Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Opposing Thumbs


Our hands are very useful things. The fingers of our hands work together well. They, like people are meant to cooperate. The thumbs are said to be 'opposed' . It means they are opposed to the direction of our fingers. This is not so that they can accuse them of every infraction they can come up with (or perhaps, invent) out of vengeance and/or blind allegiance to the 'cause of thumbs', but rather to help the body grasp things and promote the useful cause of our species.

I do wish I didn't have to keep addressing this same old issue.

Opposing thumbs enable a waller who is doing his job to apply pressure to either side of a rock to create enough friction to suspend the rock in the air without it slipping, and so effectively pick up a rock and put it in a wall. The pressure and friction is not supposed to vaporize the rock. A waller who is more interested in building a war than a wall will be tempted to see aggression and 'opposition' as his duty, out of pride or fear of losing his or her status amongst their fellow dry stone warriors. This obviously can do a lot of damage. It is also stupid and unproductive.

Interestingly the idea of opposing thumbs can be falsely defined as the giving both the 'thumbs up' and the 'thumbs down' at the same time. This of course describes the sending of a mixed message. I give two thumbs up to people who are honestly trying to 'grasp' dry stone walling here in Canada, as well as those of any walling organization who offer the hand of friendship, communication, good faith and who do not 'oppose' wallers unfairly behind their backs. My blog is open. The organizations I belong to can be joined by anyone.

My thumbs are opposed to the constant finger pointing . I look forward toward to a time when hands are joined
in celebration of the peaceful art of walling. Actually, that's what the annual International Dry Stone Wall Festival – 'Rocktoberfest' in Canada, is all about.

And like this blog, it's FREE.


  1. If this blog is free and open then why did you as a administrator have four people thrown off Stonemad for simply critiquing unnamed stonework?

  2. There were several people whose behaviour was considered inappropriate enough that the other three administrators deemed it necessary to 'suspended' them for two weeks. Anyone with any real strength of character would have been able to take it as a reasonable warning and return when that short period of time was up. Blogs and forums are free to join and participate in , but not free to abuse.

  3. Since when is critiquing a picture of unnamed stonework abuse?

  4. For what it's worth, I looked into this. Four administrators on that site. One stepped down due to the sensitivity of that situation as it was a clear conflict of interest. A very honourable thing, I thought. The others acted without input from the fourth. Oppose the decision if you want, but the author of this blog was not a part of it. Better still, put down your hammer for a moment and consider the ethical reasoning behind the decision. Regardless, it has nothing to do with THIS blog, which I hope will return to the constructive and positive side of dry stone walling. I think that's why we're in this business, no?

  5. My friend was suspended for simply critiquing unnamed stonework.
    The exact same stonework that you J.Scott critiqued and it was reported your opinion of the stonework were that this was 'unacceptable work.' This event comes across as a double standard. How can things improve if there are coverups and nepotism? It has to do with 'this blog' as long as John S. keeps bringing up this topic concerning his critics.

  6. Dear Anonymous. That you have ambition, I do not doubt. Why you feel you must destroy good people and feel as though you are doing a community service, is beyond me. I hope someday we can all work together.