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    Re: Tables of Trig Functions and Logs of Trig Functions
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2007 May 2, 21:40 -0400

    George wrote:
    > I agree with that, in every respect but one, where Robert writes "It also
    > hones my basic understanding of the mathematics behind the calculations."
    > And for this reason: because the basic simple spherical trig expressions
    > have been bent, twisted, and manipulated, quite beyond recognition, in
    > order
    > to avoid additions and subtractions, once the navigator has "gone into
    > logs". This results in him going blindly through the set procedures "by
    > rote", without much chance of understanding the steps involved, and simply
    > accepting the result that comes out of that process.
    Robert responds:
    Beg to differ George. In working the problems long hand, one becomes very
    much aware of the cyclic and repetitive nature of trig functions including
    having to know the signs of those functions in the different quadrants. Not
    necessarily so when using a scientific calculator and in fact, to use your
    own words, the navigator using a calculator "results in him going blindly
    through a set of procedure by rote".  Furthermore, I have found that in
    doing the problems longhand one develops a "feel" for possible errors in the
    In any event, it is not my intention to convince anyone that sight reduction
    using trig and log tables is superior to other forms. Far from it. I
    personally find it satisfying and relaxing, just as many of us derive more
    pleasure from holding a sextant than a GPS.
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