Latitude v.s. Longitude

I very much liked this introductory paragraph:

Years ago I read an interesting article about the encyclopedia entry for the keyword “Longitude”. According to the article, the entry merely said “See Latitude”. With that short, two-word sentence the encyclopedia author conflated these two concepts as mere orthogonal dimensions, lumped together, each as boring as the other. This ignored the fact that latitude is boring, easy, trivial, known to the ancients and as easy to calculate as measuring the altitude of Polaris. But longitude, there lies an epic adventure, something fiendishly difficult to calculate accurately, something that propelled a great seafaring nation to a search for accurate timepieces that would work at sea, just in order to more accurately calculate longitude. Books have been written about longitude, lives lost, fortunes made. But latitude — latitude is for children.

Complementary pairs appear through out the world of standards. Often one of these is easier to pull together than the other. After the fact or at if one is only looking casually this difference in cost tends to be forgotten. One of the many places where at first blush two things appear the same, but as you get closer they are not. Delightfully you can actually use this cognitive effect for humor.

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