"Standard" by definition:

Merriam Webster Dictionary - "something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example."

Oxford Dictionary - "an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or measure in comparative evaluations."

BESSU first defined and then proposed as a standard, BESS, as a means of quantifying and communicating the sharpness level of an edge. Since that proposal was first made, the BESS has been adopted by many as a standard for expressing edge sharpness. BESSU is charged with the administration and the guardianship of this new standard. BESSU has not sought nor intends to seek certifications from any third party certifiers or other "standards" organizations at this time. BESSU apologises to our users in the scientific community and to those in some industrial arenas who may rely on these third party certifications in their work. BESSU simply cannot, at this time, contemplate the commitment of our very finite resources to such a lengthy and expensive task in pursuit of a certification that would be helpful only to such a limited benefit group.

While the very term "standard" implies a very narrow definition of something the creation of standards, as you can see from the dictionary definitions given above, can occur and be adopted in many ways. You may keep a board standing in one corner of your shed that you've found to be very useful for spatial separation of fenceposts when building wire fences in your rural neighborhood. This board has now become your standard for fence post spacing. If that same board is borrowed by your neighbors each time they build a wire fence then the "board" has become a standard for your neighborhood. Now the county planners take a drive through your rural neighborhood because they have heard of the aesthetically pleasing uniformity and structural stability of its fences. They now want to incorporate your board into the county building code. Now your board must somehow be either described or duplicated so that thousands of fence builders in the county can easily comply with the new fence building standard. You and your neighbors created a workable and useful standard. The county merely adopted it and then, in satisfaction of their own requirements, expressed it in their codes. Everyone here has played an important role. You have created a standard and the county has made your standard transportable.

The function of BESSU most closely resembles the county's in the above example. BESSU makes the BESS transportable by supplying closely regulated test media for test purposes and by specifying the measuring characteristics of test instrumentation. We should not forget, however, that the BESS is not a commentary on the usefullness of any one sharpness test. Cutting paper and shaving hair are standards as well. They are standards in that these means, and others, have been adopted by a great number of people as a way of assessing sharpness levels. Decades ago, farmers in some sections of the country used to say that it was time to plant corn when " the leaves on the hedge trees were the size of a squirrel's ear." and while the technocrats might point to the inherent inaccuracies of such a standard the farmers who relied on it might very well have pointed to the fine crop of corn growing in their fields. This was their standard at the time and no one can say differently.

Neither BESSU nor BESS have any stake nor disagreement with how an individual or entity assesses the final sharpness level of an edge. The BESS is simply a means of quantifying that sharpness level so that it can be unambiguously communicated or referenced at a later time.

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