The title might be an exaggeration but this is a follow up to this thread: Opinion | Ditch the GPS. It’s ruining your brain. - WP
This interview of the author goes into a little more depth the WP article :What do we lose when we can’t get lost?
Not all navigation cultures use maps for way finding, this is from the article:
I think this link between navigation and storytelling was also something that was unexpected to me. We are the only species that seems to have so thoroughly used memory to assist us in the task of navigation. That’s what’s called episodic memory, which is our ability to recall events that happened in the past based in the hippocampus, which is the same exact area of the brain where navigation and spatial orientation takes place. Interestingly, the hippocampus is also this part in the brain that allows us to imagine ourselves in the future.
It seems that the hippocampus is intrinsic to this ability to develop narratives and stories about where we were in the past, how we came to be, where we are now, and where we are going in the future. It is really interesting that navigation may have helped us to develop this narrative capacity.
When the AB asks the mate to teach him navigation the answer should be " You already know how, otherwise how did you get here?" We all already know how to navigate. The purest way to navigate is just to make our way through our environment.
What the AB wants to learn of course is the skills and procedures the mate in charge of a navigational watch is using.
In an unfamiliar environment when clues are lacking navigating by landmarks alone can become too difficult or too risky. However, the map (or chart) allows us to convert the window-view into a simplified, bird’s eye, two-dimensional view.
Once the most salient parts of the real world are simplified and reduced for us by the cartographer the task of the navigator is reduced to selecting only points of navigational significance on the chart and then locating the corresponding places based on the DR position via compass. At that point actual bearing and ranges are taken and the DR position is corrected (or fixed) with a fix.
From there shifting from a paper map to ECDIS/GPS is just a matter of degree or layer of abstraction as in both cases we abstract away the real world to simplify the problem of way-finding.