A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Rommel John Miller
Date: 2016 Jan 17, 16:56 -0800
The ultimate black box? The humble Erwin Schrodinger explicated the paradox of his cat, a flask of poison, a hammer and a container with a radioactive substance in a steel box the mystery of which still intrigues us.
Take then the paradox of a Sextant, it is useless to the uninitiated and yet anyone with half an intellect might be able to figure it out. I think that is why we call the unknown “black boxes” because they are for the most conundrums which evade ordinary human understanding. Like just went into making the pencil and 11 others like it in a box so perfectly? An aside would be those long debarked pines trees on the flat beds of trucks in places which have saw mills. My father used to say: “another batch of toothpicks going to the lathe!” whenever he saw a truck so likewise burdened. If it takes no fewer than a thousand people to produce one pencil or batch of them, if one tree can product millions of toothpicks how much wonder is there in a slide rule or with the sextant?
Alan Turing broke the Nazi Enigma machine to infiltrate Nazi secrets during WWII. And an Enigma is nothing more than a black box as it is a mystery. Is Schrodinger’s Cat still alive? Time tells us it died of old age and boredom and maybe stale air. Still the proposition still intrigues some of us. Thank you.
Rommel John Miller