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    Re: Celestial a Black Box?
    From: Luc Van den Borre
    Date: 2016 Jan 17, 23:50 +0100

    On 17/01/16 23:17, Frank Reed wrote:
    > Quoting an experienced navigation instructor:
    > "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..."
    >
    > Is this a fair statement today? Is celestial a 'black box'? Just curious
    > to hear opinions on the matter.
    
    That's just a confusion of terms. 'Black box' means one deals with
    inputs and outputs without knowing the internal workings.
    
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_box
    
    Celestial navigation is only a black box to new students, right after
    their first introduction to it. After that, everything about it can be
    learned in detail, at least in principle (I think the same goes for a
    GPS receiver).
    
    Perhaps the instructor means 'a gadget that can break and leave you
    stranded'. Maybe there's a succinct term for that.
    
    Luc
    

       
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