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Re: seafarers and information

Dear Laurel;

Your point pertaining to the exchange of information is a good one and links
into our understanding or more correctly how we experience information and
knowledge. For example we all live in a highly literary society with
everything in print. So much so that the way most of us actually learn is by
someone saying or telling us something verbally. Information which we take
in daily is largely communicated verbally and this is even more so when the
information is of a critical nature. " i.e.. where are my car keys?" Every
corporation acts this way in communication of critical information in
endless meetings in spite of all the messaging capabilities in the world. So
can we apply this to knowledge of seafarers?

Your reference to the access that Christopher Columbus had to seafarers
knowledge is sound. This is how nautical information has been communicated
for centuries. Where the whales were, how to find the fish, landmarks, and
shoals and other dangers were verbal information before the mapping and
cartographers became a science. This science of mapping has not been around
very long. The 1800's still had this a pretty general part of knowledge
because of the problems of determining scale.

The hypothesis I use is that access to verbal information, combined with
some motivation for seeking that information will lead to the exchange of
that information in almost all cases. It is logical then to postulate that
where ever prior information existed individual seafarers such as Columbus
and Henry would have obtained it with any other information available.

Now I love sailing. It is rather intimidating however to be out of the sight
of land. It is even more scary to be in a fog without a compass. It is very
exciting to be in waves, but the heart stops when the waves are higher than
the boat. One can see land but if the land has rocks it might as well be a
million miles away because you are not going to land there. When we see
history from the perspective of a sailor one appreciates that information is
vital and one never has enough. Laura Zola and her "7 Roses" knows better
than most just what Henry and others like him faced. Rather remarkable in
any context.

Sounds too obvious when one boils it down.
Neil Sinclair
safely on land
his heart is in the boat
Our smallish Lake Ontario beckons