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    Re: Poor St. Hilaire
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2007 Oct 23, 22:54 -0400

    Hi John, I've been slowing working through your posts and various replies in
    this thread. I'll try to reply in more detail later. For now, at one point
    you wrote, "terminology... screws up the concepts." In a later message, you
    wrote, "the terminology traps George (and many others) into thinking that
    the estimated latitude generates an approximation."
    
    I do think that you've got a good point here, but it's going to be a hard
    sell. First of all, I can guarantee you that the terminology has not
    'trapped' George Huxtable. He understands this material inside and out at a
    very deep level (and although George is temporarily lurking, I will add that
    he is a tremendous asset to this group). The catch is that experts often
    have a hard time remembering what it's like to be a beginner and unless
    they've done some recent teaching at the beginner level, any concerns about
    terminology are almost incomprehensible. I agree with you that many people
    hear the expression "assumed position" and find it very confusing --for a
    variety of reasons. I also agree that the approximations or lack of
    approximations in many celestial navigation techniques are misunderstood
    partly because of strange terminology.
    
    Something else to consider in this St. Hilaire business. The use of
    "plotting" on a little chart to get a positional fix caused a lot of worry
    for late 19th century navigators. It seems as if many felt that it was
    automatically less accurate than a trigonometric solution with log tables.
    Very often, for example, Sumner's method was muddied up with logarithmic
    equivalents which added no accuracy but seemed to do so because of the
    computational biases of that era.
    
     -FER
    
    
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