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    Re: What's on your bookshelf?
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2006 Sep 10, 00:00 -0500

    Well put Peter.  On the flip side one could argue knots and knots are are
    two different animals.  One seamanship, the other navigation.


    > Upon reflection, what is striking about this list is that, while
    > extensive enough, how narrow the focus is directed. It would seem to
    > reflect an assumption that nav is a purely technical exercise. There
    > is nothing about tides, ocean currents, prevailing winds, weather
    > patterns, knots, rigging, etc. Those with a bent for air or land nav
    > would presumably also have a wider field of relevant interests to draw
    > upon.
    > When I look at my shelves there may be less tomes containing basically
    > the same information but many more books about history and
    > anthropology and map making and boat maintenance and tales of those
    > who have sailed the waters in all sorts of craft across a time span of
    > about 5,000 years. While what they have done and how obstacles were
    > overcome are certainly instructive (and entertaining) the things they
    > should never have done (with the benefit of hindsight) are of even
    > more value and interest.
    > Doesn't dw have the right to make his focus of interest as narrow as
    > he likes? Of course. Many of the contributors to this list seem to be
    > attracted to nav as a practical expression of a bent for mathematics
    > and technical tools. Nothing wrong with that, in itself.
    > The dangers of this approach when at sea where interest can never be
    > holistic enough is illustrated by a cautionary tale from local waters,
    > where a speedy boat went offshore and had a lovely time zooming about,
    > hither and thither. When it was time to go home the GPS was consulted,
    > the appropriate course selected and at 20 knots they rammed a reef
    > that lay along the track, killing the occupants.

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