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    Navlist Index of Prohibited Works
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2008 Jul 10, 09:47 +0100

    Navlist Index of Prohibited Works.
    This message is for those that have read, or possess, or been influenced by,
    works in the following categories-
    Books by Cotter, works by "Howe", late 19th/early 20th textbooks and
    Repent. Cleanse your mind. Root out those works and publicly burn them.
    So runs the verdict, decreed in [5674], by our respected list-owner.
    You may have read his statement before, but I can't resist repeating it-
    "Your experience with their history comes mostly from Cotter's book and
    various other muddled modern sources like Howe, and also from late
    19th/early 20th century textbooks and navigation manuals which were
    published long, long after the period when lunars were commonly used at sea.
    You learned lunars from mediocre sources, and it is no wonder that they
    cause you so much confusion and that you are so convinced about their
    supposed difficulties."
    That still causes some fun here in Southmoor. "George", I get asked, "have
    you been reading that Cotter book AGAIN ?".
    So if your own mind may have been tarnished by such reading, in the same way
    that mine appears to have been, never admit it, or your reputation (at least
    in the view of our list-owner) will suffer in the same way.
    However, there are a couple of things about that list of Prohibited Works
    that puzzle me.
    No works on navigation by "Howe" exist, that I am aware of. Perhaps Frank
    Reed will point them out, or perhaps he is referring instead to Derek Howse,
    a modern writer whose works I greatly respect. If that is the author that's
    dismissed in a throwaway line as "muddled modern sources like Howe", then
    Frank might at least have read him sufficiently to get his name right.
    The other name Frank accuses me of  being over-influenced by is that of
    Cotter. Presumably, he refers to the "History of Nautical Astronomy", by
    Charles H Cotter (1968). Best thing I can do here is to quote what I wrote
    about that book in Navlist [1773]-
    "It is indeed a very useful work, with lots of references and accounts of
    various techniques, but on the technical/mathematical side he seems to have
    been frequently out of his depth. As a result, it is riddled with errors,
    Jan Kalivoda and I have assembled a list of known or suspected errors,
    available at-
    This is intended for a Cotter-owner to keep with his copy."
    I invite Frank Reed, or anyone else, to download that list of errors, which
    printed out covers four sides of A4, and in the light of that, reassess the
    extent to which I have been influenced by Cotter's writing.
    I look forward to a forthcoming Navlist Index of Approved Works, which has
    been personally vetted by our list-owner, and which we will all be allowed
    to read, without censure.
    contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    Navigation List archive: www.fer3.com/arc
    To post, email NavList@fer3.com
    To unsubscribe, email NavList-unsubscribe@fer3.com

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