A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Rommel John Miller
Date: 2016 Jan 18, 16:09 -0800
To Alan and all:
Consider the complexity of a sextant, especially the reading methods of a vernier scale. To someone unaccustomed and untrained it is gibberish unless highly intuitive and gifted in insight. Most of us aren’t gifted or exceeding in academic prowess. That said, look at a Slide Rule. Beyond figuring out what the c and d scales do, that might be an “ah ha!” type discovery. But the T and S and ST and P and K scales? Takes knowing how to do the math let alone knowing what to do with the slide rule before any of it can be done. Take the post a few weeks ago where someone told the sequence of solving a Navigational problem on a slide rule. “Circle this, score that, etc.” someone untrained in slide rules would not know where and how to begin. Therefore the conclusion I make and it stands in direct contradiction to someone else is that both the Sextant and Slide Rule are foreign, and a mystery to most and until the processes are explained. That in my eye makes them both “Black Boxes” until insight provides the answer and the eyes of the perplexed are opened. Making them at the moment of Discovery and Understanding: Insight necessarily White Boxes.
That an answer stands in plain view does not make the instrument white in the least. All is black until the light of understanding like in Cel Nav is revealed. I hope this clarifies what I posited in my Schrodinger’s Cat email. The Cat is for most intents dead, but the glimmer of hope tells us that it might still be alive had it used the implements in the box to its insightful advantage. The cat could have had an existential crisis if it had reason and used the gun to commit suicide. But that aside let us just say the cat lives if only in our romantic hopefulness. Science would laugh at that!
Rommel John Miller