A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2018 Nov 28, 11:10 -0800
David Pike, you wrote:
"Things are starting to make sense. First looks suggest many similarities to the Wikipedia entry for Celestial Navigation. Let’s just leave it at that for the moment. "
Exactly. The website originally linked is nothing but a big "repository" or "portal" site created by some Romanian individual (the "Tudorancea" part is a Romanian surname), and every link that you folks post to it provides revenue to him (congratulations -- I will be deleting those links later today). As you recognized, David, this is just a copy, perhaps many years old, of the very awful wikipedia page on celestial navigation. What a mess that is.
On the wikipedia page, you will find this line:
"This is now a rare skill, and most harbourmasters cannot locate their harbour's marker."
This is obviously ridiculously confused and poorly written prose, yet it's clearly the source you're looking for. The spelling has been slightly changed since the copy that you found on the Romanian portal. It's an excellent example of a rotten wikipedia page. It's rotten in two senses: poor information and decadent in age.
So just how decadent is this particular bit of antique junk? We can find out by consulting the history page behind the main article. Here are some of the earliest versions of that page: Celestial Navigation article history. And with a little binary searching ("high low" searching), it's possible to track it down to the very day when this ridiculous bit of information was added. Here's the original version. It was sixteen years ago tomorrow: November 29, 2002. Yep, it's true. This bit of stupid is having its sweet sixteen. It's old enough to drive in the USA! Sixteen years old. It's an amazing thing that junk info like this just lingers and lingers on wikipedia. And this contribution was written only 27 days after the celestial navigation article on Wikipedia was first launched. It's ancient in Internet terms and even ancient in terms of online celestial navigation discussions. This date is over a year before I first posted to NavList (the old Navigation-L mailing list at that time). How absurd that you all are debating trash from some unknown wikipedia contributor that was written sixteen years ago.