Saturday, May 23, 2015

Overconfidence effect



It is very real.

It is also a double edged sword.

If one tests what one is doing every step of the way, one avoids over confidence.  Most "experts" do not test in a step wise fashion. And in fact, I would say that the mark of a true expert is that they have, in fact,  tested everything. It has been said before- "Trust but verify!" and "Always do the calculations from first principles, yourself!"

Most spinners, take treadle cadence times ratio to estimate spinning speed.  At low speed that works, but who cares about low speed?  I use a digital tachometer. I use it enough that I know all of its foibles, and it does have a few.

I make deductions from history.  If they improve my knitting and spinning, then I consider them likely correct. They work, and that is good enough for me.  It is not like somebody might die or be injured if my deductions from history are wrong.  I do not know many other folk that actually test their deductions from history.   They spout dogmas from books, but they do not test them. They just want everybody to accept them without testing.

In particular, the naalbinding of Coptic socks was not a test.  Any knit object can be produced by naalbinding. The test would have been to make socks via naalbinding and via knitting (with a knitting sheath) and test to see which was more like the original.  


Dr Gan Sei said...

Do tell us more about the digital tachometers of antiquity.

Aaron said...

They were called "coins". They counted how much they got for a days work. Payment told yards of yarn. The grist, and hence the twist was known. Thus, from payment we can calculate total twist inserted per day. That gave a precise count of how fast they spun that day. A tally of the money earned in a year was a tally of how fast they spun that year.

In the mind of a thrifty spinster, nothing is as precise as the tally of money earned. Yarn for the household was yarn that could have been sold, so it had value, and thrifty spinsters remembered all that they spun, and how long it took them.

This ongoing, precise knowledge of how fast they spun allowed them to evaluate spinning technologies and develop better spinning technology.

You think about hobby spinners and subsistence spinners, who do not track how fast they spin, and do not have incentives to make capital investments to allow them to spin faster. I think about professional spinners. If I am going to learn, I may as well learn from the best, and the best are ALWAYS professional. Professionals track how fast they word and have incentives to make capital investments allowing them to work faster.

Ruth B said...

Please provide all the citations for all the records you have researched in order to come up with your premise.

Your logic appears to posit a universal system of payment to spinners throughout Europe over nearly two millennia. You make no account for variations of economic conditions within a given country, among countries, or in times of plague,war, drought, famine, etc., never mind currency exchange between countries. There was no universal currency. Even in Colonial America, the value of a dollar or a pound could vary considerably from one colony to the next such that merchants in New England kept guides to help them with currency equivalents. A dollar in the U.S., Australia, and Canada today are not the same value. So if you think that you can tell how many yards are being spun by how much a person is being paid back in the 14th Century, you would need to know the value of the money at that time and that specific place. Where are your references? Or are you, as usual, just making it up?

kenneth Whitworth said...

Ruth B. Your attack is specious. Perhaps English is not your first language, this would excuse your completely missing the point of Aaron's answer to Dr Gan Sei's question. After all, English can be quite an idomatic language.

Neither Aaron, nor you nor I need to know how much a 15th century guilder, a 14th century florin or a Colonial American pound was worth. But I guarantee you the person being paid in that coin for several weeks of work knew exactly how much that coin was worth and how much he or she could purchase with it. And if he or she could produce twice as much work and be paid twice as many of those coins he or she would be a fool not to do so.

The only reference needed would be the two most rare of senses, common and horse.

Ruth B said...

Mr. Whitworth, if you bothered to read the comment, Aaron says that he can tell the , as well as the length, of yarns spun by how much a person was paid. Clearly you know nothing whatever about spinning or you would know that the grist and twist of a yarn have nothing whatever to do with how much the spinner is paid for the yarn. There are fine yarn spinners who are paid far less than some spinners who spin bulky yarns. Popular or well known spinners can charge more for their yarns, and those yarns are not always fine yarns. There were, and are, far too many variables - location, fiber content, education and reputation of spinner or guild, conditions of employment (orphans were taught to spin, and I promise you they made a pittance, no matter how fine their yarns were). Aaron asserts that he can magically determine all these things simply by the wages paid. Tell, me, Mr. Whitworth, can you determine the quality of a shirt by the wages paid to a worker in a sweatshop in Southeast Asia or India? I rather doubt it. It appears you may have left your common sense back at the office.

Aaron said...

There is difference between spinning "warp" for weavers and spinning prestige yarns for hobby spinners.

First one must assume that there are thousands and thousands of very competent hand spinners, all capable of spinning prestige yarns -- for weaving!!

Against this, we assume a demand for weaving yarns based on the export value of the fabrics. If you need a review in Economics there is

Knowing man hours to spin (from AA pg 383) of various grists of yarns, most of what you claim is unknowable can thereby be calculated either by forensic economics or textile science. You problem is that you do not like or trust math. Again, I refer you to Khan Academy.

Is it precise? Not really!, but it may be ACCURATE enough to falsify the timeline for the diffusion of textile technologies based on artistic images. However, it depends on having textile historians who are very good at math.

Frankly, I do not see any evidence that Ruth B is very good at applied mathematics.