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Jewelry - Pejorative ?

Posted by CliffStamp 
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Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 08:41PM
Chum noted awhile ago that while certain classes of people obviously do not carry knives because of how they work, they can get extremely defensive if it is even implied this is the case. This came up in a discussion about the XM-18 and questions that Chris asked and a review/comparison of it vs a Delica which was posted on BF.

Recently Travis posted a regrind of the Southard : [www.spyderco.com] . A number of people commented that he ruined the knife because of the aesthetic change. When it was pointed out to them that he is working on it as a tool not jewelry they became very defensive, it isn't jewelry even though the looks of it are more important to them than how it works.

I watched "Ice Soldiers" yesterday, it was watched for entertainment while I did some cutting and sharpening. I do not think it will win an Oscar this year and would never defend or argue some point as I was doing some kind of film classification/merit study, it was just a silly movie to watch and I watched it because I knew I would find it amusing, which I did.

Is the fantasy really so strong that people can't openly admit that the function of the knife isn't nearly as important to them as how it looks, and once you take this position then you no longer have a tool perspective clearly. How often to tradespeople by tools because they are pretty, when was the last time you ever heard an electrician complain about a wire stripper because he just didn't fine the handle wrap attractive?
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 08:48PM
I think the issue is that they don't even know what "use" is. I know that sounds silly to say, but I don't think most of them have a need for a knife (maybe opening packages, cutting up an apple...but again there's lots of ways to do those simple things without a Spyderco), and so their idea of the knife's use is based on however it is promote or based on the "superness" of the knife's materials. As a result, even when they say the looks are ruined, I don't think they have a perspective for whether it works better or not. That it works is assumed (again based on promotion and materials...and not at all on personal experience or logic), so what is left for them to judge is looks. Hence you see all kinds of comments like "yeah, I'm sure you know what a knife should do better than a maker", etc.

Hopefully that makes some sense.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 08:51PM
When I bought my first Nikon F camera, dating from 1960, when it was was almost 20 years old...A female friend commented, "Male costume jewelry, eh?"

I did not see her point until I saw other photographers using the latest Canon and Nikon gear at motor race meets, two or three cameras draped over shoulders and necks...it looked strange, even though they were actually USING the gear...

CRK Sebenzas are part of the male costume jewelry "fashion" that inhabits the "gentleman" side of the western world, IMHO...

Yes Cliff...there will always be folk who carry a knife as a way of showing off their disposable income, and maybe cut a piece of paper to show how sharp it is...and so a few years later, it will still the "factory" edge...and still shave the paper as previously...

Knives are tools first, in my book...
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 09:38PM
Cliff, I paid siginificantly more money to buy a bronze bodied smoothing plane over the grey iron one. That choice was 100% esthetic. I would argue most people would buy the tool they find more appealing if given the option. The interesting thing with tools is the things that make them estheticly pleasing also make them more ergonomic.

Back to knives. Most of the instagram knife community seems to use the knives as models for pictures over anything else. So they need to be pretty. Conversely I have been perusing a thread on blade forums in the traditional forum and those blades (pictured) frequently show signs of actual use.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 09:53PM
If we had a circle jerk smily it is basicly what jewelry is when you lie about it being for esthetic purpose.

Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 10:41PM
Well, knives that are discussed on internet forums are 99% frivolous purchases anyway. Worst case scenario they are jewelry, but even most users are, basically, toys. Sometimes they are used for "serious" hobbies, like hobby science or hobby hunting, but still, mostly leisure activities.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 10:46PM
Quote
Mark a
That choice was 100% esthetic.

Yes, and would you still have bought it the same features which made it visually appealing actually reduced its function. In this case, would you then argue that you were still buying it as a tool?

Mike (Gavac) made this argument awhile ago and he had a rather unique interpretation which I wish I could claim I had as it is so elegant. His argument was simply this if you define a knife as a tool used for cutting, but you make an object and how it cuts isn't why you make it the way you do then are you really making a knife?

I am paraphrasing, but that was the jist of it. If you make it to be decorative, if you make it to be attractive or cool or to be a fantasy piece then is it really a knife any more? I can take a piece of silly putty and form it into the shape of a knife, but is it a knife? Most people would argue no because it can not function as a knife even though it looks like one.

There is some line then between the object made from silly putty and what someone like Joe Calton makes which is clearly designed with all aspects of how it should cut. I do not think it is a binary decision knife vs not knife, but I think that the more you do things with compromise how the object cuts then the less you can call it a knife. It is becoming a piece of art, a decoration, a toy, something, but not a knife.

Now here is the thing, this isn't bad, art is a wonderful thing - but that is the curious part why be ashamed to say you make art or buy art, why be afraid to say "Yeah I bought the knife because it was pretty." .
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 26, 2014 10:56PM
Because opr8trs can't go around calling things pretty.
No I wouldn't buy a tool because of form over function. My design ethetic has always been function over form. But I did recently buy a knife just because it is pretty. I will post it when it gets here.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 12:34AM





Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 12:45AM
Pffft duct tape is terrible for tieing people down, sweat totally breaks the adhesive down. What good is a restraint that can be defeated by a fat guy in a warm room.

Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 01:04AM
I bought a Case trapper today. It has blue bone and was sitting in the display case next to the yellow plastic handle version. There was almost a $20 difference in the price. Same pattern ans same steel. I plan on carrying the knife. The blue one was just pretty to me.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 01:27AM
Quote
mccullen
I bought a Case trapper today. It has blue bone and was sitting in the display case next to the yellow plastic handle version. There was almost a $20 difference in the price. Same pattern ans same steel. I plan on carrying the knife. The blue one was just pretty to me.

I'm sometimes willing to pay extra for what I consider to be an aesthetic upgrade, as long as I don't think it will effect the knife's performance negatively. This isn't the same as someone who doesn't realize they are in an operator fantasy.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 02:45AM
I'm not gonna lie, aesthetics are an important factor when I am deciding on a knife (I don't like ugly knives), but they aren't as important as function or ergonomics.

However, I care more about high aesthetics on knives that will be used in a very visible manner, like a gentleman's knife, due to the fact that people tend to view pretty items as non-threatening. Not to mention that I would be carrying a knife of that sort as pocket jewelry.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 02:52AM
The funny part is I thought he did a very nice job on the regrind.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 01:20PM
Quote
Bugout Bill
I'm not gonna lie, aesthetics are an important factor when I am deciding on a knife (I don't like ugly knives), but they aren't as important as function or ergonomics.
It's funny but to me appreciation of efficiency tends to turn into aesthetic appreciation. E.g. when I started to get into knife I did not particularly like parang aesthetics, now I find them quite beautiful. Maybe it's the fact you spend more time with efficient tools so they grow on you, maybe it's the affection for efficienct tool that rubs off on aesthetic taste...
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 03:24PM
Quote
bubo
It's funny but to me appreciation of efficiency tends to turn into aesthetic appreciation. E.g. when I started to get into knife I did not particularly like parang aesthetics, now I find them quite beautiful. Maybe it's the fact you spend more time with efficient tools so they grow on you, maybe it's the affection for efficienct tool that rubs off on aesthetic taste...

Full flat grinds are more aesthetically appealing to me than sabre grinds now, for the same reason you describe.


Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 27, 2014 07:19PM
Quote
CliffStamp
I think that the more you do things with compromise how the object cuts then the less you can call it a knife. It is becoming a piece of art, a decoration, a toy, something, but not a knife.

That "something" can be a weapon. I tend to think of this trend in knife culture as an extension or a parallel to the custom of carrying swords. The swords (city) people used to carry could be quite decorated and not always with functionality as a priority. Maybe the fancy/tactical knives could also be compared to the Arabian janbiya

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Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 28, 2014 01:15AM
Quote
Mark a
Cliff, I paid siginificantly more money to buy a bronze bodied smoothing plane over the grey iron one. That choice was 100% esthetic. I would argue most people would buy the tool they find more appealing if given the option. The interesting thing with tools is the things that make them estheticly pleasing also make them more ergonomic.
But isn't this different from say, scale material, such as choosing carbon fiber over G10, where you're both decreasing functionality (grip) and increasing cost.

What if part of their justification for buying the knife is that it would cut better, because of increased cost, marketing, what have you, and now they have a significant investment, (both financial and basically an issue of pride, not wanting to be wrong) which makes them want to defend their purchase. They've convinced themselves it's a reasonable price, and are deaf to those who say otherwise, even if there's clear facts infringe of them, because it's embarrassing to admit.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 28, 2014 02:28AM
Quote
PiMan

They've convinced themselves it's a reasonable price, and are deaf to those who say otherwise, even if there's clear facts infringe of them, because it's embarrassing to admit.

Yea, this is even one of the strongest reasons why people make all kinds of arguments, not just defending the aesthetic ones. It is the classic emperor's new clothes story, they see what they want to see and it becomes real to them, to such an extent they will argue with others to try to make them see it.

This also isn't something that only affects the silly and the ignorant, it is a fundamental bias which exists in everyone and is so strong that scientists even have to take special precautions or otherwise they will see what they want to see as well. The best weapon against this is the classic double blind where you can't force the data or interpret it one way or the other.
KWB
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 28, 2014 03:46AM
Cliff
I like the double blind test, that is kinda why I like sending knives to you for review. I may not see where the knives I make come up short. And of course I know you won't hold back ( or at least hope you wouldn't). Honest critisicm means more to me than false praise. The initial attraction is what draws me in the performance and materials are what gets me hooked.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
February 28, 2014 05:29PM
DK's view on the subject. With some commentary by me spinning smiley sticking its tongue out






Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 07, 2014 11:16PM
I made the mistake of asking a female friend why she buys so many shoes but only uses a few of them consistantly. She asked me why I own so many knives, but only use a few. She had me there.

I just like knives, I like modfying and using them. Its not a bad thing to have a hobby, and its an added bonus if I like how they look.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 09, 2014 08:20AM
I thought the regrind looked pretty sexy tongue sticking out smiley

Havent done any cutting runs yet
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 09, 2014 04:59PM
Quote
dragonetti
I made the mistake of asking a female friend why she buys so many shoes but only uses a few of them consistantly. She asked me why I own so many knives, but only use a few. She had me there.

I just like knives, I like modfying and using them. Its not a bad thing to have a hobby, and its an added bonus if I like how they look.

But her rational for wearing a non functional, unsupportive, shoe that makes her foot hurt is "because it looks pretty." If you asker why she's not wearing, say, a running shoe, she won't have any qualms about using that as a justification. If you ask someone with a Hinderer why they carry a knife with poor cutting geometry, ergonomics and retention, they'll say you don't understand/ it's just better. At least she'll admit to the sacrifices she's making... She bought them because of the way they look, not the way they function. If someone bought a Hinderer for looks and didn't expect better cutting performance, shouldn't they be able to admit that as well?
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 09, 2014 07:00PM
Quote
PiMan
If someone bought a Hinderer for looks and didn't expect better cutting performance, shouldn't they be able to admit that as well?

No, because it ruins their operator fantasy. If they don't believe that the knife is one of the best performing knives for operators then they can't justify the price, so they have to make themselves believe that it is a great performer. If they admit that it isn't the best cutter then they will say it has the lowest drag (my favorite) or some other nonsense. The perceived performance of the knife is what drives the fantasy. The look of the knife suggests that it performs well to them.




Chumgeyser on Youtube
E-nep throwing Brotherhood. Charter Member
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 09, 2014 08:53PM
I guess I didn't really finish my point. They were sold, and bought a knife, so if you tell them it's jewelry, you're crazy because it's a knife. If someone had no idea what clothes were, and another person sold them "pants" but it really was a shirt, and you say that to them, they'll think you're crazy, they just bought a shirt. The word is insulting because you're telling them they're crazy. If I bought a Kershaw for the looks, I would have no problem admitting that, and have no problem with out being called pocket jewelry that happens to cut things.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 09, 2014 10:45PM
Quote
PiMan
At least she'll admit to the sacrifices she's making... She bought them because of the way they look, not the way they function.

To be fair to this unnamed female though, there is actually a function there with her shoes. She is trying to primp herself up for the purposes of showing off, attracting a mate, etc. Granted I'm not about to actually contradict your overall point, or suggest the number of shoes certain women own adding more isn't increasing her fitness in this regard, but it is just worth noting that "jewelry," just like makeup, does play some role in sexual selection and general social interaction within our species.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 11, 2014 01:43AM
Shes a very level headed person. If she does buy something she makes sure she'll use it. And the shoes arent exactly useless. She does use them to walk. And like I said, its an added bonus if she likes how they look.

Hunterseeker, by that logic we do use knives and chop stuff to make ourselves more attractive, or for our own sake? Do we buy impressive or pretty knives to impress females, or because we like them?

I know girls that won't buy footwear unless its incredibly practical and utilitarian, and I know guys who bought 300$ shoes that they wouldn't run in because "creases decrease the value".

So the footwear serves a purpose, protecting feet, but do people buy nicer shoes for themselves or to impress others?

Knives serve a purpose, but do we buy attractive knives for ourselves or to impress others?

On another note the girl in question is wickedly smart, way smarter than I could ever hope to be, so I might start a debate with her about the shoes, and ask her opinion on my cutlery hobby. I should get some interesting answers.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 11, 2014 04:34AM
Quote
dragonetti
Hunterseeker, by that logic we do use knives and chop stuff to make ourselves more attractive, or for our own sake? Do we buy impressive or pretty knives to impress females, or because we like them?

It is a mildly inside joke, but clearly you've never played airsoft. You want to see the most hardcore 0p3r8rs 0p3r8ing? Just give them a chance to play dress-up and shoot each other with their pew-pew-pews. You have no idea.

Just to give you some context, I think I approach the game with the same level of pragmatism I do knives, that is to say some concessions for aesthetics but some level of performance is mandatory. This is what one of my rifles looks like:



Carbon is half aesthetic, half because it makes the gun stupid light and flickable.

Contrast that against, arguably, the king 0p3r8r pew-pew-pews GMR:
[youtu.be]
Yes those are genuine PVS14s (I think they've switched to PVS15s now but IDFK) Rifles are about 2.5K in today's money not including genuine Barbie-Ken joins the army accessories. They don't increase their combat effectiveness, they dress up as both a masturbatory exercise for themselves, and because they want to be sexy/badass to the people around them. Same with these knives. Some of it makes you feel special, some of it is recognition within your community of knife owners.

Feel free to look up the cost of these loadouts and ops by the way. I once calculated that, for a weekend op, GMR as a team were paying 400$ an hour to play, not counting the cost of their actual loadouts which I think someone calculated to be potentially in excess of 10K$ each.
Re: Jewelry - Pejorative ?
March 11, 2014 04:53AM
Yeah but if GMR goal is realism than that itself is a performance goal. If their goal is to the best possible competitve airsofter than their performance parameters are different. They are interested in realism more so than being competitive so wasting a bunch of money to look legit makes more sense than spending a grand to have a bb go 50fps faster...