TITLE: Supernavigators: The Astounding New Science of How Animals Find Their Way
AUTHOR: David Barrie
Chapters 26 and 27 deal with why navigation matters and how navigation has changed due to new technological innovations: from learning the language of the Earth to using GPS and sattellites, and why this is not always such a good thing. Barrie also discusses how human habitation and technology interferes with other animal's navigational abilities.
If you have absolutely horrendous navigational skills, even in areas you have lived in all your life, you may be suffering from “developmental topographical disorientation”.
"Asked how he went bankrupt, a character in one of Ernest Hemingway’s novels answers: “Gradually and then suddenly.” The loss of our navigational skills has happened in much the same way. It began, slowly, with the adoption of earlier, simpler technologies like the compass and sextant, but these did not relieve us of the need to pay close attention to the world around us and to use our wits.
The arrival of GPS has, by contrast, brought about an abrupt and fundamental change in our relationship with nature. Now we can fix our position and set a course without the slightest thought or effort—without so much as raising our eyes from our glowing screens. The gadgets that seem to have relieved us of a tiresome burden are not only enfeebling us but also distancing us from the natural world."
This last section provides food for thought, and thus concludes this rather interesting book.