A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2019 Sep 17, 13:01 -0700
Brad and Ed, thank you for both for explaining the issues.
Yes, a major factor is protecting intellectual property, and any videos would almost immediately be copied and copied again. This is not necessarily a show-stopper. I have considered this option before, and maybe down-the-road we'll do some version of online classes. Most of the usual platforms for educational videos are responsive to copyright-based takedown requests, and celestial navigation videos are unlikely to get the sort of viral copying that ruined 90% of the business for my Centennia Historical Atlas. I can "happily" say that copyright-busting videos based on my historical atlas have over 15 million hits. Whoopee. Indeed even my responses to those videos have over a million youtube hits. Let that sink in: I, Frank Reed, have over a million youtube hits. But it's a measure of the slippery, fictitious nature of the Internet economy that those millions are worth pennies and have wiped out many tens of thousands of dollars of business for me.
Thanks, Ed, for your endorsement of live teaching and especially my live teaching. Read some of the reviews on ReedNavigation.com if any of you want confirmation of that. Teaching demands deep knowledge, unless we treat celestial navigation as mere ritual (which, of course, many schools do). Teaching any subject requires skill and the ability to think on your feet and adjust to your audience, like any performer. For celestial navigation, teaching demands skill in preparing materials and distilling methods down to simple rules. More generally, live teaching is now the luxury product. We should all be looking for live teaching whenever possible while we watch education for "normal people" sink into the quicksand of automation.
As Ed notes there are some specific advantages at Mystic Seaport that benefit and enhance my teaching style. We take fieldtrips in class. We step outside and look at the sun in the sky. We study sundials. We watch the motions of the celestial sphere in the planetarium. We look at the angular sizes of things in the immediate area. And of course, we go aboard historic vessels when appropriate. The local features enhance the value, but I would say only by about 10% compared to other venues. I've taught some of my classes in Chicago, Boston, Princeton, Kingston NY, and (nearby) Narragansett RI, and they work beautifully even if we don't have a historic whaleship in the backyard. :)
For those of you who believe you'll never get to Mystic Seaport, let me remind you that my classes travel. I will travel anywhere on the planet so long as my expenses are covered separately fromm my standard class fees. It helps to have a local hosting institution like a museum, or planetarium, or university willing to get the word out and bring in students. I also do private one or two-day tutorials.
But once again, let me remind you that Celestial Navigation in the Age of Sail is up next, October 5-6 at Mystic Seaport with an optional (or independent) Lunars Day on Monday, October 7. And then a month later, it's Modern Celestial Navigation November 2-3 at Mystic Seaport:
- Register for CN Age of Sail, Oct 5-6, Mystic
- Register for Lunars Day (only), Oct 7, Mystic
- Register for CN Age of Sail + Lunars Day, Oct 5-7, Mystic
- Register for Modern Celestial, Nov 2-3, Mystic
I'll let you all know if other options are available this Fall and Winter.