Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Turf wars

I see some English knitters telling me that "Ganseys" are their turf, and that I should not try to say anything new or different than what the current generation of English Gansey knitters are doing and saying.  This has the effect of limiting useful discussion. This is very like another issue I track.

After a long and rancorous review, Wind was published to some nasty comments in the climate science community.   I see this as turf wars between folks in ivory towers that do not need turf.  It would be silly, except that there are interesting things in the paper.  Are they useful things?  Maybe, but the turf wars are limiting useful discussion. I basically see the guys in climate science telling the authors of  Where do winds come from? that the authors are outsiders, and should stay off the turf of climate science.

The inside joke here is that the climate scientists are some of the smartest guys in the world. Similarly, those English knitters are some of the best knitters in the world, and they are behaving like pointy headed academics in ivory towers.  Knitters are supposed to be smarter than that.  : )

I would take these English knitters more seriously if most of the orders for gansey tools that I am working on right now were not for folks in Yorkshire.

I really do not care what other people knit!  I do not try to tell others what to knit.

I do say what fabrics I like to knit.

I do say why I like those fabrics.

I do say how I knit those fabrics.

And I do tell people how they can knit similar fabrics and objects. I try to make it reasonable and logical.  Easy is another matter.  A good Guernsey is a hundred hours of hard work.  However, sometimes it is worth it. I do tell people that it is not always worth it.  I do tell people that "sometimes, less is more".  I think a knit object should fit the need. The need may be for status, or it may be for warmth.

My wife says, "It is a barbarity, clarity is a rarity!"  And turf wars are the enemy of clarity.They end up as a hen party with everyone picking at each other's language, rather than addressing issues of substance. Turf wars over ganeys keep people from enjoying the full spectrum of knitting.


Chingachgook said...

I'm pretty sure Pharma has a drug out now that would soften that rigidity. Somehow, I think their status quo is gonna stay.

That reminds me: How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one, but it must desire the change...oooh, forgive me. Or not ;>

Aaron said...

Both of my parents got advanced degrees in psychology - I learned statistics crunching numbers for Dad's research. Dad used it to treat learning disabilities and teach adults to read, and Mom become the very best sales person around. Desire can be induced.

I do math much better than I do people or spelling. I might be a bit autistic. This allows me to completely ignore criticism and make my own judgments.

For example, for the last 18 years I have said that climate science had understated the rate and impact of global warming. Now, we see various papers coming out confirming that point of view. see

If I can stand up to the IPCC ( and all the supporting science, and in the end, have my views validated, I am not worried about Beth, Jean, and Meg.