We don't need no stinking compass


I’ve been a passenger on that ferry.


One point is fairly simple. Another example,

A dozen people can lift a heavy beam, say 1/2 ton. Or one person can lift the same beam with a crane.

So the crane operator says that a dozen people is 11 more than are needed for the task, and insists that that many people would just be getting in the way. And they would get in each other way if 12 people were trying to run a single crane.

But that’s not how it’s done. Instead 12 people organize in such a way that each person only lifts part of weight of the beam.

Which is how the Navy bridge system works. Instead of one pilot who know the local area the bridge team breaks the task into simple parts in such a way the a single conning officer can successfully con the ship. Presumably in unfamiliar and hostile waters.


And now you have 12 times the chances of someone falling down and causing the beam to fall on the other 11.


Hiw many years did Doug need to not need no stinking compass? How many years has Bud been workjngnin that engine?

I don’t see how the crane lift example fits because the crane operator has training and experience but, presumably, the lifters don’t.

Last year I visited the London Museum and they were having an exhibit on Luxury items. What was unusual was that they wouldn’t let you jn untill you read a pamphlet defining the word luxury.

I wish I had kept it but… it basically said that most people think luxury items are expensive due to their basic scarcity or the scarcity of materials they are made with. While expensive items like this do exist they are artificial, not luxury. The basic premise was that there is an abundance of everything in this world (even gold and diamonds) except time. True luxury items (and their high price) are the result of massive investment of time by the creators of such goods. Expensive material takes a long time to mine or grow, the materials are often aged then painstakingly assembled by a master craftsman who appreciated for decades before selling his first item.

So how much time did Doug invest in training? how much time has he invested in contimplating each turn?
How much time choosing his equipment and figuring out the perfect layout of his bridge?
How much time dis he invest in things we (or even he) don’t even realize he spent time figuring out (e.g. maybe he went through a half dozen horns untill he found the perfect pitch that matches the terrain and his own ear drums)?


The point I was trying to make was to avoid apples to oranges comparison.

Another example, a formula one pit crew. Say you believe there are too many people. All the jobs done by the pit crew could in fact be done by the driver alone. And your augment is that you do all the work on your own car yourself.

This argument is not valid because it is an apples and oranges comparison. In fact the pit crew has to meet the requirement that the stop be made quickly while the shade tree mechanic does not have this requirement.

Without knowing what the navy’s requirement are, without looking at the whole system, the simple argument that there are too many people because a merchant ship only has one or two is not persuasive.


I totally agree. That said, :apple: or :tangerine: life is about making decisions based on availabile data… and from what you’ve told me… I’d rather run the Singapore straight with old Doug at the helm of a destroyer then go anywhere near the inside passage on an Aleutian freighter with a full compliment of Good Humor men :wink:


“The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots. If you are not an idiot, but find yourself in the Navy, you can only operate well by pretending to be one. All the shortcuts and economies and common-sense changes that your native intelligence suggests to you are mistakes. Learn to quash them. Constantly ask yourself, “How would I do this if I were a fool?” Throttle down your mind to a crawl. Then you will never go wrong.” .

’ ― Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny