Hardly a ruthless warrior, Henry Petroski is sometimes called "the poet laureate of engineering." Writing in 2003, he tells us,
"A kitchen knife is a pretty basic piece of technology that can be used to prepare dinner or to commit a crime. But no one claims that a chef's knife should be redesigned to eliminate its pointed tip. Should we want to give up the civilizing effects of fine dining for fear of the occasional fight in the kitchen?"*
Six years later, across the Atlantic -- and a cultural gulf that seems wider every day -- a BBC article touts the "anti-stab knife:"
"The first 'anti-stab' knife will soon go on sale in Britain and has been designed to work as normal in the kitchen, but be ineffective as a weapon. The knife has a unique 'combination tip' that reduces the risk of injury. ... Doctors have lobbied in the past for kitchen knives to be redesigned."
No one, doctors, hey, whatever. If a civil engineering professor who grew up in NYC understands that it is intention that makes a tool a weapon, wouldn't you expect doctors could, too? Oh, you dreamer!
* Petroski, Henry, Small Things Considered, 2003, pg. 147
3 months ago