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GPS and our tech dependence

It makes sense celestial navigation is being taught at the Naval Academy, and it's a good idea for operators of any vessel traveling the sea lanes to learn the skill ("Looking at the stars again," Oct. 12). The Global Positioning System is wonderful and we all use it whether we're aware of it or not. Cell phones utilize GPS as do many other products.

GPS is a satellite-based navigation system launched and operated by our U.S. Department of Defense. Originally, it was intended for military applications only, but today, the system is available for civilian use as well.

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In the event of a war or a matter of national security, the system could be shut off in an instant — after all, it's a military operation. What a mess that would be! So it's only logical to learn the basics of old fashioned, sextant-based navigation if one plans to venture far from shore.

We have become way too dependent on technology. When you think about it, Americans are the most vulnerable people on the planet. What would happen if our electrical grid went down, if our water and sewage system stopped working or cell phone towers failed catastrophically? We have lived so long in an artificially-created world and, as a result, would have a hard time surviving if modern technology stopped working. Hopefully, this will never take place, but if it did, it would be a disaster!

R. N. Ellis, Baltimore

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