Thursday, September 23, 2010

Titanic Mistakes Using The W Compass

The microcosm, the allegory, the metaphor, and the like are constructs or tools which teachers, writers, and others use to illustrate or get a handle on various concepts, so that those concepts may be shared with other people more clearly.

So many subjects tend to look a bit different from a different angle, from one facet of that subject to another facet.

In order to comprehensively cover such a subject, it really works better sometimes to offer a broad analysis.

For example, for a century now the story has been told of the sinking of the Titanic, but it may have been mythical in substantial part.

The saga of the Titanic now takes a new turn, with the benefit of the viewpoint of a family member of one of the officers who was on the Titanic:
Two different [steering] systems were in operation at the time, Rudder Orders (used for steam ships) and Tiller Orders (used for sailing ships).

Crucially, Mrs Patten said, the two steering systems were the complete opposite of one another, so a command to turn 'hard a-starboard' meant turn the wheel right under one system and left under the other."

She said when the helmsman, who had been trained in sail, received the direction, he turned the vessel [to the right] towards the iceberg with tragic results.

Mrs Patten has worked the story of the catastrophe into her latest novel, Good As Gold.

She said that while Charles Lightoller was not on watch at the time of the collision, a dramatic final meeting of the four senior officers took place in the first officer's cabin shortly before Titanic went down.

There, Lightoller heard not only about the fatal mistake, but also what happened next up on the bridge.

While the helmsman had made a straightforward error, what followed was a deliberate decision, she claimed.

Lightoller was the only survivor to know that after the iceberg was hit, Bruce Ismay, chairman of Titanic's owner, the White Star Line, persuaded Captain Smith to continue sailing [causing the ship to sink quickly].

The truth of what happened on that historic night was deliberately buried, she said.
(BBC News). That recent revelation, hidden for a century, can be used to look at the current political structure of the USA.

Experts and laymen alike see danger ahead at a time when we have two different ways of steering (liberal, conservative), at a time when we have the notion of full steam ahead, stay the course, no matter what.

Likewise, our government and our press are prone to covering the real facts up with spin or propaganda, which does little if anything to alleviate the problem.

The Titanic example shows us that taking a wrong direction, or not changing a loosing game, can end in a tragic catastrophe.

Dredd Blog thinks that the Obama Administration made a mistake by steering to the right, and by staying the course the Bush II regime had set.

The double entendre is another construct that can boost the ability to grasp a subject.

For example "the drug war in Afghanistan" can mean the opium war or the oil war, because the meaning of addiction has been expanded.

Finally, a poignant example of the results of global warming can be illustrated by the story of Devils Lake:
The goal posts of the former high school football field here stand as buoys in a marshy swamp, marking the edge of a burgeoning lake that was nine miles from this town just a decade ago.

Devils Lake, which for years sat dormant on the outskirts of the city with the same name, has nearly tripled in size after more than a decade of wet weather in the enclosed basin. It has gobbled up farmland and forced people to move their homes.

Now a 14-mile, $28 million outlet to divert some of the water is nearing completion — but officials in Canada are calling for a delay until an independent board can determine if it would pollute water north of the border, including Lake Winnipeg.
(US Fight With Canada). The rising water of Devil Lake is a microcosm for the rising oceans, which can and will continue to strain relations as friends end up fighting with friends.

As the effects of global warming and global climate change expand to affect all nations around the globe, as civilization's drug of choice runs out, many literary techniques will be needed to offset government propaganda used to cover up their solution to civilization's problems.

The next post in this series is here.


  1. Randy,

    That article is very radical. It is well documented, except that the enemy is not well defined.

    Obviously WW III will be between nuclear states, but the article does not clearly define the other state that would fight the U.S.A.

    Other than that, a great piece.