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    Re: Celestial a Black Box?
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2016 Jan 17, 23:02 -0800

    In my original post on this, I mentioned that I was "quoting an experienced navigation instructor". Nobody asked, but I was being intentionally coy on this only because the quotation seems so surprising given its original date of publication. These words were written by Capt. Norman Cubberly of the Research Vessel Eastward:

    • "I now make it a point to all navigators that sextant, chronometer and tables comprise just as much of a 'black box' as does satellite navigation. Has anyone silvered a mirror lately in an emergency, or perhaps repaired a chronometer? Celestial navigation is merely an old fashioned 'black box' requiring a bit more of the navigator..."

    I quoted them from the Navigator's Newsletter as published in late 1983. That's THIRTY-TWO YEARS AGO.

    This has no bearing whatsoever on whether any of the follow-up comments are right or wrong (or even could be). I just thought it was intriguing that such a seemingly "21st century" statement originated back in the early 1980s. So continue... continue... What did he mean to imply by the phrase 'black box' and what constitutes such a thing in navigation today? And does it matter?

    Frank Reed

       
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