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Historic Attribute?


BareFeat
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We enjoy placing and finding historical type caches. Old homesites, rail lines and burial grounds are just a few we've come across in our meager #96 finds. Im sure most cachers will eventually come upon a cache "historical" in nature at some point.

 

As history and caching go for us so far, each new one leads us a little farther from home, maybe not geographically as much as in our heads, imagining the place the cache owner has brought us too in days long past.

 

Having the "Historical" tag designation on the attributes section would make finding caches in places like Boston much easier when planning a trip to do a few. We are blessed in New England, and its great that so many of the caches already out there are little history lessons already.

 

Dont make me mention 10 attributes already there, that it would be MORE useful then.

 

haha j/k

 

Anyone? Anyone?

BUELLER?

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I would LOVE to see an attribute like this. Since I really enjoy history and enjoy caches that bring me to historical locations, this attribute would be a fantastic addition and tool to help identify a caching itinerary that would appeal to me and also allow me to get to the place I'm going at a reasonable rate :) Very much in favor!

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Does anyone use the livestock attribute with any seriousness?

 

I would love a historic attribute. But I have used the livestock attribute for a cache placed on a trial that is marked to advise hikers/bikers to beware of the livestock. My daughter says she was chased there by an angry cow and they are mean in that location. So I took her at her word for it.

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We have an entire cache type dedicated to geology: 137.gif

But isn't that an Earth cache? Earth caches in our country don't have a phisical cache. They just send you to some coordinates that have something to do with earth and you have to take a picture there.

 

Atribute would be better because many caches that exist today are placed on a historical site and you don't have to set them as history caches. You just have to add an atribute.

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We have an entire cache type dedicated to geology: 137.gif

 

Why not have another one dedicated to history?

 

 

I think an attribute is a wonderful idea.

 

I'm not so certain that a cache type dedicated to history and working in the same way as earthcaches would also be a good idea. Unlike geology, history has legions of agenda-driven devotees and the battle for historical interpretation is primarily waged in the public fora, not in academia.

 

History is political and personal in ways that geology is not. It would be a rare person who would be upset by a geological discussion. On the other hand, people whose relatives or ancestors were involved in a war or massacre (on either side) are deeply emotionally invested in how the event is presented.

 

People are even emotionally involved in less dramatic historical events. Just observe the rancor that accompanies any discussion of Sally Hemings and Jefferson or whether the Wright Brothers were the true inventors of the airplane. I've seen people pounding the table about which ship in WWII was the largest.

 

I think a history cache type (as opposed to a history attribute) would be a lightning rod for unhappiness and nastiness. You think that discussions of lamp post micros are hot? Just wait until someone starts a discussion about whether the events at Fort Pillow constitute an unjustified massacre and shouldn't that cache that /whitewashes/unfairly accuses the participants/ be archived. Then you'll see hot, bitter debates.

 

Carolyn

Edited by Steve&GeoCarolyn
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Mis-use of all attributes is rampant - scuba, snowmobile etc. I doubt if one in 100 scuba attribute caches require scuba gear. I once did a search on this and found zero scuba caches in Florida and Georgia, but 35 caches with the scuba attribute set!

Sadly, I'd expect the same issue with "historic" as an attribute. Every place has history. And the same cache owners who think it cute to use the snowmobile and scuba attributes on their parking lot hide would be using historic.

 

Does anyone use the livestock attribute with any seriousness?

 

Yes, there are preserves in Florida where there are active cattle leases - cows with young calves can be aggressive, and bulls too (especially Brahma bulls, much more aggressive than British breeds). Many walking paths in the U.K. are across fields with cattle.

 

But your question points up the problem generally with attributes. I take it that's used entirely in jest in NC?

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We have an entire cache type dedicated to geology: 137.gif

But isn't that an Earth cache? Earth caches in our country don't have a phisical cache. They just send you to some coordinates that have something to do with earth and you have to take a picture there.

 

Atribute would be better because many caches that exist today are placed on a historical site and you don't have to set them as history caches. You just have to add an atribute.

You're right. A History Attribute might be better, or at least less confusing, than a History Cache Type. Either would provide the desired filtering option, but the attribute would probably work better.

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Mis-use of all attributes is rampant - scuba, snowmobile etc. ... Sadly, I'd expect the same issue with "historic" as an attribute. Every place has history. And the same cache owners who think it cute to use the snowmobile and scuba attributes on their parking lot hide would be using historic.

I think you're right. If a History attribute is provided it will get misused, guaranteed.

 

But then, what element of this website has not been misused? Cache sizes are used incorrectly. Cache types are used clumsily. D&T ratings are frequently worthless. Hint fields get used for everything except a hint. Travel bugs get fumbled and lost by confused finders. I’ve even seen caches where the coords were intentionally offset as part of the 'fun.' They weren’t fun for me, but I’m sure the owners were loving all the DNFs ....

 

That’s what you get when your entertainment is provided by unpaid and uncontrolled fellow amateurs. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

 

On the other hand, there is apparently no shortage of cachers who don’t care to hunt any cache unless it brings them to an interesting/educational/beautiful location. That’s not what this hobby was founded for of course, and it’s not one of my own personal requirements when caching, but ... those elements are always welcome, and new attributes such as "Historic Location, " "Educational Setting, " "Strange Spectacle, " "Beautiful View, " etc, would be, in my estimation, waaay more helpful than annoying.

 

I, for one, would use them. There would be abuse, but I think on balance it would be a good change.

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Im glad to see so many support the idea. What i dont understand is this. I had the badluck to be banned from this forum, it took exactly 5 mins from the post i made till i was banned and my post was removed. It was an ignorant mistake, i was talking about some software that was not obeying the TOS. (which i was not aware of in the slightest) I was a bit dismayed at the situation, since it was better then all the other crap offered here that you have to pay for, but live and learn.

 

However every day i see great topics simply being ignored by the PTB. Why is that? Ive asked for help on moving this idea along, yet i dont see any comment by a moderator or anyone else on how to do that.

 

Are we to be stuck w/ the site as it is forever? Is there no evolving around here? Ive created and been involved with a couple "community sites" in my past/present and anyone whos worth their salt doing such knows, you must evolve to meet the needs of your users. I guess i just dont understand what appears to me as intentional foot-dragging by the PTB (as you forum users call them)

 

I hope in the future, we wont have to use 3rd party html scripts to get the desired effects on our pages. That this site with ALL its volunteers can actually grow and become MORE useful. Instead of just ignoring. I mean the site works great and all, but i could give you around 100 bugs and improvements just off the top of my head.

 

As far as people abusing an attribute: How exactly does one do such a thing?

I guess i dont understand that part so much, i mean if it doesnt belong on a cache it doesnt belong but to classify it as abuse, denotes to me that the person gained something by using the attribute.

 

Keeping adding your reply's and keep this topic on the up!

Maybe someday well get a response, at least on the proper way for the community to be heard.

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If we add a Historic Attribute, then what happens when the next affinity group wants an attribute? How do you define a Historic Cache? Look at the problems we have with describing cache size (micro vs small). When I do a PQ, I read the cache descriptions and eliminate those that don't interest me. It also helps me weed out bad caches with multiple DNFs.

 

If you come out to Sierra Vista, AZ you will have the opportunity to visit plenty of Historic caches and Natural caches too! Just a little plug for a great place to cache!

 

I has a B.A. in History.

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If we add a Historic Attribute, then what happens when the next affinity group wants an attribute? How do you define a Historic Cache? Look at the problems we have with describing cache size (micro vs small).

Well, that would be one of the arguments for adding History Cache as a cache Type, as opposed to an attribute.

 

Earthcaches are a big success. One reason: Before an Earthcache can be listed it has to be approved by the Geological Society of America. If a similar academic body were willing to take on the job of approving History Caches, the designation would be far more meaningful than if it were merely an attribute available at the click of a mouse.

 

Maybe some of the folks in these forums who habitually protest the lack of satisfactorily interesting cache locations – and the apparent difficulty in filtering for them – would be willing to volunteer for such a committee? If so, they would have my gratitude. More cool caches, fewer disappointments, better PQ filtering, fewer complaints in the forums ... everybody wins!

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If we add a Historic Attribute, then what happens when the next affinity group wants an attribute? How do you define a Historic Cache? Look at the problems we have with describing cache size (micro vs small).

Well, that would be one of the arguments for adding History Cache as a cache Type, as opposed to an attribute.

 

Earthcaches are a big success. One reason: Before an Earthcache can be listed it has to be approved by the Geological Society of America. If a similar academic body were willing to take on the job of approving History Caches, the designation would be far more meaningful than if it were merely an attribute available at the click of a mouse.

 

Maybe some of the folks in these forums who habitually protest the lack of satisfactorily interesting cache locations – and the apparent difficulty in filtering for them – would be willing to volunteer for such a committee? If so, they would have my gratitude. More cool caches, fewer disappointments, better PQ filtering, fewer complaints in the forums ... everybody wins!

 

The Steve half of the Steve&GeoCarolyn entity is an academic military historian and I talked to him before I wrote my previous post on this matter.

 

History has qualities that make it divisive in ways that geology isn't. I outlined some of those in my earlier post. What would happen as academic historians enforced some sort of mainstream understanding of history on geocaches is that people would bring their complaints to the forum. These complaints would be heartfelt and highly politicized because history itself is deeply emotional to many people and highly politicized as a field. Even amongst academic historians there is a great deal of division along political and national lines (as well as among the various schools of historical thought).

 

Left, right, center, and every ethnic and affinity group would protest that the history approved by this group was wrong. Not just wrong. They will say that it is racist, sexist, immoral, part of a world-wide conspiracy to cover-up/make up facts and so forth. Imagine the 911 Truthers demanding that their version of history be approved by this group and bringing their protests to this forum. There are many worse examples I could use but out of concern for the health of this group I am not mentioning the most highly emotionally-charged historical topics. Far from everyone winning, this actually guarantees that nearly everyone would lose.

 

I think a history attribute (which leaves the decision about whether it is really historical or whether the history described is valid history to the cache owner) would be a better option.

 

Carolyn

Edited by Steve&GeoCarolyn
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Left, right, center, and every ethnic and affinity group would protest that the history approved by this group was wrong. Not just wrong. They will say that it is racist, sexist, immoral, part of a world-wide conspiracy to cover-up/make up facts and so forth. Imagine the 911 Truthers demanding that their version of history be approved by this group and bringing their protests to this forum. There are many worse examples I could use but out of concern for the health of this group I am not mentioning the most highly emotionally-charged historical topics.

You make a good point – but that is happening already, and there is already a system in place.

 

Per the guidelines: "Caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted."

 

These sorts of contentious issues apparently regularly find their way into submitted cache listings, and Groundspeak has always done a pretty impressive job of turning away such politically controversial land mines. I see no reason to fear that a politically charged History Cache will have any better chance of being published than a politically charged puzzle cache or a politically charged multi-cache.

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You make a good point – but that is happening already, and there is already a system in place.

 

Per the guidelines: "Caches perceived to be posted for religious, political, charitable or social agendas are not permitted."

 

These sorts of contentious issues apparently regularly find their way into submitted cache listings, and Groundspeak has always done a pretty impressive job of turning away such politically controversial land mines. I see no reason to fear that a politically charged History Cache will have any better chance of being published than a politically charged puzzle cache or a politically charged multi-cache.

I appreciate your cool-headed approach to this discussion.

 

In most cases I don't think that people are conscious of their biases. Nor do I think that most would choose a historical site with a conscious agenda. (Though some surely would.) However, differing historical understandings lead to different results.

 

Take an example near me. There is a beautiful hiking trail that overlooks the Mississippi River. It is the site of a famous massacre called the Fort Pillow Massacre. One understanding (my beloved tells me it is the mainstream understanding) is that Confederate soldiers under orders of General Nathan Bedford Forrest (later founder of the KKK) ordered a massacre of surrendering African-American Union soldiers, killing nearly all of them in cold blood.

 

The little museum at the beginning of the hiking trail describes the events quite differently. It's been a long time since I was there, but as I recall their view was that the Union soldiers engaged in immoral practices and never surrendered and that a massacre never occurred.

 

So, let's say that I put a historical cache there and my interpretation is that it was a massacre, an odious example of racist slaughter, and I write that understanding (the mainstream understanding, remember) in my cache description. My fellow geocachers grew up with a different understanding of this event. They believe that I am anti-Southern and complain that I have an agenda.

 

Or let's say it's vice versa. I believe that it wasn't a slaughter and that the entire thing was an example of Union propaganda designed to weaken the Confederate will to fight and I write that in my cache description. Once again, I'm sincere and I don't have an agenda.

 

However, my fellow geocacher whose great, great, great uncle perished at Fort Pillow protests my interpretation. He calls me a racist and says that I want to whitewash the Confederacy. He points out that "Remember Fort Pillow!" became a battle-cry among African-American soldiers after that. He says I have an agenda.

 

The thing is that none of these people are acting in bad faith. History is really hard in some areas. It's really divisive. And that can't be cured by setting up a committee to ajudicate it.

 

Carolyn

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So, let's say that I put a historical cache there and my interpretation is that it was a massacre, an odious example of racist slaughter, and I write that understanding (the mainstream understanding, remember) in my cache description. My fellow geocachers grew up with a different understanding of this event. They believe that I am anti-Southern and complain that I have an agenda.

 

Or let's say it's vice versa. I believe that it wasn't a slaughter and that the entire thing was an example of Union propaganda designed to weaken the Confederate will to fight and I write that in my cache description. Once again, I'm sincere and I don't have an agenda.

 

However, my fellow geocacher whose great, great, great uncle perished at Fort Pillow protests my interpretation. He calls me a racist and says that I want to whitewash the Confederacy. He points out that "Remember Fort Pillow!" became a battle-cry among African-American soldiers after that. He says I have an agenda.

Again, I agree that this is a potential problem. And again, there is already a system in place to handle it.

 

Currently, if a cache somehow gets through the review process yet turns out to offend enough other cachers – and if enough of them collectively make a reasonable case against it – then it gets swiftly archived by one of the many good volunteers whose fingers hover ever vigilantly over the Big Archive Button. Maybe even modified so as to delete any offending text. At least that’s what I’ve observed. I may be wrong.

 

Like I said: You make an excellent point. My understanding, however, is that it is a moot point. If I am right then we should both be happy. If I am wrong, then I would like very much to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable than me (which would pretty much be most anybody.)

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Currently, if a cache somehow gets through the review process yet turns out to offend enough other cachers – and if enough of them collectively make a reasonable case against it – then it gets swiftly archived by one of the many good volunteers whose fingers hover ever vigilantly over the Big Archive Button. Maybe even modified so as to delete any offending text. At least that’s what I’ve observed. I may be wrong.

 

Like I said: You make an excellent point. My understanding, however, is that it is a moot point. If I am right then we should both be happy. If I am wrong, then I would like very much to be corrected by someone more knowledgeable than me (which would pretty much be most anybody.)

You are right that I would be delighted if there were an easy way to avoid conflict around these issues. I prefer to be involved in low-conflict activities. Since you are a long-time member of this hobby, it seems likely that there are few who are more knowledgeable than you about how these things work. Also, I note that you cache in Georgia, which probably has many of these hot-button historical issues so I trust that you have a good feeling for this. (My guess is that our good friends in New Jersey and Minnesota probably have fewer contentious issues surrounding their historic sites.)

 

With that in mind, is it true that all types of caches are subject to the Big Archive Button wielded by a volunteer reviewer or just those that come under Groundspeak's control? What happens in cases where protesters are wrong about some point of history? (I can easily picture fervent 911 Truthers making a big deal about a cache without too many other people disagreeing publically. In many cases, the most passionate are often the people most likely to be on the fringe of any dispute.)

 

I guess what I'm asking is how does Groundspeak deal with disputes regarding Earthcaches (if there are any such disputes) and complaints about the Geological Society's decisions? My guess is that there would be a lot more protests about a Historical Geocaching Society's decisions (name made up).

 

Carolyn

Edited by Steve&GeoCarolyn
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Caches which are designed to bring cache seekers to locations of historical interest have been around as long as I have been doing this. What you describe is possible, I suppose, but in my experience it simply hasn’t been a problem.

 

I have occasionally seen the forced archival of caches which promoted religious and/or social agendas. Not locally, just heard about them in the forums. I haven’t witnessed any archivals specifically over disagreements among historians, but maybe this has also happened. It doesn't seem to be a big threat.

 

 

History has qualities that make it divisive in ways that geology isn't.

I would have thought so too, but yes, it is entirely possible for there to be heated disagreements among geologists. And not just because of the creationism thing. If you haven’t read Bill Bryson’s book about the history of science, I highly recommend it. Among other things he details the comical and rather childish ways that scientists, including geologists, have fought, undercut and sniped at each other over the centuries. It's kind of surprising.

 

9780767908184.jpg

 

It's a great read.

 

 

When I learned about this hobby and first began to participate, it struck me as one of the most idyllic, relaxing, non-competitive and non-controversial ways a person could spend his time.

 

Then I discovered these forums ... and learned that there are people who will rant and whine about anything and everything, even the littlest nothings, and even inventing fictitious problems when no actual, existing targets are available for their whining.

 

The point of all my babbling is that anytime people come together in any organized fashion there will always be friction among the participants. I just don’t see it happening that "HistoryCaches," the analog to EarthCaches, would be exceptionally troublesome. No more so than anything else. Every element of this tranquil hobby generates controversy. You’ll be amazed. I was. I still am.

 

I prefer to be involved in low-conflict activities.

You are in the right place. This IS a low-conflict activity. Just because there are a few high-conflict participants doesn’t mean you or I have to pay attention to them.

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On the other hand, there is apparently no shortage of cachers who don’t care to hunt any cache unless it brings them to an interesting/educational/beautiful location. That’s not what this hobby was founded for of course, and it’s not one of my own personal requirements when caching, but ... those elements are always welcome, and new attributes such as "Historic Location, " "Educational Setting, " "Strange Spectacle, " "Beautiful View, " etc, would be, in my estimation, waaay more helpful than annoying.

 

I, for one, would use them. There would be abuse, but I think on balance it would be a good change.

I agree with all those attributes. I see the point of a "Snowmobile" attribute, but around here any of the ones proposed by KBI would be much more useful.

 

Incidentally, the way to bring this topic to TPTB is to post it and discuss it in the Website forum. Then post and discuss it again. Then post and discuss again. That forum is monitored by the web lackeys. Eventually one of TPTB will notice the topic. If it's liked by TPTB it'll get added to the Lackey's "to do" list. If not, it will continue to be ignored.

 

Actually, could we get a helpful mod to move this thread over there now? It's been discussed for a while out in the big forum, and almost everyone agrees with the OP.

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Caches which are designed to bring cache seekers to locations of historical interest have been around as long as I have been doing this. What you describe is possible, I suppose, but in my experience it simply hasn’t been a problem.

 

I think your experience with geocachers trumps my experience with history buffs since what we are talking about is geocaching. So, I'm open to what you are saying.

 

I would have thought so too, but yes, it is entirely possible for there to be heated disagreements among geologists. And not just because of the creationism thing. If you haven’t read Bill Bryson’s book about the history of science, I highly recommend it. Among other things he details the comical and rather childish ways that scientists, including geologists, have fought, undercut and sniped at each other over the centuries. It's kind of surprising.

I loved his book! I'm so pleased that you have read it as well.

 

I think I've been unclear, perhaps as a result of writing too much. It is amateur historians that I worry about rather than professionals. The academics primarily express displeasure with each other by writing nasty reviews about each other's books, snubbing each other at faculty parties, and torturing each other's grad students. :)

 

Amateur historians are often quite passionate and frequently do not respond well to correction. History seems very accessible to people in ways that the sciences don't. As a result people think it is simpler to understand than it is. In reality, history is tremendously complex. The past is truly a different country and none of us know the past very well. Even those who study it all the time like my beloved do not. (One of the big differences I've seen between history buffs and professional historians is that the professionals know that there is a great deal they do not know. Often buffs have more confidence in their understanding of the subject than the professionals do.)

 

When I learned about this hobby and first began to participate, it struck me as one of the most idyllic, relaxing, non-competitive and non-controversial ways a person could spend his time.

 

Then I discovered these forums ... and learned that there are people who will rant and whine about anything and everything, even the littlest nothings, and even inventing fictitious problems when no actual, existing targets are available for their whining.

 

The point of all my babbling is that anytime people come together in any organized fashion there will always be friction among the participants. I just don’t see it happening that "HistoryCaches," the analog to EarthCaches, would be exceptionally troublesome. No more so than anything else. Every element of this tranquil hobby generates controversy. You’ll be amazed. I was. I still am.

 

I am amazed. Also amazed at how long these disputes go back. But I love geocaching and I do find it tranquil and fun.

 

You are in the right place. This IS a low-conflict activity. Just because there are a few high-conflict participants doesn’t mean you or I have to pay attention to them.

 

Thanks! :D

 

I suppose the next question is how does a History group to monitor HistoryCaches form? Or does one go to one of the existing academic history associations? How did EarthCaches come into being?

 

Carolyn

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On the other hand, there is apparently no shortage of cachers who don’t care to hunt any cache unless it brings them to an interesting/educational/beautiful location. That’s not what this hobby was founded for of course, and it’s not one of my own personal requirements when caching, but ... those elements are always welcome, and new attributes such as "Historic Location, " "Educational Setting, " "Strange Spectacle, " "Beautiful View, " etc, would be, in my estimation, waaay more helpful than annoying.

 

I, for one, would use them. There would be abuse, but I think on balance it would be a good change.

I agree with all those attributes. I see the point of a "Snowmobile" attribute, but around here any of the ones proposed by KBI would be much more useful.

 

Incidentally, the way to bring this topic to TPTB is to post it and discuss it in the Website forum.

Excellent suggestion!

 

Consider it done. :)

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Wow you have brought up some very good points carolyn, how silly i am to forget how painful alot of our history was. None of it was easy, the building of the greatest nation in the world.

 

To me each historical cache i do, tells a little more of the tale and I honestly thought an attribute was "no biggie" since we have so many that seem whimsical. I do understand the other points made about volcanic personalities and the things they find issues with. But as opposed to the "earth cache" which is a type of cache, this is simple a designation for lovers of history = be it good or bad.

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Wow you have brought up some very good points carolyn, how silly i am to forget how painful alot of our history was. None of it was easy, the building of the greatest nation in the world.

 

History is painful everywhere, I think. One of the charms of the US (in my opinion, but not Steve's) is that we have so little history. It gives us a better chance of starting out right with fewer ancient hatreds arising. But I'm forward-looking by nature.

 

To me each historical cache i do, tells a little more of the tale and I honestly thought an attribute was "no biggie" since we have so many that seem whimsical. I do understand the other points made about volcanic personalities and the things they find issues with. But as opposed to the "earth cache" which is a type of cache, this is simple a designation for lovers of history = be it good or bad.

 

I think a history attribute is an excellent idea. Among other things, it would make it much easier to find caches that please my beloved. The big advantage of a history attribute is that each cache owner can decide for himself what it should say without submitting it to an approving body. I think this reduces the chances of conflict. (Though KBI has done a good job of convincing me that geocachers are less volatile regarding history than activists, history buffs, and wargamers.) So I'm a fan of the history attribute idea.

 

Carolyn

Edited by Steve&GeoCarolyn
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