Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ian's Not So New Knot

Double slipped reef knot
Ian Fieggen has taken it upon himself to rename the simple double-slipped reef knot as the Ian Knot. While it's always nice to see someone take an interest in the ancient art of knot tying, what infuriates me is when someone creates new terms for something that they have no business claiming rights over.

I don't doubt that Ian has documented a clever way of tying a double-slipped reef knot in a small number of passes, however if you examine his two 'recommended' knots on his list of shoelace knots page you will find nothing new under the sun. His Ian Knot is in no way different than the same knot the majority of us use to tie our shoes every day and his so calledIan's Secure Shoelace Knot is nothing more than a double-slipped surgeon's knot.

I think that Ian should be ashamed of himself for being intellectually dishonest and consider picking up any good book on knots in which he will discover all of his 'research' has been thoroughly done and discovered by generations of people before him. Then again, with garbage sites like the Freedom Knot taking common knots and creating terms for them, you can't help but wonder what is wrong with people in the world.

Further down in his list of knots he tries to show an incorrectly tied surgeons knot, calling it a surgeon's knot, but as with the rest of the site, it is garbage. Casual examination of Ian's knots, as well as the Freedom Knot page will show that they are nothing more than thinly veiled crass attempts at self aggrandizement and egotism run amok.

There is, on one page I finally came across, an admittance that a number of the things he is calling 'knots' are in fact simply different methods or techniques for tying a reef knot:
For example, it's widely believed that the Two Loop Shoelace Knot (or "Bunny Ears" method) is inferior to the Standard Shoelace Knot. This is true only because most people tie the Two Loop Shoelace Knot incorrectly. If tied correctly, it forms a secure "Reef" knot (or "Square" knot), which is identical to that formed by either the Standard Shoelace Knot or my own Ian Knot. However, if tied incorrectly, ANY of these three methods will form the identical "Slip" knot (or "Granny" knot), which will come undone.

If he knows that these are reef knots, why does he claim to have invented a knot?

Finally, to be crystal clear: I have nothing against attempts at creating comprehensive, educational material and putting it online. Ian's site does have a large amount of information and advice on the concept of shoes and lacing, unfortunately laden with attempts at revising history to claim ownership over the simplest of all knots.

Furthermore I strongly believe in the right of discoverers to name their discoveries, however I just as strongly believe that those who claim ownership over things which are not their own are the most craven sort of cowards and thieves. For someone who claims to have studied many other forms of knots to claim that their knot is a different knot is not only intellectually dishonest, but morally indefensible.

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