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TheFoo

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I like the children's set at least 2x as much as anything else that has been posted recently...

If I had lake house or something, I'd totally keep those there.
Obviously, you wouldn’t want to actually use the children’t set due to scale, but it is similar to one of Mellor’s most famous (though discontinued) designs, Chinese Ivory:


42144188-53F9-48B5-8EF1-573B119B9122.jpeg

Properly adult-sized and manufactured in many different colors.

Fortunately, flatware being the niche design genre it is, you can pick-up vintage examples of even rather iconic or important sets for very reasonable prices. I wouldn’t of course, because of teeth marks from ugly strangers and ghosts, but you do you.
 

GeneralEmployer

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See my above comments. I am really quite flummoxed by the forum’s anxiety over calling attention to one’s self. That is just a way of disguising the desire to be normal—or worse, the need to validate one’s limited ability to venture beyond normalcy—with a false veneer of “taste”, “elegance”, “manners”, etc.
Well, we are social creatures. I think there is a clear balancing act between the sensation one receives from an object, and the sensation others receive. It is very hard not to consider the sensation of others. In many outward facing things that concern design, I follow that old Mantonian principle, that is, outward facing design is a means to an end. For instance, say starting tomorrow that a type of so-called feminine garment replaced the suit as our societally accepted form of business attire (feminine in design, but considerate of the male anatomy). People in suits were gawked at and shun. Well, would you persist in wearing a suit? It's easy to say yes, but hard to do.

Also, in terms of the "median," I once more subscribe to the Mantonian principle that there will be some things you'll have no natural interest in. And thus, there's no need to pursue them. However, part of poaster's fascination with you, is that there seems to be no end to your material interests. Is there something that's a common possession that you have no interest in? Some poasters can say cars, watches, or furniture. This leads some to the conclusion that you either are like the Walt Whitman of buying stuff, or you're a poseur. Perhaps this is a false dichotomy, but I think of you as Walt Whitman: a man filled to the brim desire, one who drinks life to the lees.
 

ValidusLA

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You can’t seem to climb out of your own circular ditch. I attacked your reasoning by trying to get you to investigate the judgements you pronounced without rationale. My opinion is a separate matter.

What exactly is subjective about what I’ve argued? Is it my own personal opinion that fork handles shouldn’t taper? Seems to me, if one person says “don’t bother spending the time and energy to do something (e.g. tapering a fork handle)” and the other says “no, definitely spend the time and energy to do it!”, then it’s the latter who shoulders the burden of proof. Tell us why a fork handle must taper to the head. I’m all ears.
Unlike you, I am not claiming a platform of objective, rational, or better judgement. I am just stating what I like and don't like.

You want to try to make me argue for an objective or "rational" point to a fundamentally subjective questions because it suits you to reframe the discussion rather than admit an axiom that everyone knows: Tastes differ.

Why must the person who says "spend the time and energy to do it" shoulder the burden of proof?

In general, it is better to assume that whoever is moving away from whatever is considered "standard" shoulders the burden of proof. Not all progress is good, and not all change is positive. It is the burden of those introducing or defending it to prove that it is.

Preconceived notion: fork heads should sharply taper toward the handle because this is what looks good to me.

Challenge: there is no functional reason why fork heads should taper to the handle and what “looks good” to anyone evolves with experience, education, and enlightenment.

Counter-argument: [insert explanation or evidence support
I'll just take this part, since its the only part of that section germane to the discussion rather than just snide personal attacks.

Counter-Argument: There is no function reason why fork heads should not taper to the handle. With or without taper, a fork within a reasonable size and weight will function well enough for the vast majority of users to the point where personal taste for design and aesthetics will become the main variable that helps a would-be purchaser make a decision on whether or not to acquire said flatware.

While what "looks good" to any discreet individual absolutely does evolve with experience, education, enlightenment (and probably other variables), that in no way proves that anyone's taste or subjective feelings will evolve in the direction of what you like in this case or any other.

This can be true in art. But eating implements are for, well, eating.
This is, at base, reductive. If functional eating is the only purpose, than there is no defensible way to spend $90 on any flatware.

If function divorced from form is your only "truth" you should get the cheapest, most comfortable set you can find.

I do try to do away with all things not useful, actually. I am not always successful and I am evolving my perspectives in different matters, but I do aim for that ideal.

Take traditional tailored dress. There are arguments one can make for and against it as a threshold matter, but once within that arena, I have consistently iterated toward removing the unnecessary.
You have iterated towards removing the unnecessary in terms of designs and styles; but surely not in your overall choices.

I would hazard to say that based off your frame you would be very able to buy high quality garments OTR and tailor them. (Please this is not meant in any way meant to be any sort of insult - I only say this because I see others lob them at you and I find it despicable). If this is the case, why bother to go bespoke, if functionality and usefulness are the only metrics?

I have bespoke garments made because I have 20" shoulders and a 45-46 chest with a drop 10-11. It is actually impossible to find good looking stuff off the rack.
 

sugarbutch

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  • The five-tine fork looks murdery. That's an objective truth.
  • Cloth napkins
  • Bare table, occasionally a tablecloth. The missus has placemats she like to use (with the tablecloth!) at Christmas
  • The Minimal set is alright by me
  • An objective reason to taper handles is to use material only where it's necessary. That doesn't have to override other considerations, but it's a non-subjective reason to do it
EDIT: The Minimal knife doesn't allow light to play on it like the other pieces do, so I could be persuaded that it's the odd man out
 

GeneralEmployer

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@ValidusLA -- noble effort the out-foo the Foo but he's scoring all the points. You need to attack his premises and maybe I can score you one. Stuff like "Eating with friends is more important than art." OK, but that's only true if we assume high quality utensils has some type of effect upon eating with friends. Try this out, and focus on one item. There's too much scattershot. Also, Foo is a master warrior, so you'll really need to want this. Otherwise, give up now. No shame in that.
 

TheFoo

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Well, we are social creatures. I think there is a clear balancing act between the sensation one receives from an object, and the sensation others receive. It is very hard not to consider the sensation of others. In many outward facing things that concern design, I follow that old Mantonian principle, that is, outward facing design is a means to an end. For instance, say starting tomorrow that a type of so-called feminine garment replaced the suit as our societally accepted form of business attire (feminine in design, but considerate of the male anatomy). People in suits were gawked at and shun. Well, would you persist in wearing a suit? It's easy to say yes, but hard to do.
Yes, we are social creatures. But the manner in which we socialize, who we care to socialize with, and how much it matters that we succeed are each individually determined. Me? I think it is important to treat people with graciousness, generosity, and good humor, but I exhaust exactly zero time on people who do not respect my own individuality and eccentricity—that is, unless there is another practical reason to do so.

Such as work and generating wealth. I don’t relish wearing a Patagonia vest and “work pants”, but it helps me integrate with my co-workers in an environment that is extremely team-oriented and where regularly wearing a suit and tie now draws negative attention that could potentially threaten my family’s livelihood. I also keep my political and religious views to myself at work. I don’t like that either, but such is the calculus we must each do for ourselves. What is worth compromising for what we wish to attain or achieve?

In contrast, enjoying and driving my blue GT3 has exactly zero negative impact on me. Who cares if someone else doesn’t like it? It’s my hard-earned money, my car, my life.

Also, in terms of the "median," I once more subscribe to the Mantonian principle that there will be some things you'll have no natural interest in. And thus, there's no need to pursue them. However, part of poaster's fascination with you, is that there seems to be no end to your material interests. Is there something that's a common possession that you have no interest in? Some poasters can say cars, watches, or furniture. This leads some to the conclusion that you either are like the Walt Whitman of buying stuff, or you're a poseur. Perhaps this is a false dichotomy, but I think of you as Walt Whitman: a man filled to the brim desire, one who drinks life to the lees.
One of my best friends once described me as a hedonist. And people who know me know that I have a voracious appetite for information and learning about new things. I do nothing halfway. The only sacrifice is sleep. This approach has served me well professionally and personally thus far in life. It has also brought me great pleasure. I see no shame in any of that.
 

ValidusLA

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Is that the limit of your understanding of design and architecture? Creators and professionals speaking down to those beneath them? This reduction leaves you in a position where you can handily dismiss anything that challenges your pre-existing taste on the mere basis of imagined class conflict. Convenient, no?
I made one comparison, why would that be the limit of my understanding? It was one comment, that I still believe is apt.

I am absolutely not boiling down anything to "imagined class conflict." I generally think that those who get into class conflict wars regarding subjective taste are boring. I got into quite a long argument on this point regarding Blundstones (which I loathe) in which the opposite side was trying to frame it as some sort of class conflict.

Its not about creators and professionals speaking down to those beneath them. Its about people who claim to have a higher sense of taste using this assumed claim to tell other people they are wrong on purely subjective means - made worse when the plurality or majority of those (including those from upper class or creative and professional backgrounds) who view the purported object think its ugly.
 

ValidusLA

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One of my best friends once described me as a hedonist. And people who know me know that I have a voracious appetite for information and learning about new things. I do nothing halfway. The only sacrifice is sleep. This approach has served me well professionally and personally thus far in life. It has also brought me great pleasure. I see no shame in any of that.
You have misattributed his quote to me.
 

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It's not a mistake. I meant to change into ValidusLA handle. Remember, we're the same IRL person??? Aren't we?
 

ValidusLA

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@ValidusLA -- noble effort the out-foo the Foo but he's scoring all the points. You need to attack his premises and maybe I can score you one. Stuff like "Eating with friends is more important than art." OK, but that's only true if we assume high quality utensils has some type of effect upon eating with friends. Try this out, and focus on one item. There's too much scattershot. Also, Foo is a master warrior, so you'll really need to want this. Otherwise, give up now. No shame in that.
Golly, the "Treasurer of the MaFooFan Fan Club" thinks I'm being dunked on by Foo. Guess I better swallow my shotgun now.

Once again. My only overriding point is that taste is subjective. Sorry if I'm not willing to be reframed.
 

GeneralEmployer

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Golly, the "Treasurer of the MaFooFan Fan Club" thinks I'm being dunked on by Foo. Guess I better swallow my shotgun now.

Once again. My only overriding point is that taste is subjective. Sorry if I'm not willing to be reframed.
I'm simply calling the match on punches landed. I'm trying to teach myself -- you, I'm trying to teach how to land a punch. It's basic logic. Read a logic book or something.
 

TheFoo

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Unlike you, I am not claiming a platform of objective, rational, or better judgement. I am just stating what I like and don't like.
Exactly. To you, it is “just stating what [you] like and don’t like.” That does not negate the possibility there is some more objective groundwork to be laid.

I am not making any claims to challenge you, which is not to say I am not making any claims. I am challenging you by questioning your own claims and statements.

You want to try to make me argue for an objective or "rational" point to a fundamentally subjective questions because it suits you to reframe the discussion rather than admit an axiom that everyone knows: Tastes differ.
Of course tastes differ!

But is that the end of it? Everyone is a tasteful snowflake? Or would it not be more useful, fun, engaging, etc., to challenge each other to evolve and refine?

Why must the person who says "spend the time and energy to do it" shoulder the burden of proof?
Because it conserves energy and resources for other pursuits when doing nothing gets you the same or better results than doing something.

In general, it is better to assume that whoever is moving away from whatever is considered "standard" shoulders the burden of proof. Not all progress is good, and not all change is positive. It is the burden of those introducing or defending it to prove that it is.
This argument relies on a key assumption that is difficult to defend: it is a virtue for one thing to have preceded another. Why do you think this true?

Without proving otherwise, there is no benefit to coming before or after. There are just two different forks designed to serve the same function.

I'll just take this part, since its the only part of that section germane to the discussion rather than just snide personal attacks.

Counter-Argument: There is no function reason why fork heads should not taper to the handle. With or without taper, a fork within a reasonable size and weight will function well enough for the vast majority of users to the point where personal taste for design and aesthetics will become the main variable that helps a would-be purchaser make a decision on whether or not to acquire said flatware.
1. Absolutely agreed—there may be no functional benefit to not tapering the fork head! However, the issue in contention had nothing to do with not tapering. Rather, it was your claim that tapering is somehow better. Recall that you challenged the taperless designs of the Pott 35 and Mellor Minimal. I actually said the Mellor Pride, which tapers, is quite nice.

1A. That said, I think the taperless designs are possibly superior from a form perspective, since the form is more honest to the function of the design: if no taper is necessary, let’s not put it there. Like a decorative, non-functioning vent or scoop on a car—get rid of it, please. After all, the handle can’t be spindle thin. It needs enough width for stability, grip, leverage, etc.

2. Honesty in design through eliminating unnecessary flourishes and celebrating the essential in form means more time, money, resources, etc., spent on quality and function over antiquated and false notions of “elegance”. Notions of elegance and beauty will then hopefully evolve accordingly and society will invest more where there are opportunities for real innovation and progress.

While what "looks good" to any discreet individual absolutely does evolve with experience, education, enlightenment (and probably other variables), that in no way proves that anyone's taste or subjective feelings will evolve in the direction of what you like in this case or any other.
You, nor anyone else, were born with a vision in mind of a perfect fork. Yet most happen to prefer the traditional form with the tapered head!

Either the traditional fork has evolved into a Platonic ideal that can no longer be improved upon or people are prejudiced toward convention and pre-existing norms. Could the former be true? I suppose it’s possible, but difficult to argue or prove and it seems implausible given the iterative and error-prone nature of humanity. The latter seems more likely to me. In that case, individualists championing one design over another can eventually win over the more herd-like masses. And then, who cares what the herd-like masses think? They follow where they are led.

This is, at base, reductive. If functional eating is the only purpose, than there is no defensible way to spend $90 on any flatware.
I don’t literally mean just putting food in your mouth, chewing, and swallowing. I mean the personal and social experience of having a meal.

If function divorced from form is your only "truth" you should get the cheapest, most comfortable set you can find.
It’s not enough just to serve a function—I also want to relish and celebrate it.

You have iterated towards removing the unnecessary in terms of designs and styles; but surely not in your overall choices.

I would hazard to say that based off your frame you would be very able to buy high quality garments OTR and tailor them. (Please this is not meant in any way meant to be any sort of insult - I only say this because I see others lob them at you and I find it despicable). If this is the case, why bother to go bespoke, if functionality and usefulness are the only metrics?

I have bespoke garments made because I have 20" shoulders and a 45-46 chest with a drop 10-11. It is actually impossible to find good looking stuff off the rack.
Bespoke is valuable to me for a few key reasons:

1. Very few quality RTW suits can possibly fit my frame, even with alteration. I am quite short.

2. I am particular about details. I like to have things a certain way.

3. I am particular about quality. I know of no RTW that matches the best bespoke for craftsmanship.

4. I enjoy the experience of working with a tailor and traveling to interesting places.
 
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TheFoo

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An objective reason to taper handles is to use material only where it's necessary. That doesn't have to override other considerations, but it's a non-subjective reason to do it
Yes!!! Now we’re talking! This is the most interesting thing anyone’s said in this discussion. 100 Foo points!

However, the problem I see is that the taper of the handle demands a hand of a certain size and positioned in a certain way for optimal fit and control. Otherwise, you can easily find yourself having to grip where it is too thin and lose stability. It doesn’t mean dribbling food all over the place but certainly some tapers will be more comfortable to use for certain people than others.

The advantage of a uniform width is that you can grab the handle anywhere and still get the same level of stability and grip.
 

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