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    Re: Principles and Being Practical
    From: Richard Irvine
    Date: 2003 Sep 5, 17:59 +0200

    I enjoy following this mailing list when time permits. Normally I do not
    contribute, but I feel compelled to respond to the name-calling in the
    preceding posting. If the scope of the list was in some way limited to the
    basics of navigation I would not subscribe to it - I know I can find the
    basics in any of the textbooks I bought some time ago. For me it is
    particularly the contributions of experts who are able to address the finer
    points or who point out limitations and errors that make the list worth
    reading. I am very grateful to them. I hope that the list will continue to
    cater for a wide range of interests and that good humour will continue to be
    one of its hallmarks.
    
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Peter Fogg [mailto:ffive{at}TPG.COM.AU]
    > Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 12:49 AM
    > To: NAVIGATION-L{at}LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM
    > Subject: Principles and Being Practical
    >
    >
    > People learning navigation need to absorb a number of
    > principles, necessary
    > building blocks. Here are a few:
    >
    > The earth is a sphere
    > 1 nautical mile = 1.852 kilometres
    > The fix position lies at the centre of the 'cocked hat'.
    >
    > Then as the navigator becomes more proficient, he/she learns
    > that each of
    > these propositions (and others) is rather more complicated
    > than its most
    > simple expression. However, in terms of practical navigation the
    > complexities are often irrelevant.
    >
    > Recently I've noticed a number of List members dropping out.
    > I wonder why?
    > Evidently they were not finding what they hoped to find.
    >
    > The present Nav. List seems to be dominated by crabby old men
    > who seem to
    > love the detailed complexities, and take great relish in
    > arguing about the
    > number of angels able to dance on the head of a pin to an absurd and
    > mind-numbing extent, in the process flaunting their superior
    > knowledge and
    > understanding. I don't have any problem with this as such, to
    > each their
    > own. On the contrary, I remain grateful to the List and all its
    > contributors, you have collectively taught me a lot and I'm
    > still learning.
    >
    > But to the extent that the List has an aim of promoting and
    > encouraging
    > traditional methods of navigation I suspect that too much of this is
    > damaging and counter-productive. What it does is reinforce
    > what many may
    > have suspected all along - that nav. is all too hard, too
    > difficult, too
    > complicated, too incomprehensible, and that they might as
    > well give up and
    > rely on their GPS. This, to my mind, is a far greater
    > potential danger than
    > not knowing a fix position to some nth degree. And its not
    > true either,
    > pretty well anyone can learn the basic skills. This was
    > proven by so many
    > uneducated sailors from the days of sail who did learn, often
    > without being
    > able to read let alone knowing much about numbers. As
    > recently appeared on
    > the list: 'What's struck me as so remarkable about (Columbus and his
    > navigation) is how wrong he was
    > on so many things, and yet how little that aspect of his
    > story actually
    > matters to history.' Well said and very relevant.
    >
    > What to do about it? Well the stated philosophy is fine:
    >
    > 'PLEASE respond with your results and thinking on these exercises to
    > the NAVIGATION list at large. If you have questions or problems, A
    > lot of folks on the list are knowledgeable and willing to help. Any
    > questions or doubtful areas will be responded to promptly. Let us
    > hear from you soon!'
    >
    > but what has happened to its practice? Some weeks ago I
    > posted my go at one
    > current Silicon Sea exercise and then details of a problem I
    > was having with
    > the one before, and I have yet to hear a peep from any expert.
    >
    
    
    

       
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