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    Re: 1870s navigation
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2018 Aug 6, 17:18 +0000

    Do you have any notes/ recording of the course that you teach?
    Perhaps from the previous years.
    From: NavList@fer3.com [NavList@fer3.com] on behalf of Frank Reed [NoReply_FrankReed@fer3.com]
    Sent: Monday, August 6, 2018 11:45 AM
    To: eremenko@math.purdue.edu
    Subject: [NavList] Re: 1870s navigation
    Bravo. You have recognized an important concept early on that so many students 
    of navigation history stumble over for years: navigation manuals display the 
    history of education resources, not navigation. They can provide insight and 
    bakground, but they are not history. You need to look at "primary sources" 
    when researching history. Of course, there are also other secondary sources 
    worth digging into, and one that you must read (and should probably try to 
    acquire in hard copy) is Lecky's "Wrinkles in Practical Navigation" 
    originally published in 1883. It's both practical guide and memoir.
    If you can make your way to Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut in 
    October, I highly recommend you join my class "Celestial Navigation in the 
    Age of Sail" (formerly "Celestial Navigation: 19th Century Methods" which is 
    entirely devoted to this topic and will give you direct practical experience 
    with the methods that were used by drawing on late 19th century primary 
    You wrote:
    "By analogy, a completely naive person looking at modern US drivers' license 
    manuals might infer that only criminals drive over the speed limit, and would 
    have no way of knowing that on any real world US interstate highway, driving 
    a few mph over the limit is the norm, not the exception."
    That's a really good analogy. It's always instructive to imagine how future 
    historians two centuries from now might try to understand the world we live 
    in today. What distorted lens would the world of youtube provide?! By the 
    way, those "few mph over the limit" vary across the country. I spent most of 
    my adult life driving in the Midwest (near and in Chicago) and in New 
    England. On the interstates in this part of the country, that margin above 
    the speed limit is comfortably 7-10 mph. Driving on I-95 out here, I normally 
    engage the cruise control at 72mph while the posted limit is 65, and I am 
    right in the middle of the pack. That cruising speed is only slightly above 
    the mean driving speed on the highway, and it's highly unlikely that a driver 
    would be ticketed, or even noticed, in New England for driving at that speed. 
    But some years ago when I drove out to California (primarily for a little 
    NavList gathering for in-flight aerial sextant sights organized by Gary 
    LaPook!), as I drove across Texas and then into New Mexico and Arizona, I 
    noticed something interesting: speed limits jumped up, but that margin of 
    casual speeding nearly disappeared -- everyone drove at the speed limit. I 
    was stopped by a state cop in Arizona on the way back (clearly thinking I was 
    a smuggler...), and while he was asking me leading questions about my trip, 
    we chatted about that speeding margin. He had a name for it, which I don't 
    recall, and he specifically told me that he often stopped and warned drivers 
    from other parts of the country who didn't realize that Arizona did things 
    differently. There's a different legal standard in that part of the country. 
    The speeding margin is 2-3 mph above the posted limited, and the average is 
    right on the posted limit. Now there's something you would be hard-pressed to 
    learn from a driving manual.
    Frank Reed
    Clockwork Mapping / ReedNavigation.com
    Conanicut Island USA
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