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TheAlabamaRambler

Unwritten Guidelines and Policies

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I ran across this quote in another thread and think it's worth it's own discussion.

 

http://forums.iowageocachers.org/viewtopic.php?t=820

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:43 pm Post subject: No caches that simulate electrical equipment

IowaAdmin

I recently turned down a new geocache listing because the cache was on or near electrical equipment. That owner then wrote to me to tell me about 4 other similar geocaches that were approved. So I looked at each listing and archived each of them. This policy is endorsed by Groundspeak and most approvers. It's unsafe to make a geocache look like part of electrical equipment, whether or not the nearby equipment is actually "live." It may encourage some geocachers -- including children -- to open "live" equipment. So even though you can buy these types of containers on eBay sites, please don't submit them for approval. They are simply not a good idea and may lead to tragic consequences in the future.

 

Whoa! Seriously?

 

Reviewers can now make up unpublished guidelines and enforce them, or not, even on existing caches, at their whim? :laughing:

 

Groundspeak has unpublished policies that some Reviewers abide by but some don't?

 

The last I heard if a cache was within the guidelines the Reviewer must publish it. Has that changed? Whatever happened to 'If it's within the guidelines hold your nose and publish' which, I think, has always been the norm for caches a Reviewer didn't care for?

 

"This policy is endorsed by Groundspeak and most approvers."... well then, shouldn't such 'policies' be in the Guidelines?

 

It's not that I am against the restriction, it's that I am against unwritten and unevenly enforced rules.

 

When did perceived safety become a guideline, or a policy, for that matter?

 

And what happened to caches that were once acceptable becoming grandfathered when the guidelines change... must we now archive all of the electrical box caches?

 

Edit to add: This isn't about IowaAdmin, a person I respect and appreciate, please keep it about how we are to know and follow Groundspeak's policies and guidelines.

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler

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I'd say that in most cases the private property without permission clause in the guidelines would apply to caches on electrical equipment. That is unless the hider received permission from the power company.

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I'd say that in most cases the private property without permission clause in the guidelines would apply to caches on electrical equipment. That is unless the hider received permission from the power company.

And if that's the case I would have zero objection; I am a huge proponent of getting permission.

 

This situation as quoted does not appear to be about permission.

 

I guess one of my issues with this is that the Guidelines are published as an internet document... they can be amended in five minutes and the whole world can see the new guideline.

 

If a guideline or policy is not worthy of being encapsulated in the published Guidelines should it be enforced by our Reviewers?

 

And does "This policy is endorsed by Groundspeak and most approvers" mean that simulated electrical devices may be okay in Illinois but not Iowa? What if a state has two Reviewers, one thinks they are acceptable and the other does not?

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler

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I'd say that in most cases the private property without permission clause in the guidelines would apply to caches on electrical equipment. That is unless the hider received permission from the power company.

I don't think that the 'permission clause' has anything to do with this issue. This is why: The 'unwritten' policy referenced by the OP doesn't single out caches on private property, nor does it address permission, nor does it make the distinction between fake or real electrical equipment.

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please keep it about how we are to know and follow Groundspeak's policies and guidelines.

Every time this subject comes up, the general answer is: There is no intention to list all of the guidelines. The only way you are going to find out about the hidden guidelines is to try to publish a cache that violates one of them. Then it will be up to you to change your cache to comply with the unwritten guidelines.

 

What gets me is so many people who respond to this sort of topic by saying "There are enough guidelines already! We don't need to add any more!" -- when the real issue isn't adding new guidelines; it's just letting people know about guidelines that exist and are enforced, but are not posted on the site.

 

A few recent examples that set my teeth on edge:

A new kind of cache?

fear and loathing in the maritimes

Edited by the hermit crabs

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... A few recent examples that set my teeth on edge:

A new kind of cache?

The reviewers have been following the "no hiding a cache as a condition of logging a find" rule for the better part of a full year now. For me it only comes up once every few months. I'm able to explain it to the cache hider without any problems. The Earth still rotates on its axis and the GPS satellites have continued their orbit.

I am getting the feeling that 'We just don't want to' is why policies and guidelines are not all published.

 

The guidelines are on a web page and can be updated in five minutes or less. But y'all have had this unpublished guideline for almost a year?

 

"For me it only comes up once every few months." times however many Reviewers we have means that the issue continually arises... adding one sentence to the guidelines would stop wasting Reviewer time and reduce cache hider's frustration.

 

Wouldn't just publishing the guideline be easier and better for everyone? I am sure that Reviewers don't like to refuse a cache listing, why set yourselves up to have to by having unpublished guidelines?

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler

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Hi, A.R.,

To clarify my posting from nearly three years ago... As you know, reviewing geocaches is a moving target. The guidelines and practices change over time. I have since had discussions about this particular topic of electical equipment with other reviewers and with Groundspeak powers that be. What I now do is in the case of electrical equipment caches is ask the cache owner if he/she has permission to place the cache where it is. Most of the time the answer is predictably "no" although I did have one recent example where the owner said he did have permission to place a cache on a box that he said was a cable box, so I held my nose and approved it.

 

Thanks for your cordial discussion of this touchy but important topic.

kbraband aka IowaAdmin

 

I ran across this quote in another thread and think it's worth it's own discussion.

 

http://forums.iowageocachers.org/viewtopic.php?t=820

Posted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 6:43 pm Post subject: No caches that simulate electrical equipment

IowaAdmin

I recently turned down a new geocache listing because the cache was on or near electrical equipment. That owner then wrote to me to tell me about 4 other similar geocaches that were approved. So I looked at each listing and archived each of them. This policy is endorsed by Groundspeak and most approvers. It's unsafe to make a geocache look like part of electrical equipment, whether or not the nearby equipment is actually "live." It may encourage some geocachers -- including children -- to open "live" equipment. So even though you can buy these types of containers on eBay sites, please don't submit them for approval. They are simply not a good idea and may lead to tragic consequences in the future.

 

Whoa! Seriously?

 

Reviewers can now make up unpublished guidelines and enforce them, or not, even on existing caches, at their whim? :laughing:

 

Groundspeak has unpublished policies that some Reviewers abide by but some don't?

 

The last I heard if a cache was within the guidelines the Reviewer must publish it. Has that changed? Whatever happened to 'If it's within the guidelines hold your nose and publish' which, I think, has always been the norm for caches a Reviewer didn't care for?

 

"This policy is endorsed by Groundspeak and most approvers."... well then, shouldn't such 'policies' be in the Guidelines?

 

It's not that I am against the restriction, it's that I am against unwritten and unevenly enforced rules.

 

When did perceived safety become a guideline, or a policy, for that matter?

 

And what happened to caches that were once acceptable becoming grandfathered when the guidelines change... must we now archive all of the electrical box caches?

 

Edit to add: This isn't about IowaAdmin, a person I respect and appreciate, please keep it about how we are to know and follow Groundspeak's policies and guidelines.

Edited by kbraband

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... A few recent examples that set my teeth on edge:

A new kind of cache?

The reviewers have been following the "no hiding a cache as a condition of logging a find" rule for the better part of a full year now. For me it only comes up once every few months. I'm able to explain it to the cache hider without any problems. The Earth still rotates on its axis and the GPS satellites have continued their orbit.

I am getting the feeling that 'We just don't want to' is why policies and guidelines are not all published.

 

The guidelines are on a web page and can be updated in five minutes or less. But y'all have had this unpublished guideline for almost a year?

 

"For me it only comes up once every few months." times however many Reviewers we have means that the issue continually arises... adding one sentence to the guidelines would stop wasting Reviewer time and reduce cache hider's frustration.

 

Wouldn't just publishing the guideline be easier and better for everyone? I am sure that Reviewers don't like to refuse a cache listing, why set yourselves up to have to by having unpublished guidelines?

 

What's wrong with the old drone "let them play review the game they want to" or "if you don't like them don't hunt review them?

Edited by D@nim@l

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Hi, A.R.,

To clarify my posting from nearly three years ago... As you know, reviewing geocaches is a moving target. The guidelines and practices change over time. I have since had discussions about this particular topic of electical equipment with other reviewers and with Groundspeak powers that be. What I now do is in the case of electrical equipment caches is ask the cache owner if he/she has permission to place the cache where it is. Most of the time the answer is predictably "no" although I did have one recent example where the owner said he did have permission to place a cache on a box that he said was a cable box, so I held my nose and approved it.

 

Thanks for your cordial discussion of this touchy but important topic.

kbraband aka IowaAdmin

 

Excellent! The permission issue is important to me and is almost always a good reason to deny a bad cache.

 

As I said, I am not worried about denying the cache listing, or even archiving the existing caches, except in the one area of believing that the guidelines should state what is not permissible if it is an issue that has been communicated to or among the Reviewer community.

 

Thanks for all that you do!

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I've been told the reviewers have a super secret forum where they discuss these things often with Groundspeak participation and guidance. They may from time to time reach a consensus that a new guideline is needed or that a new interpretation of existing guidelines is required. Reviewers feel that this is good because it gives them the maximum flexibility. Sometimes the results are reflected the next time the guidelines are updated (usually lagging the decisions by several months). Sometimes, especially when it just an "interpretation", the results are not documented anywhere except perhaps in the secret forum or in the memos marked "For Your Eyes Only" that Groundspeak sends to reviewers. We (the geocaching community) often find out about this only when someone complains in the forum that their cache was denied. By the time geocachers are able to give input on changes, Groundspeak has made a decision. Fortunately for them, many forum denizens are willing to shout the refrain that Groundspeak is a private company and can do whatever they want. The only time I ever saw a change was when reviewers decided that the guideline that the option to use a GPS as an integral part of the cache hunt meant you couldn't have caches hidden inside buildings. After an outcry in the forum the interpretation was changed so could use the GPS to get to a specific location ouside the building (e.g by the door).

 

My response is that I will not be a cache police for Groundspeak or the reviewers. If I find a cache on a electric box I will not post a SBA, even if the electric company crew comes by to to tell me the cache is not placed with permission. If Groundspeak expects cachers to help see the guidelines enforced than the guidelines must be published along with interpretation and rationale. Until then any cache I find is a good cache in my book.

Edited by tozainamboku

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I've been told the reviewers have a super secret forum where they discuss these things often with Groundspeak participation and guidance.

 

Yes, it exists. But I don't think it is super secret. Just secret. :laughing: I've heard it called the "Watering Hole".

 

I've also heard they discuss various cachers there too. Especially those that are a PITA.

 

Deane

AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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I've also heard they discuss various cachers there too. Especially those that are a PITA.

 

I do understand the need for the reviewer forum to be secret so that they can discuss issues with a specific cache (not with a specific cacher). I just complain that because of this we can never be aware of what the guidelines are.

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My response is that I will not be a cache police for Groundspeak or the reviewers. If I find a cache on a electric box I will not post a SBA, even if the electric company crew comes by to to tell me the cache is not placed with permission. If Groundspeak expects cachers to help see the guidelines enforced than the guidelines must be published along with interpretation and rationale. Until then any cache I find is a good cache in my book.

I was with ya till the last paragraph. If I discover that a cache does not have adequate permission I will report it, not to help Groundspeak but as a courtesy to others who may hunt this cache. No reason that they should get fussed at.

 

And, "If Groundspeak expects cachers to help see the guidelines enforced than the guidelines must be published along with interpretation and rationale"

 

Published, yes.

Interpreted, not so much. Caching is very different in different places, and Reviewers do interpret guidelines differently, that's why Reviewers have wide latitude and discretion.

And rationale? I don't need the rationale for it, just the published guideline.

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At times a cache may meet the listing requirements for the site but the reviewers, as experienced cachers, may see additional concerns that you as a cache placer may not have noticed. As a courtesy, the reviewer may bring additional concerns about cache placement to your attention and offer suggestions before posting. But as the cache owner you are responsible for placement and care of your cache. Note: Exceptions to the listing guidelines may occasionally be made depending on the novel nature and merits of a cache. If you have a cache idea you believe is novel, contact Groundspeak before placing and reporting it on the Geocaching.com web site.

 

Seems to be written right there in the guidelines. So does this:

 

By submitting a cache listing, you assure us that you have adequate permission to hide your cache in the selected location. However, if we see a cache description that mentions ignoring "No Trespassing" signs (or any other obvious issues), your listing may be immediately archived. We also assume that your cache placement complies with all applicable laws. If an obvious legal issue is present, or is brought to our attention, your listing may be immediately archived.

<snip>

Caches near, on or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These may include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports.

"What's that? Someone is messing around with the power system by placing suspicious containers on electrical equipment? Call out the bomb squad! There's a terrorist in (your city here)...."

 

Really, it isn't all that far-fetched for that to happen. Keep the guidelines simple and let the reviewers do their job. If you don't like the decision, read the guidelines for how to appeal the decision (what? I have to actually read the guidelines? This game is too hard)

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I'd say that in most cases the private property without permission clause in the guidelines would apply to caches on electrical equipment. That is unless the hider received permission from the power company.

 

If the reviewer took time to verify the permission status. Great. But permission from who? The land owner or hte property owner?

 

I can set my soda can on the electrical equipment on my properyt and nobody is going to give a fig. Ditto if I place a cache there.

 

Each cache has to be taken on it's own merit.

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... If I discover that a cache does not have adequate permission I will report it,....

Naturally you will report it to the cache owner since they alone can actually do anything with the cache and can either corroborate your findings, correct the apparent problem etc. This site can only deal wiht the listing.

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Its would seem to me that the reviewers should have some discretion as to how to apply the guidelines otherwise why have them at all...GC.com could set up an online form with check boxes and if you checks don't meet the guidelines then its automatically denied....

 

Either way reviewer or automated system you can BS your way through and get a questionable caches approved.

 

Lets keep in mind its a game for fun....

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The issue is that for a long time reviewers didn't ask if your cache was on and electrical box and even if you volunteered it the reviewers would assume you had adequate permission. For many reviewers adequate permission would often be assumed if the cache was located in a area the public would normally be allowed to be in. Many of these caches are on cable company boxes or traffic light switches sitting right on the edge of a public sidewalk. It appears now that some reviewers decide to ask people to confirm permission if their cache is on a utility box on a public sidewalk. This seems somewhat arbitrary. Do these reviewer just not like electric box hides or are they also questioning hides on newsracks or parking meters? This is why I want the rationale. If the reviewers have decided in their secret forum that geocaching could suffer if a cable man finds a blinky on the cable box or a news rack guy finds an altoids tin in the news rack then explain that this is a permission issue. It can't be a safety issue. I feel safer removing a blinky or even a fake electrical plate from a cable box than I do reaching under a news rack. And either of those is safer that looking for an ammo can off trail in the rattlesnake infested brush. The problem is seeing caches that I always thought were within requirements - using what I thought was a reasonable definition of adequate permission - being archive with the explanation that these were always against the the guidelines - it's just that now we've decided to enforce it. And that this new interpretation seems to be enforced for some kinds of caches while other types of hides continue to be treated as they were in the past.

 

My guess is that some reviewers would like to say that any cache placed on any public or privately owned object that the public would normally not be allowed to place things in or on requires explicit permission from the owner or public agency responsible for that object even if that object is standing on public land where the public is allowed to be. Imagine all the caches they would have to archive for being placed without permission on: utility boxes, transformers, news racks, bicycle racks, fire hydrants, power poles, lamp posts, street lights, traffic lights, parking meters, street signs, publicly displayed art work, street grates, storm drains, fences, bus shelters, water mains, down spouts, flagpoles, guardrails, etc. This is why I think the guidelines will never be written to clarify the issue and geocachers will continue to feel the reviewers are arbitrary in their enforcement of the guidelines.

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It can't be a safety issue. I feel safer removing a blinky or even a fake electrical plate from a cable box than I do reaching under a news rack. And either of those is safer that looking for an ammo can off trail in the rattlesnake infested brush.

 

I think it's pretty clear that it was a safety issue. Now apparently the issue is decided by the person giving permission.

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Publishing guidelines invites public comment and discussion about whether they make sense.

 

Not publishing them gives reviewers flexibility.

 

Q.E.D.

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Imagine all the caches they would have to archive for being placed without permission on: utility boxes, transformers, news racks, bicycle racks, fire hydrants, power poles, lamp posts, street lights, traffic lights, parking meters, street signs, publicly displayed art work, street grates, storm drains, fences, bus shelters, water mains, down spouts, flagpoles, guardrails, etc.

 

Where do I sign up to help?

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I apologize to IowaAdmin and to the forum members.

 

I read the OP in another thread and opined on it, even opened this thread on it, without noticing that the quoted post from IowaAdmin was three years old and resolved. Ooops. :laughing:

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Location: Minnesota, United States

Surfer Joe temporarily disabled Challenge of A Century: Waymarks (Not Published) (Unknown Cache) at 9/10/2008

 

Log Date: 9/10/2008

KB,

 

Sorry, but I have to shoot this one down. This scenario came up before (only in that case you had to post only one waymark to be able to log a find). It was deemed that that was equivalent to requiring someone to hide a new cache and therefore was no longer allowed.

 

SJ

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Imagine all the caches they would have to archive for being placed without permission on: utility boxes, transformers, news racks, bicycle racks, fire hydrants, power poles, lamp posts, street lights, traffic lights, parking meters, street signs, publicly displayed art work, street grates, storm drains, fences, bus shelters, water mains, down spouts, flagpoles, guardrails, etc.

 

Where do I sign up to help?

 

And this would be a bad thing? I don't see ammo boxes in the woods under piles of sticks in that list. Sign me up too. :laughing:

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... utility boxes, transformers, news racks, bicycle racks, fire hydrants, power poles, lamp posts, street lights, traffic lights, parking meters, street signs, publicly displayed art work, street grates, storm drains, fences, bus shelters, water mains, down spouts, flagpoles, guardrails, etc....

 

Why do we assume all of those things have permission themselves? It's a simple fact that some do and some don't. I've recently been working with a major utility company on one of their fiber optic cables in the interstate right of way that as it happens, doesn't have permission to be there. That cable has no more 'dirty little secret' than the typical cache.

Edited by Renegade Knight

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Imagine all the caches they would have to archive for being placed without permission on: utility boxes, transformers, news racks, bicycle racks, fire hydrants, power poles, lamp posts, street lights, traffic lights, parking meters, street signs, publicly displayed art work, street grates, storm drains, fences, bus shelters, water mains, down spouts, flagpoles, guardrails, etc.

 

And the world would be a better place. Not a one of those is a worthwhile place to visit, in my opinion (well, maybe the art work.)

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Imagine all the caches they would have to archive for being placed without permission on: utility boxes, transformers, news racks, bicycle racks, fire hydrants, power poles, lamp posts, street lights, traffic lights, parking meters, street signs, publicly displayed art work, street grates, storm drains, fences, bus shelters, water mains, down spouts, flagpoles, guardrails, etc.

 

And the world would be a better place. Not a one of those is a worthwhile place to visit, in my opinion (well, maybe the art work.)

Happily, I don't live my life based on your personal feelings.

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Location: Minnesota, United States

Surfer Joe temporarily disabled Challenge of A Century: Waymarks (Not Published) (Unknown Cache) at 9/10/2008

 

Log Date: 9/10/2008

KB,

 

Sorry, but I have to shoot this one down. This scenario came up before (only in that case you had to post only one waymark to be able to log a find). It was deemed that that was equivalent to requiring someone to hide a new cache and therefore was no longer allowed.

 

SJ

 

September 11 by King Boreas (1432 found)

Michael proclaimed:

 

Waymarks are not geocaches however Groundspeak has a policy that prevents a cache that requires creating caches or creating and/or logging waymarks. This is not a logging requirement that we allow. The reviewer is correct.

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Maybe they should do away with ALRs altogether. Placing caches is what cachers do. Standing on their head and doing the Chicken Dance is not. Yet, as an ALR, the former is not allowed and the later is. Curious.

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***Excellent! The permission issue is important to me and is almost always a good reason to deny a bad cache.***

 

In my area, there are caches stuck to High-Tension towers, green trasformer boxes, cable boxes...etc.

 

I could be wrong but...I find it hard to believe that these caches had permission.

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***Excellent! The permission issue is important to me and is almost always a good reason to deny a bad cache.***

 

In my area, there are caches stuck to High-Tension towers, green trasformer boxes, cable boxes...etc.

 

I could be wrong but...I find it hard to believe that these caches had permission.

There are caches that do not have adequate permission, true. Few of them are described in the cache listing submission such that the Reviewer would know that... they pretty much rely on cacher honesty. When they learn of such caches they archive them.

 

Maybe Ike will blow them away. My Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Communications team is headed your way on Monday, don't know where we're going yet, somewhere in the landing zone. Keep an ear out,

 

Ed

73 de W4AGA

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Minimum requirements tend to become maximum requirements.

 

Making the guidelines foolproof is impossible, because, well, you know the saying.

 

The reviewers need some flexibility. Been in similar situations too many times to say otherwise. Heck, if they didn't need flexibility, then we could automate the whole review process. I wouldn't like it.

 

I ran into a hidden guideline a while back. The reviewer suggested how I could fix it up, which took very little work compared with putting together the cache. I didn't have a problem with that.

 

Some of the hidden guidelines are for things which common sense would rule out anyway. What we need is a guideline that says don't be stupid. Legislating stupidity out of existence has been tried.

 

Other of the hidden guidelines (like the one I encountered) are just terminology, and thus are easy to work around.

 

Edward

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There's a cache in my town that's on, in, or near a bunch of electrical equipment (don't know which, since we left quickly.)

 

We went to look for it, and all the equipment in the area had been vandalized and torn apart. Doors were left open, or 2 had been ripped off the hinges and were lying on the ground, wires were pulled out, and a bunch of other pieces were on the ground.

 

horrible, horrible place for a geocache. If I was the property owner, I'd be extremely angry.

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***My Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Communications team is headed your way on Monday***

 

I'm in Richardson, TX...right where the George Bush Turnpike crosses over Highway 75 (Central Expressway). I think we will be on the West side of the storm (Dry Side) and do OK.

 

My wife's relatives (The Outlaws) are in NW Houston...about 260 miles from me... where highway 290 crosses higway 6 and FM1960. It should go right over them at about 80 MPH.

 

If you are up near this area, drop me an email through my profile and maybe we can get some coffee.

 

Craig

K2EOK

Edited by Drooling_Mongoloid

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The Legislative branch (Lackeys) create the guidelines. The Judicial branch (Reviewers) interpret the guidelines. The Executive branch (Jeremy) makes sure they are obeyed.

 

At least that what it seems like to me. :blink:

Edited by 4wheelin_fool

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My response is that I will not be a cache police for Groundspeak or the reviewers. If I find a cache on a electric box I will not post a SBA, even if the electric company crew comes by to to tell me the cache is not placed with permission. If Groundspeak expects cachers to help see the guidelines enforced than the guidelines must be published along with interpretation and rationale. Until then any cache I find is a good cache in my book.

I was with ya till the last paragraph. If I discover that a cache does not have adequate permission I will report it, not to help Groundspeak but as a courtesy to others who may hunt this cache. No reason that they should get fussed at.

 

And, "If Groundspeak expects cachers to help see the guidelines enforced than the guidelines must be published along with interpretation and rationale"

 

Published, yes.

Interpreted, not so much. Caching is very different in different places, and Reviewers do interpret guidelines differently, that's why Reviewers have wide latitude and discretion.

And rationale? I don't need the rationale for it, just the published guideline.

 

i totatly agree. as with any other organized sport the rules are plublished. they may change them occasionaly, but they publish them in a timely manner instead of waiting for someone to break an unknown guidline or rule. since i travel around the country it would be nice to know the guidlines and rules are the same wherever you go, but that wouldn't allow the god complex Groundspeak and their reviewers enjoy so much. there are other worldwide groups (not just local ones) out there who do publish all of their guidlines and rules. the sport is supposed to be free and fun for all. not just for who they deem worthy. just remember that it doesn't matter if they know you found a cache as long as you know you did. there are many public sites to post your hidden caches and cache lists that the elitist don't control :blink:

Edited by realisticdreamer66

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Minimum requirements tend to become maximum requirements.

 

Making the guidelines foolproof is impossible, because, well, you know the saying.

 

The reviewers need some flexibility. Been in similar situations too many times to say otherwise. Heck, if they didn't need flexibility, then we could automate the whole review process. I wouldn't like it.

 

I ran into a hidden guideline a while back. The reviewer suggested how I could fix it up, which took very little work compared with putting together the cache. I didn't have a problem with that.

 

Some of the hidden guidelines are for things which common sense would rule out anyway. What we need is a guideline that says don't be stupid. Legislating stupidity out of existence has been tried.

 

Other of the hidden guidelines (like the one I encountered) are just terminology, and thus are easy to work around.

 

Edward

 

if the guidlines were published you would not have had to redo things. some people like to do things right the first time.

 

the world is lacking common sense that is why we need the guidelines to be known.

 

i'll give you an example: the label on blow dryers that tell you not to plug it in while it is imersed in water. common sense would tell you not to, but people do this even with the guidliness :blink:

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There's a cache in my town that's on, in, or near a bunch of electrical equipment (don't know which, since we left quickly.)

 

We went to look for it, and all the equipment in the area had been vandalized and torn apart. Doors were left open, or 2 had been ripped off the hinges and were lying on the ground, wires were pulled out, and a bunch of other pieces were on the ground.

 

horrible, horrible place for a geocache. If I was the property owner, I'd be extremely angry.

Since you didn't find the cache, you don't know that it is in, on, or even near electrical equipment. You also apparently have no knowledge as to who vandalized the equipment.

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the world is lacking common sense that is why we need the guidelines to be known. i'll give you an example: the label on blow dryers that tell you not to plug it in while it is imersed in water. common sense would tell you not to, but people do this even with the guidliness :ph34r:
They publish that to reduce their legal liability. I agree, many people don't use common sense or judgment and lack respect for others, the big issue is they want the free ride their lawyer promises them when they get hurt because of not using common sense. With GC I think it's more of a factor that most all of the GC community would play by "the rules" if it was clear as to what they were. Vagueness leads to issues of interpretation and opens the doors to the game being pulled in different directions because of different interpretations. Doesn't mean it has to be harshly regulated, but more clearly explained.

 

People hiding caches around electrical boxes should have the common sense to know not to put anything inside or anywhere someone could accidentally contact live wires, but people seeking the caches should have the common sense to not open enclosures or stick their hands where live wires are. Same goes for people who run up and shove their hand inside a dark hollow in the side of a tree or way up under a rock where they can't see. Do we need to stop people from hiding caches where snakes and poisonous spiders like to live, too? You can't outlaw caches that put people at risk because in some way, all caches do, you just need to be sure people understand the potential dangers.

 

If all people used common sense we wouldn't need seatbelt laws.... :blink:

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With GC I think it's more of a factor that most all of the GC community would play by "the rules" if it was clear as to what they were.

People still submit virtuals even though the ban has been written into the guidelines for nearly 3 years (November 2005). How would adding more guidelines get people to read and follow them? :blink:

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With GC I think it's more of a factor that most all of the GC community would play by "the rules" if it was clear as to what they were.

People still submit virtuals even though the ban has been written into the guidelines for nearly 3 years (November 2005). How would adding more guidelines get people to read and follow them? :ph34r:

 

How can the majority of cachers who follow the guidelines do so if you don't tell us what they are? :blink:

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Since you didn't find the cache, you don't know that it is in, on, or even near electrical equipment. You also apparently have no knowledge as to who vandalized the equipment.

 

since the coordinates were exactly at the site of the electrical equipment, and there's nothing else around, if you would like to explain how it's not near electrical equipment without looking foolish, go ahead.

 

and certainly, random vandals could have come along and torn things apart searching for some random thing they thought was hidden inside, that could have happened and nobody can prove otherwise.

Edited by Bad_CRC

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Since you didn't find the cache, you don't know that it is in, on, or even near electrical equipment. You also apparently have no knowledge as to who vandalized the equipment.
since the coordinates were exactly at the site of the electrical equipment, and there's nothing else around, if you would like to explain how it's not near electrical equipment without looking foolish, go ahead.
On a number of occasions, I have followed my GPSr's arrow to a location at which I did not find the cache. For some of these caches, I later found the cache somewhere else. I suspect that most cachers have had this happen once or twice, or thirty times.

 

Until you find the cache, there is really no way for you to be sure that you are in the right spot.

and certainly, random vandals could have come along and torn things apart searching for some random thing they thought was hidden inside, that could have happened and nobody can prove otherwise.
Vandalism happens. It is not like you were in a spot that was so remote that no non-geocacher would ever be there. Edited by sbell111

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With GC I think it's more of a factor that most all of the GC community would play by "the rules" if it was clear as to what they were.

People still submit virtuals even though the ban has been written into the guidelines for nearly 3 years (November 2005). How would adding more guidelines get people to read and follow them? ;)

How would less than complete guidlines help them follow them even if they read them. As an aside how do you submit a virtual when it's not one of the options?

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most all of the GC community would play by "the rules" if it was clear as to what they were.

Good heavens, you've been reading these forums for how long? How many threads deal with cachers violating clearly written rules? You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. You can write guidelines but you can't make people read them. You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think.

 

Trying to make the guidelines complete will encounter two problems:

 

First, you're chasing after Zeno: you will make the guidelines longer and longer while forever discovering new gaps.

 

Second, by making the guidelines longer, you'll make it even less likely that people will read them all the way through, and thus even less likely that people will follow them. How many cachers do you think have actually read the guidelines all the way through? I'd guess around 10%. Of the posters to this forum, of course, it's probably more like 80%, but we are demonstrably atypical simply by reading and posting here -- count members, counterpoint posters, we are a minority of around 1%.

 

Even the current guidelines are a compromise in this sense. They are too long for most people to read. Distill them down to Ten Commandments and you may get upwards of 80% readership. And compliance with the intent might (might) actually be better than it is today, though I would not be willing to bet on it. If the guidelines were tripled in length, most likely even I would not read the whole thing.

 

This is a human game, and involves human compromises. This is a classic case of the problem of trying to outlaw stupidity.

 

Edward

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As an aside how do you submit a virtual when it's not one of the options?

Typically they're submitted as Mystery/Unknown caches, with a request in a reviewer note to please convert it to a virtual because the cacher couldn't figure out how to submit a virtual. I get them pretty much every month, even three full years later.

 

People don't read the guidelines. Not a week goes by without someone who responds to a reviewer note from me by saying "sorry, I did not know about that." We then work together to fix the issue if at all possible.

 

The vast majority of cache submissions meet the guidelines and are published without issue. A minority have guideline issues. A subset of those caches are never published, either because the cacher abandoned their effort or because the issue was unresolveable. Yet another even smaller subset of unpublished caches get their own forum thread. Finally, a remaining tiny subset of those debated caches involve a so-called "hidden guideline" like the common sense limitations on Challenge Caches. Keep those real world stats in perspective.

Edited by Keystone

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Let's cut to the chase:

 

Is Iowa better off because caches there are not allowed on or near electrical equipment?

 

Groundspeak evidently thinks so and it's their website. ;)

Edited by TrailGators

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That's an incorrect conclusion.

 

This was an individual decision made years ago and the prior individual policy has since been corrected to fit better with the listing guidelines and Groundspeak's directions to the volunteer cache reviewers.

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Given that the guidelines are published on the web, perhaps the main guidelines page could link to other pages that expanded upon the guidelines for particular details.

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