Today, I had the following conversation (paraphrased) with a member of my Belegarth group:
Me: I'm confused about the rules for checking arrows to see if they are safe. It says you're supposed to push down on it to see if you can feel the core. But any arrow you can feel the core if you push hard enough. So how do you know how hard you are supposed to push?
Him: There's no way to quantify it. It's not like testing it, like in a lab. Testing the weapons is personal, different people do it differently.
Me: Okay, so clearly the best strategy is to get the arrows tested by a representative sample of weapons checkers, so that it's more likely to pass everywhere (like if you take it to a different group).
Him: Don't worry about that. Everyone does it the same way, they just do it differently.*
Me: Okay, well how about this idea. I can bring a scale and have them push down on the scale with the same force that they push down when checking weapons. Then I will know how hard to push down when I am testing the ones I make.
Him: That's not necessary. People will think you are weird for doing that.
Me: Why? I'm just using quantitative data. Is there something wrong with using quantitative data?
Him: It's geeky as hell.
Me: Let me get this straight. Someone who does live-action role-playing is telling me that it's wrong to be geeky?
Him: Some of the people there don't consider it "role-playing." They're there for the fighting.
Me: Okay, let's rephrase. 'Someone who does foam sword-fighting is telling me that it's wrong to be geeky."
Him: "Not all of them think foam sword-fighting is geeky."
*This sentence, however, is not paraphrased. I distinctly remember him saying "Everyone does it the same way, they just do it differently." I laughed out loud when he said this, though I don't think he realized what was so funny.