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Old 26-11-2008, 03:24   #16
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The Maritime Colregs utilize THREE (or 4) well-defined shapes (Ball, Cylinder, Cone, & perhaps Double Cone), used in various combinations. These shapes are instantly obvious to the observer, although the various combinations can be difficult to remember.

There are, at least, TENS of MILLIONS of ill-defined colours. I challenge anyone to name, and accurately define any ten colours.

The visible spectrum of light includes wavelengths of 380 nanometers to 740 nanometers. Scientific experiments have shown that humans can discriminate between very subtle differences in colour, and estimates of the number of colours we can see range as high as 10 million*. Of course, every person's eyes perceive colour a bit differently, and every culture has its own names for colours so coming up with an exact number may not be possible.

* Psychophysicists have shown that we can see about 1000 levels of light-dark, 100 levels of red-green, and 100 levels of yellow-blue for a single viewing condition in a laboratory. This means that the total number of colours we can see is about 1000 x 100 x 100 = 10,000,000 (10 million).

Unfortunately, what colour looks like (as perceived by the human eye & brain) is greatly affected by the viewing conditions. These conditions include the colour of the lighting, the amount of lighting, and other colours in the scene. Colours also appear in different modes when they appear on different objects such as surfaces, light sources, or within volumes. Different people also have slight differences in the way they see colour.

Since we can see at least 10-million colours in a single viewing condition, and the variety of viewing conditions and observers is endless, then the only truly correct answer is “nearly infinite*”.

* If we have 10-million colours, times 10-million lighting types, times 10-million lighting levels, times 10-million surrounding colours, times 6-billion people in the world, times 3 modes of viewing we get a really huge number. The result of that multiplication is 18
followed by 33 zeros (18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), or 18
decillion.
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Old 26-11-2008, 03:53   #17
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Obviously you only have a few basic clearly distinguishable colors to work with which are unambiguous.

For people with red green color blindness, they are out of luck in many things including traffic signals and use relative position of the two lights to figure out which color is lit.

We now have 3 colors and positions to communicate the information.

I see no reason why yellow, amber (orange), yellow and blue could not be added to the mix (somehow) to make things a bit simpler. Why not? I would propose that amber, blue and yellow be used for the more complex situations (commercial) such as towing, fishing etc

Purple is lovely but it is a mix of blue and red, same with versions of green or orange, although autos and traffic signals use amber lights which seem to work.

I don't see why the system can't be updated to be more intuitive and easy to understand and less arcane. Morse code is yet another example of a form of communication of information which is arcane and not intuitive, yet so basic in that it only uses two symbols - dots and dashes to convey the entire alphabet and 10 digits etc. It is elegant, yet complex.

Think of all the jobs created by re lamping and printing up all the new regs! Job creation made me do it.
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Old 26-11-2008, 04:51   #18
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-"Hey! Is that a pink light?"
-"No, it's red!"
-"What? Are you color blind!? It's clearly magenta!"
-"No way! It's peach."
-"Peach!? PEACH!? Peach is a fruit you imbicill"
-"Chartreuse then?"
-"Charter?"
etc etc

As opposed to:
-"What does that signal mean?"
-"No idea, let's stay the hell away from it!"

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Old 26-11-2008, 05:44   #19
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(18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), or 18
decillion.[/quote]


A "Decillion"?
I dated a Brazillion once, she was too much to handle as well.
But then she was no Vigintillion either!!!
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Old 26-11-2008, 06:50   #20
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compared to say a Madagassian ferryman .

Shouldn't that be Malagasy? BTW I was born there.
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Old 26-11-2008, 06:51   #21
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There are an awful lot of really big (and really small) numbers.

One very big named number is googol which is 1•10100 or a 1 with 100 0's behind it. It looks like this:
10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,0 00,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

The largest named number is googolplex which is 1•10googol, or a 1 with googol 0's behind it. I'd write it out for you, but my life isn't long enough to type that many 0's and there's no way your hard disk would accept a file filled with googol 0's.

Names of large and small numbers:
http://www.uni-bonn.de/~manfear/numbers_names.php
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Old 26-11-2008, 06:55   #22
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OK OK OK maybe my whole 10 different light idea is a bit obtuse. And maybe I am kind of joking. But I stand by that though the
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
“elder brethren” (retired Masters who spent a lifetime at sea in many conditions)
created these rules there are a ton of uneducated boaters out there not using them (everyone look to your right or left at the marina and there is probably one right there).

What about them seriously? Do we expect everyone to know the whole light list? I don't know that I am 100% against that. What if everyone that stood behind the wheel/tiller needed an OUVP? That is basically what is being suggested: that the average Joe (let's call him) Briefcase (from now on) should have the knowledge of someone with their captain's license and that he should obtain that information on his own. I am not really 100% against this notion either I just find it highly unlikely (the fact that I can look to my left and find a boater without this knowledge proves this point) that MR. Briefcase would take the time out of his/her busy schedule before buzzing too close to a downbound vessel, towing, that is restricted in its ability to maneuver to study these archaic light symbols. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go do just that so I don't hit said downbound vessel - or would I signal to him my intentions? Oh crap.
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Old 26-11-2008, 07:37   #23
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... Do we expect everyone to know the whole light list?...
Apparently, yes.

Catch 22 - You can't win [*1]:
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and ignorance is bliss; but ignorance is no excuse [*2] ...

*1: The three laws of thermodynamics
1. You can't win.
2. You can't even break even.
3. You can't get out of the game.

*2: Public policy holds that a person who is unaware of a law, may not escape liability for violating that law, merely because he or she was unaware of its content; that is, ignorance is no excuse - persons have presumed knowledge of the law.
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Old 26-11-2008, 08:29   #24
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I would be very happy if joe six, er briefcase just learned the basic sidelights, sternlights, and white masthead lights. And we'd all be better off if we could instantly tell a stern light from a masthead light. What if all stern lights were blue?

Brett
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Old 26-11-2008, 08:49   #25
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To make the lights and shapes simpler would be to make them less descriptive. The lights and shapes are there to provide you information..which is always a good thing.

Are you sure you want to take a tug close astern and hit its towing cable or get run over by its barge because the three white masthead lights were eliminated?

Are you sure you want to be hit by a less maneuverable tug pushing a barge ahead because the flashing yellow light was eliminated?

Are you sure you want to end up in a fisherman's nets because green over white was eliminated?

Isn't it a good idea to know if a vessel is restricted in its ability to maneuver by showing a ball-diamond-ball?

Are you sure you want to pass on the wrong side of a dredge and hit its pipeline or get hit by its bucket because the diamond and ball were eliminated?
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Old 26-11-2008, 08:57   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBrett View Post
I would be very happy if joe six, er briefcase just learned the basic sidelights, sternlights, and white masthead lights. And we'd all be better off if we could instantly tell a stern light from a masthead light. What if all stern lights were blue?

Brett
In the simplest terms, a single white light means this is something you need to go around. ie, anchor light, stern light, masthead light, a mid-channel buoy, a light on the end of a pier...etc

Blue has already designated for law enforcement.

This stuff really has been well thought out.
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Old 26-11-2008, 09:00   #27
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OK OK OK maybe my whole 10 different light idea is a bit obtuse. And maybe I am kind of joking. But I stand by that though the created these rules there are a ton of uneducated boaters out there not using them (everyone look to your right or left at the marina and there is probably one right there).

What about them seriously? Do we expect everyone to know the whole light list?
Those same clowns are the ones who can't even understand "right red return" or port from starboard, or even the most basic of stand on / give way protocols.

We can't dumb down the entire universe to the mentality of every lazy & uninitiated Joe six pack. If it was just a lights and shapes issue I might have even a little sympathy for your position but the people you point out generally do not even understand one single rule let alone some of the most basics like rule 5, 7 & 8 which are about as easy as it gets to remember.

Go ahead and ask around your dock if anyone even knows what rule 5 is and if they can describe it to you. This rule does not get any simpler yet many will have no clue. If they can't even get rule 5 there is NO WAY to dumb it down enough..
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Old 26-11-2008, 09:20   #28
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Those same clowns are the ones who can't even understand "right red return" or port from starboard, or even the most basic of stand on / give way protocols.

We can't dumb down the entire universe to the mentality of every lazy & uninitiated Joe six pack. If it was just a lights and shapes issue I might have even a little sympathy for your position but the people you point out generally do not even understand one single rule let alone some of the most basics like rule 5, 7 & 8 which are about as easy as it gets to remember.

Go ahead and ask around your dock if anyone even knows what rule 5 is and if they can describe it to you. This rule does not get any simpler yet many will have no clue. If they can't even get rule 5 there is NO WAY to dumb it down enough..
I totally agree. It is better to attempt to bring people up to the level of understanding the rules than it is to dumb down the rules (including the lights), effectively making things less descriptive and less defined essentially making it worse for everyone out on the water.

I hate to say this but if someone cannot at least get a basic grasp of the rules then stay off the water until they do....for other peoples safety.

Cars have rules, aviation has rules...boats have rules. Get with the program or stay off the water.
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Old 26-11-2008, 10:16   #29
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David, I think you're misinterpreting my point. We're saying the same thing--Joe sixpack won't ever know white over red vs. red over white. That's not to say eliminate the lights or dumb down the rules. The rules of the road are good--perhaps they can be better.

My point is this: You see a single white light. Absent another piece of information, you don't know if that is a masthead or a stern light, or a wide variety of other lights. Neither Joe six pack nor the super genius who wrote the colregs can instantly differentiate a stern light. I picked blue because it's not defined in colregs and it can't be confused for any of that colors that are. Law enforcement can keep their flashing blue.

Would it be an improvement to instantly and accurately identify a stern light?

Brett
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Old 26-11-2008, 10:40   #30
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Brett...I was agreeing with you... I was just embellishing your points.

The point of a single white light is that it is something you are in general supposed to avoid. So really there is no differentiation necessary between a stern light (your overtaking therefore you have to go around) and another white light like an anchor light (its anchored, therefore you have to go around)

There really is no difference for a single white light. They mean you have to maneuver to avoid it...in general. You need to avoid it whether it is white, or if changed, blue.
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