Philosophy: When is a "lever" no longer a "lever"? - Page 6

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jpender
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#51: Post by jpender »

Jake_G wrote:If the operator has to actually transmit their physical strength into the machine in order to "power" the extraction, it might be a lever machine.
The mechanical argument. So it's okay to have a mechanical advantage, that's what levers do. Or storing energy in a spring. So how about a lever you use to compress a spring not once but twice? What if instead of a spring you have weights that are raised with multiple pulls on a lever or turns of a crank? One could continue on this path to ever more Rube Goldbergian extremes. You'd have to draw an arbitrary line somewhere.

Jake_G wrote:The Meticulous, Duvall and Swiss Unica Pro don't pass the test, though. They all get their motive force from the wall outlet.
What if I hooked my bicycle up to an electrical generator and plugged my machine into it? Or for that matter, it could be a generator powered by pulling ratcheting up a strong spring or set of weights with... a lever.

ira
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#52: Post by ira »

I think most of your fringe cases don't qualify. Most of them are Single stroke cylinder and piston devices, but while manual, most do not actually have a lever in the traditional sense. So I think you're closer to defining single stroke pump machines which includes levers, but the Portaspresso Rossa HG is clearly closer to the Duval and Unica than it is to a lever and I would claim the Portaspresso Rossa PG is closer to a hydraulic group than a lever.

If the test was, I put the machine on the other side of a 10 foot square room and you get a 10 second look as you walk by an open door, would you call it a lever machine? I don't think any of those edge cases would pass, nor would the Meticulous and I wonder if anything that doesn't pass that test would fly as a lever machine?

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another_jim
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#53: Post by another_jim »

Am I the only person more intereseted in what lever machines do for the coffee rather than for your biceps? :wink:
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pizzaman383
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#54: Post by pizzaman383 replying to another_jim »

I think that a commercial size spring lever group on a heavy espresso machine is almost ideal. You can retard the lever to reduce pressure, push up the lever to increase pressure, and let the spring do the work. You can adjust the strength of the spring by adding or removing an inner spring or use shorter/longer primary springs. Consistency with flexibility and mostly silent.

When coupled with the modern group heating they are hard to beat.
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drgary
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#55: Post by drgary »

another_jim wrote:Am I the only person more intereseted in what lever machines do for the coffee rather than for your biceps? :wink:
I also like the ability to use manual feedback and eyeball the flow into the cup. I think controlling flow rate on the fly yields a better and better tasting extraction because you can compensate for grind coarseness and dose.
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jpender
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#56: Post by jpender »

ira wrote:If the test was, I put the machine on the other side of a 10 foot square room and you get a 10 second look as you walk by an open door, would you call it a lever machine?
It would depend to some extent on the person, wouldn't it?

You're basically saying that a lever is defined by an opinion that it is, in fact, a lever. So perhaps the way to decide if it's a lever is with a vote. You could poll a large group of coffee enthusiasts and ask them. If it gets enough votes it goes on the list. The list would have to be updated occasionally because of new entries or changing opinions. And you'd also have to figure out how to decide who gets to vote.

The other approach is a detailed definition which is what I think Jeff was asking for in the original post. A strict definition might include machines you think should be excluded. Or exclude ones you think should be included.

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Jeff (original poster)
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#57: Post by Jeff (original poster) »

I wasn't asking for a definition, but for an exploration of opinions, so we could all benefit from collective insights.

Being able to articulate "why" doesn't need a black and white definition.

ira
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#58: Post by ira »

jpender wrote:You're basically saying that a lever is defined by an opinion that it is, in fact, a lever.
But isn't that actually the answer? Which is why I proposed the looking through the door test.

Ira

mathof
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#59: Post by mathof »

Words are used to serve purposes. For example, H-B moderators have to decide which machines should be discussed in the Lever forum as opposed to the forum labelled Espresso Machines. This has to be a matter of judgement, as it is evident from this thread that it is not possible to agree necessary and sufficient conditions for inclusion in the relevant category.

But this is the normal state of things in most spheres of language. What we normally do is project from a small set of samples to new cases, as a child might do after seeing the word dog applied several times to a new animal they encounter. On being told that the new animal is in fact a cat, the child would not reflect on the relevant conditions for the application of the words dog and cat, but would simply learn by further examples what to say. The process is akin to training generative AI.

Coming back to H-B, moderators will make classification decisions which are helpful to the community about where to discuss new hybrid machines. Dr Gary points out this thread has been an "exploration of opinions" which can lead us to "collective insights": as such it can guide, but not determine, how the concept is applied at H-B.

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#60: Post by Primacog »

Jake, I think you are on to some thing and adding the human powered or human power sourced factor into the definition is definitely a critical part of the lever equation.
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