVA.

Lord Raglan, the one with the specially tailored sleeves, ordered his Light Brigade ( Cavalry
under Lord Ducan's orders)  to move in and sweep the enemy from their redoubts while
said enemy were still in disarray :
" Cavalry to advance and take advantage of any opportunity to recover the Heights. they
will be supported by the infantry which has been ordered to advance  on two fronts."

On reception of orders Ducan took it that he was to wait for the arrival of the supporting
infantry before beginning his advance.
None arriving he waited.
Meanwhile the Russians were recovering their positions and dragging away captured British

45 mn later Raglan, seeing from his hilltop what the Russians were about asked his aid Airey
to send a second message .
This message read
" Lord Raglan wishes for the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front - follow the enemy
and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Troop Horse artillery may accompany.
French cavalry
is on your left. Immediate. Airey"

Airey gave the note to Captain Nolan to deliver it.
As Nolan way going Raglan shouted after him " Tell Lord Ducan the cavalry is to attack

Ducan could make no sense of the message.
From his own position DOWN in the valley, he could see no enemy and no guns.

Seeing his indecision Nolan passed on the verbal message :
 "The cavalry is to attack immediately".

Order seemed clear.
So under Lucan's leading the 673 soldiers of the Light Brigade started their way down the
valley towards the Russian position.

Carnage !
272 killed.
Light Brigade destroyed.
Never had a chance .


From RAGLAN's elevated position on high ground, he was looking down on the routed
Russians that were in retreat taking British guns with them.

The only enemy Ducan receiving the order could see was the one at the end of the valley.

So being a disciplined soldier ordered to attack THE front this was the one he attacked
along what Tennyson described as "Valley of Death".

End of story is that for that the British troops had to stay the entire winter in Crimea and took
SEBASTOPOL only in Septembre of the next year.

That just  for want of a correctly chosen frame of reference !

[begin quote]
The problem was not that anyone failed to understand the word "front"
Rather, tragedy arose because that word had two different referents, depending on different
[end quote]

Had map coordinates been used no tragedy could have happened!
Safer to stay with cordage and knots.
End of brick laying for this topic



in History And Science Of Knots
under the editorial supervision of J.C TURNER and P Van De GRIEND
published in  : Series on Knots and Everything -  Volume 11 - World Scientific is the 
It is a series that leaves you in no doubt about it having the hallmark of academic standards
of publication.

In Part ONE - Chapter 4 Page 47, Fig 3 Orientation of crossing strands
signed by Willemina WENDRICH :

A distinction is instituted going like that :

1 = OVER S crossing
2 = UNDER S crossing

3 = OVER Z crossing

4 = UNDER Z crossing

1 and 2 are what would be qualified as a left hand turn were we driving a car
3 and 4 are right turn.
In my opinion there is a confusion here made between so-called "handedness" and
the "Z" or "S" label.
In my view of things as already exposed previously what is shown is in fact :that
1 is in fact a 'plus' crossing so a "Z" one and not an "S" one
3 is in fact a "minus" crossing so a "S" one and not a "Z" one as said

Using MINUS = "S" and PLUS ="Z" is much more coherent I feel and avoid
all ambiguity.
Just see that if you treat  the knot as a coin with heads and tails then essentially
1 & 4 are the same coin and 2 & 3 are another coin
so what Author is saying is
1 or OVER "S" = 4 or UNDER "Z"  
2 or UNDER "S" =  3 or OVER "Z"
which is patently false since going to the other side of a rope
does not change it form Z to S or from S to Z
while what I say is that
1 =  "Z"  and 4 = "Z"
2 = "S" and 3 = "S"  which seem to me much more "solid"

It is evident that "Z" or "S" does not change by being seen in back view, that only the
'altitude' of crossing change ; a H become a L and vice versa, but "S" stay "S" and "Z" stay "Z".

Using the SIGN of the crossing to determine "Z" or "S" is better than using the
right or left lateralization of the turn in conjunction with the altitude of the crossing.


Go to page 13 of  bat's belfry

Copyright 2005 Sept - Charles Hamel / Nautile -
Overall rewriting in August 2006 . Copyright renewed. 2007-2012 -(each year of existence)

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