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Geocaching/Groundspeak overhaul required


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Quality is, and always will be, subjective. My caching has changed over the years, film pots at the base of a sign are not terribly thrilling anymore. On the other hand, there is one local cacher I know that has a special needs child. He never tires of finding these kinds of caches.

That still doesn't make them "quality". It simply means that they are expedient for that situation. I think that a discussion of quality caches with that person would not bring up any film pot hides at the base of signs. Quality is not all that subjective. Sure, there is some wiggle room, but not all that much. For example, there is a good reason why there are no National Parks in Walmart parking lots. National Parks tend to be put in quality places.

 

My view is that Quality is subjective, and there is much gray area. Take a lock and lock container hidden in a guardrail with strong magnets. Is that quality? Obviously some thought went into it; they chose a quality container, and added some good magnets. But it is a park and grab. What if the guardrail is in a scenic overlook parking area? Take that same lock and lock and put it under a rock off a hiking trail where you need to walk a mile from the closest parking. That cache is "healthier" in that it requires a walk. But it doesn't have the view. Does the fact it is on a trail make it "better"? For some yes, for others no.

 

Now, just because we can't define it, doesn't mean we can't give opinions on how we see the overall Quality changing. When there were few caches, I believe more thought went into each one; as a percentage there were more in "quality" places. If one had to drive 20 miles to the nearest cache, to find it in a parking lot, one would ask "why"? Today there are lots of caches everywhere. Including easy caches in ordinary places, like parking lots. So a smaller percentage of caches that make you say "wow". But on the other hand, many more caches to choose from, and those "wow" caches are there if you look for them.

 

It comes down to the numbers. With so many caches, you have to work harder to find ones which take you to a special place etc. But they are there.

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GC-vote is a nice little GM script to have an idea of "quality". It works better than favorites as you can give grades 0-5. After enough visits/votes you get a pretty good idea of the quality of a cache. Since you can also vote 0 or 1/2 star really lame caches get a low grade and can easily be avoided. In the favorite system you wouldn't see any favorites for such a cache but have no idea if the lack of favo's is because the cache is "just OK" or "just not good enough" or "lame".

 

As the system is now it takes (a lot of) time going through the logs to find high quality caches.

 

After all these years of caching we also have a good idea which CO's have great caches so they get on "the list" with almost every cache.

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GC-vote is a nice little GM script to have an idea of "quality". It works better than favorites as you can give grades 0-5. After enough visits/votes you get a pretty good idea of the quality of a cache. Since you can also vote 0 or 1/2 star really lame caches get a low grade and can easily be avoided. In the favorite system you wouldn't see any favorites for such a cache but have no idea if the lack of favo's is because the cache is "just OK" or "just not good enough" or "lame".

It faces the same problem as the favpoint system: people give stars not along an unique quality scale but on their personal and changing scale (nice day, randomly good vibrations, FTF, friend's cache, ...). Plus a lot of people using GC-vote don't even know that giving just one star is essentially a bad value - for them giving one, two or three stars is a lot.

 

So, doesn't work either.

 

As the system is now it takes (a lot of) time going through the logs to find high quality caches.

My app shows the GC-votes as well as the FP's (Looking4Cache). But I don't give much to that. I put a bit research into most of my cache tours, so I roughly have an idea what's coming. Due to physical restrictions my team can't do much of an hike, it's not easy to pick caches who are worth it. So an occasional bad cache is included.

 

When I'm caching alone and have time, I pick those hiking caches which promise a great scenery. And even there the whole experience counts: the listing, the hike, the container and it's hide, the location...

 

We once even did a power trail...by bike. Which was a wonderful family experience. That also involved a bit of research which part of the trail leads us away from the main road.

 

There is a lot the owner can't influence. But to go the lazy path and just throw a film canister behind a street sign with a listing like "Cache #4321" and not maintaining it, still is lame.

 

To conclude: I don't think there's an easy point system to recognize good caches. As mentioned earlier, "quality" has to be defined and that definition even varies from person to person (and even day to day). To meet ones own definition of cache quality, there has to be put research in the preparation.

 

On the other hand, I still reserve the right to call caches lame in my view. I will state this in the log. That (and a good descriptive log for good caches) is the only way I can help others who put research in their cache tour planning.

 

Fav Points and other scoring systems don't work. Descriptive (not necessarily long, but often longer than the average) logs do!

 

BTW: it helps to simple ignore other cachers find count or statistics. Just let them tell the stories behind, if they have interesting stories: great. If they haven't because they can barely recall: poor souls.

 

After all these years of caching we also have a good idea which CO's have great caches so they get on "the list" with almost every cache.

And which owners are to avoid, yes.

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

 

You are being pessimistic; ten minutes is too much time.

If you want the logs to be gramattically correct, maybe 15 minutes.

 

Austin

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.
I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.
It would be easy to stuff 30+ words of "lorem ipsum" into a log. It isn't be much harder to generate 30+ words of essentially meaningless log content, and I've seen more than one random log generator like that. Some random log generators are snarky, intended for less-than-memorable caches. Others sound sincere, if vapid.
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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

 

You are being pessimistic; ten minutes is too much time.

If you want the logs to be gramattically correct, maybe 15 minutes.

 

Austin

 

I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

 

* It was cold today. I was caching alone. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Really enjoyed the search. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a great day.

* It was cold today. Just me and my wife caching today. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Enjoyable hike to the cache. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a disappointing day.

* It was cold today. I was caching by myself. This took a bit of searching. The mosquiotoes were terrible. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. Only caching by my self today. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a mediocre day.

* It was rainy today. Just me and my wife caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. I made this harder than I needed to. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. This took a bit of searching. Lots of muggles today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. I made this harder than I needed to. The mosquiotoes were terrible. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. There was a group of us caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

 

You are being pessimistic; ten minutes is too much time.

If you want the logs to be gramattically correct, maybe 15 minutes.

 

Austin

 

I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

 

* It was cold today. I was caching alone. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Really enjoyed the search. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a great day.

* It was cold today. Just me and my wife caching today. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Enjoyable hike to the cache. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a disappointing day.

* It was cold today. I was caching by myself. This took a bit of searching. The mosquiotoes were terrible. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. Only caching by my self today. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a mediocre day.

* It was rainy today. Just me and my wife caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. I made this harder than I needed to. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. This took a bit of searching. Lots of muggles today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. I made this harder than I needed to. The mosquiotoes were terrible. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. There was a group of us caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

 

Wow. And here I've been typing my logs like some kind of chump all this time.

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None of these issues are new, and yet, the game goes on.

+1

While that might seem the case, at least one gets to speak their concerns with other members in the community. In my experience people that speak out intelligently and politely are usually the ones that are heard and taken seriously. :D

 

We realize the problems have always existed. The more interesting question is have they gotten worse, stayed the same, or improved?

 

I wasn't here, so I can't answer that. Those who were here 10 years ago may have subjective personal preferences, not objective truth.

 

To say problems have gotten more common doesn't tell us much, because the game has grown hugely, so every aspect has increased. There are far more epic caches today than in 2005, for example.

 

I think there are more productive ways to discuss these issues than a ranty forum post calling for MASSIVE CHANGE, but that's just me. At least rants are entertaining.

 

"Rant" & "ranty" sound a bit judgmental to me. How about we discuss the legitimate issues raised??

 

Calling for "MASSIVE CHANGE" also sounds a bit judgmental. How about we discuss those issues in the numerous, less inflammatory threads where people have brought them up without yelling about MASSIVE CHANGE?

 

I didn't hear the OP yelling. However, I did hear *someone* yelling! :huh:

 

Geocaching/Groundspeak overhaul required

 

Time for a MASSIVE change on how our hobby is run.

 

Don't be belittling opinions. That happens to be how the OP feels. Apparently you don't. Fair enough, but be nice about it.

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

 

You are being pessimistic; ten minutes is too much time.

If you want the logs to be gramattically correct, maybe 15 minutes.

 

Austin

 

I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

 

* It was cold today. I was caching alone. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Really enjoyed the search. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a great day.

* It was cold today. Just me and my wife caching today. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Enjoyable hike to the cache. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a disappointing day.

* It was cold today. I was caching by myself. This took a bit of searching. The mosquiotoes were terrible. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. Only caching by my self today. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a mediocre day.

* It was rainy today. Just me and my wife caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. I made this harder than I needed to. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. This took a bit of searching. Lots of muggles today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. I made this harder than I needed to. The mosquiotoes were terrible. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. There was a group of us caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

 

And that's exactly why I said "would have been", now it's too late, tools and statistics have taken over the game.

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

 

You are being pessimistic; ten minutes is too much time.

If you want the logs to be gramattically correct, maybe 15 minutes.

 

Austin

 

I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

 

* It was cold today. I was caching alone. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Really enjoyed the search. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a great day.

* It was cold today. Just me and my wife caching today. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Enjoyable hike to the cache. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a disappointing day.

* It was cold today. I was caching by myself. This took a bit of searching. The mosquiotoes were terrible. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. Only caching by my self today. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a mediocre day.

* It was rainy today. Just me and my wife caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. I made this harder than I needed to. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. This took a bit of searching. Lots of muggles today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. I made this harder than I needed to. The mosquiotoes were terrible. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. There was a group of us caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

 

And that's exactly why I said "would have been", now it's too late, tools and statistics have taken over the game.

 

I think the technology to auto-generate random 30-word sequences was available in 2000.

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Quality is not all that subjective. Sure, there is some wiggle room, but not all that much.

 

Categorically untrue. If you speak of container quality, I give it to you. If you speak placement, there is a lot of wiggle room. Different strokes...

 

I am not referring to container quality. Tell me of one person that would consider, say, a LPC in a Walmart parking lot a "quality" cache.

 

You know how they say there's someone for everyone on this big ol' Earth?

 

There you go. No doubt there are some who like them.

Oh, I have NO DOUBT there are some that LIKE them. But I still say they would not consider them "quality". Big difference.

 

Without a strict definition of quality, we cannot make that call.

OK, you win. But you're wrong. :D

 

You'd probably argue with me if I said that we all agree that the sky is blue, too.

 

I certainly don't agree. The sky on earth varies from pale blue to cyan (the primary color) to magenta, red, orange, yellow, and even green. What's more, I know that, unless you are functionally colorblind, you have seen all of those colors.

 

I have no doubt that there are high quality LPC's out there. The fact that I've never found one does not preclude their existence.

 

BTW, since one of my aims in caching is places to photograph, if someone did a LPC in a dramatic scenic overlook that I might have missed otherwise, I would call that a high quality cache.

 

Austin

 

Head toward Ely, MN. There is one up there that is awesome.

 

You know the point I'm making. We (as society) agree on what "blue" means (or red, or whatever), even though we all see a slightly different color. Yeah, there are colorblind folks that might get it confused with another color, but essentially society has come to an agreement on what the word means. Likewise with the word "quality". We all have a slightly different view on what "quality" is, but essentially, we agree on it, enough to discuss it.

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

 

You are being pessimistic; ten minutes is too much time.

If you want the logs to be gramattically correct, maybe 15 minutes.

 

Austin

 

I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

 

* It was cold today. I was caching alone. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Really enjoyed the search. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a great day.

* It was cold today. Just me and my wife caching today. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Enjoyable hike to the cache. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a disappointing day.

* It was cold today. I was caching by myself. This took a bit of searching. The mosquiotoes were terrible. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. Only caching by my self today. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a mediocre day.

* It was rainy today. Just me and my wife caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. I made this harder than I needed to. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. This took a bit of searching. Lots of muggles today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. I made this harder than I needed to. The mosquiotoes were terrible. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. There was a group of us caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

 

And that's exactly why I said "would have been", now it's too late, tools and statistics have taken over the game.

 

It took longer back then, but I created a random headline generator in 1985, and had sufficient access to the technology by 1977.

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I certainly don't agree. The sky on earth varies from pale blue to cyan (the primary color) to magenta, red, orange, yellow, and even green. What's more, I know that, unless you are functionally colorblind, you have seen all of those colors.

 

I have no doubt that there are high quality LPC's out there. The fact that I've never found one does not preclude their existence.

 

BTW, since one of my aims in caching is places to photograph, if someone did a LPC in a dramatic scenic overlook that I might have missed otherwise, I would call that a high quality cache.

 

Austin

 

Head toward Ely, MN. There is one up there that is awesome.

 

You know the point I'm making. We (as society) agree on what "blue" means (or red, or whatever), even though we all see a slightly different color. Yeah, there are colorblind folks that might get it confused with another color, but essentially society has come to an agreement on what the word means. Likewise with the word "quality". We all have a slightly different view on what "quality" is, but essentially, we agree on it, enough to discuss it.

 

I worked for quality assurance for 13 years. I work with them now. If it can't be defined, it can't be used to determine quality.

 

"Color" is a quality. Can be defined.

"Speed" is a quality, "Cost" is a quality, dimensions, other physical properties..."slick" is a quality (a bit trickier to define, but it can be done).

 

But what is a quality cache? Sorry, but it can't be defined, and therefore the discussion is of very limited value. You can't use size, you can't use container type, hide type, location, number of times found, attributes, even favorite points have been discredited. This entire conversation proves one thing: We do not agree what is a quality cache, and in fact your inability to define it well enough to speak on it demonstrates that even you cannot reasonably discuss it.

Edited by AustinMN
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When I think of quality, two things come to mind:

(1)The quality of the location

(2)The quality of the cache.

Number 1 is totally subjective and depends on the ability of the finder. Number 2 (no pun intended) I think is more easily defined. Moldy log books, pill containers, cracked Tupperware containers, rusty Altoids containers and all Power Trail caches come to mind.

Edited by TahoeJoe
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I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

I think the technology to auto-generate random 30-word sequences was available in 2000.

Actually, the generation of phrases not likely to be detected as computer generated dates back to at least 1966. Look up ELIZA in Wikipedia, a computer program by J. Weizenbaum to simulate human interaction.

 

Could be that all of you will be replaced by a computer script in about 10 years. Will make cache logs and forum discussions more effective.

 

If you already are replaced please let me the illusion and don't tell me. :)

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Like most of the OP's complaints, Groundspeak isn't driving this, and Groundspeak actually has very little control over this. Geocachers are the ones driving it.

 

Groundspeak has every bit of control over this. It's a private company that makes it's own decisions. Unfortunately, not all of them are good. Many newer, probably most, people only see geocaching as a fun little phone game that allows them to score points. This is what's hot right now and GS has made sure to get in on the action. Dollar signs are being seen and it doesn't matter what GS used to preach or what negative effects this may be causing.

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The numbers game has won. It's not about showing off interesting places, it's all about "How many can I find/hide?"

As I've pointed out before, there are more caches because geocaching is more popular, not because people want to plant lots of caches so they can have high numbers. So numbers won, yes, but the numbers game is not the cause, it's the effect.

 

And geocaching is not just more popular among the same class of people, it's more popular to a wider range of people, so it's no longer exclusively people that are only interested in being taken to what you consider interesting places.

 

It certainly takes more work to find interesting caches now compared to when I started.

Eh. Since I find most caches interesting, it's much, much easier for me to find interesting caches than it would have been 10 years ago.

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I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

I think the technology to auto-generate random 30-word sequences was available in 2000.

Actually, the generation of phrases not likely to be detected as computer generated dates back to at least 1966. Look up ELIZA in Wikipedia, a computer program by J. Weizenbaum to simulate human interaction.

 

Could be that all of you will be replaced by a computer script in about 10 years. Will make cache logs and forum discussions more effective.

 

If you already are replaced please let me the illusion and don't tell me. :)

 

My comment was meant to be sardonic, but pedantry is always nice for a bit of colour in a thread.

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Would anyone argue that this is quality?:

 

272585840251500f5606109e575664b9.jpg

 

Normally, no. But if the cache is called "Rusty, Mouldy Mess," and the terrain is a 4.5, and it requires wading through hip-deep mud, then yes, it is a quality cache.

 

Most of us would not persue a cache like the one I am describing, but there are some who thrive on it.

 

Austin

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As I've pointed out before, there are more caches because geocaching is more popular, not because people want to plant lots of caches so they can have high numbers. So numbers won, yes, but the numbers game is not the cause, it's the effect.

 

And geocaching is not just more popular among the same class of people, it's more popular to a wider range of people, so it's no longer exclusively people that are only interested in being taken to what you consider interesting places.

 

It certainly takes more work to find interesting caches now compared to when I started.

Eh. Since I find most caches interesting, it's much, much easier for me to find interesting caches than it would have been 10 years ago.

The numbers game is the effect because of the approving of immeasurable numbers of poorly placed and low quality caches just for the sake of inflating find counts. Im happy you find most caches interesting but Ill take a cache in an interesting historical location or a beautiful view any day over a pill bottle thrown in the bushes and calling it a geocache. It takes a lot more work to find what I took for granted when I first started geocaching. Edited by TahoeJoe
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Like most of the OP's complaints, Groundspeak isn't driving this, and Groundspeak actually has very little control over this. Geocachers are the ones driving it.
Groundspeak has every bit of control over this.
There will be geocaching apps for smartphones, even if Groundspeak were to discontinue their own apps and even drop support for the API. There were apps before, there would be apps even after such an action on Groundspeak's part.

 

People will hide caches with glass containers. Groundspeak can't stop them.

 

People will put inappropriate items (food, sharp items, etc.) in caches. Groundspeak can't stop them.

 

People will hide caches that others think are lame. Groundspeak can't stop them.

 

People will steal trackables. Groundspeak can't stop them.

 

And so on. Groundspeak can control their own services, but they can't control what geocachers do.

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Its not just that caching is more popular, but that certain types of caching have now defined the game. When I first started, i looked forward to new caches. The location was generally more important than caches placed for numbers. At some point, a friend emailed me a description for a new cache that was placed in a parking lot. All it stated was that there was a lack of containers in the area. My friend commented that the game was changing. So it was. Virtuals were phased out. Repetitive trails were approved. Micros became dominant even in the woods. A number of local people who had once formed the core of our community effectively left the game because they saw the writing on the wall. I followed my gpsr and ended up at a nano on a landscaping trellis on private property. I turned around and knew that the game had changed for me.

 

There were decisions that could have been made a long time ago, but the game is what it has become. The genie is out of the bottle. I no longer bother to run pocket queries for traditionals. It's easier to add caches I might want to find than filter out those that I would only find if I were desperate for another smiley. So I do not expect Groundspeak to overhaul anything. I am not sure what vision the company might have, but I know that it is not one that I share. So when the last virtual is archived and repetitive caches have filled the map, I'll find something else to do.

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I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

I think the technology to auto-generate random 30-word sequences was available in 2000.

Actually, the generation of phrases not likely to be detected as computer generated dates back to at least 1966. Look up ELIZA in Wikipedia, a computer program by J. Weizenbaum to simulate human interaction.

 

Could be that all of you will be replaced by a computer script in about 10 years. Will make cache logs and forum discussions more effective.

 

If you already are replaced please let me the illusion and don't tell me. :)

 

My comment was meant to be sardonic, but pedantry is always nice for a bit of colour in a thread.

What do you expect? I'm a computer script. I can't recognise irony or sardonicism. Yet...

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And so on. Groundspeak can control their own services, but they can't control what geocachers do.

 

To some extent I agree with this. We get what we deserve. But what we get is also dependent on the framework that Groundspeak has created. Repetitive caching changed rules regarding cache maintenance and saturation. Virtuals were left to the forces of attrition. Private property placements (whether it be in parking lots, in lamp posts, on utility poles or boxes, or at other locations) were given almost free rein. At least in my area, even when land managers (such as state parks) have set guidelines, they remain largely unenforced. Even the design of the web site and app affects how the game is perceived, how it is played, and the values associated with it. Groundspeak has made a number of choices. but as I wrote above, an overhaul is not likely to be one of them.

Edited by geodarts
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You want quality?, go and hide quality caches.

You don't like micros or nanos don't look for them.

When I started caching quality caches where hard to find, because there weren't that many, and that still the case today. All you have to do, is dig around more garbage to find the good caches.

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Caches have dates on them right? You can find all the caches placed before the date that you decided geocaching went downhill.

Caches in the city seem to bother most people, strangely, there is a nice map that will show you if a cache is in the city.

Caches in the city or along roads are generally viewable for scenery on google street view.

 

Between the three items above, all of the scenery cravers can take a few minutes pick out a few caches that they think they will like. This is not that big of a problem.

 

One feature that some might like though, would be to "follow" another member, by a few personal attributes that the member describes himself by. A member could pick a few attributes that he likes (say 20mile hikes, caves, mountain climbs, etc) and the follow function can sort for favs from people who have ascribed to those attributes. Kind of like an old indy video store where various employees had a "favourites shelf".

 

That way you can eliminate the "favs" of newbies and dweebs so to speak.

 

Seems like a minor code change. Could even possibly be done externally to the site if you were determined enough.

Edited by craigmusselman
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Would anyone argue that this is quality?:

 

272585840251500f5606109e575664b9.jpg

 

Normally, no. But if the cache is called "Rusty, Mouldy Mess," and the terrain is a 4.5, and it requires wading through hip-deep mud, then yes, it is a quality cache.

Most of us would not persue a cache like the one I am describing, but there are some who thrive on it.

 

Austin

Not that I've ever met. And if there ARE, they surely don't thrive on it because they consider it to be a quality cache. They may do it because they like to find abandoned caches in need of TLC, or lonely caches, or some other criteria, but I can assure you that "quality" is not one of them.

 

I also worked in QA for a time. Not 13 years, but long enough to know that they DO have a definition of quality, and my job was to ensure that the product lived up to that definition.

Edited by knowschad
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Its not just that caching is more popular, but that certain types of caching have now defined the game.

I would say it's the reverse: back in the beginning, certain types of caching defined the game because the game was dominated by hikers. You fell in love with those types of caching. Now it's wide open to all types of caching. The type of caches you loved are still there -- and I claim they're even more numerous than they were back then -- but there are lots of other caches that you hate simply because they aren't like that.

 

There were decisions that could have been made a long time ago, but the game is what it has become.

Yes, decisions could have been made by the people that got disgusted because they couldn't restrict geocaching.com to the caching type they liked. Instead of walking away, perhaps they should have tried to contribute a way to identify caches of the type they loved while maintaining the listings within the broader geocaching community.

 

There's really no way I can look at this and think GS didn't make good decisions, since they're clearly pleasing and entertaining a lot more people now than they were then. There's just no good reason for them to satisfy a narrow audience at the expense of the broader hobby even if we ignore any monetary motives. Sorry. The narrow audience needs to look after their own interests rather than demand GS give them priority.

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Oh, I'm pretty sure most people share a pretty similar idea of what "quality" means. The problem is that some don't care, or, at best, don't think that's what geocaching is all about.

 

Precisely, they don't care. Most humans want quantity over quality, in geocaching as in most or all other aspects of their life.

 

I've had people tell me they like geocaching because it "gets them off their couch" but then they drive around parking lots for caches. Does it actually matter that they're off their couch if they're planted in a car seat instead? They've got a slight amount of physical and mental exercise at the cost of burning up a bunch of gas and wearing on their vehicle, going meaningless places so they can raise their Find count. Maybe if they bicycled to the LPC the argument would have some merit.

 

Quality containers we should all be able to agree on: waterproof and durable. Some will prefer larger, some smaller, some indifferent.

 

Quality locations: geocaching takes me places. It doesn't have to take me down a river, up a mountain, or deep in the woods. History, artwork, unusual architecture/plants/signs, a scenic overlook, the beach, a park. Does the cache have a reason to be there other than to +1 someone's Find count? Yes then it is a quality location. Sure some folks don't care about history or wont like the artwork, but that doesn't stop the location from having meaning. There's definitely a gray area. Walmart LPC = no meaning.

 

Many folks here argue geocaching offers something for everyone; I believe it shouldn't. Geocaching should be about certain things and if you don't like those things then geocaching isn't for you. If you want to be competitive then go play a GPS game like Munzee or Ingress intended to be competitive.

 

Most of all, if you think quantity is more important than quality I strongly suggest you rethink your priorities in life.

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If I don't want to find micros or nanos, I just filter them out. If I don't want to cache in an urban area, I just don't. There are enough small, regular, and large containers that will last me for the rest of my life and that is just in South Carolina alone. But like it or not, it's those urban micros and nanos that get found far more often then a regular cache in the woods these days.

 

I don't like TFTC logs either but with smart phones being used so much now, it's cumbersome to type in a long paragraph about your experience. I do find though that good caches will often have a longer log online then a micro at Walmart.

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You want quality?, go and hide quality caches.

You don't like micros or nanos don't look for them.

When I started caching quality caches where hard to find, because there weren't that many, and that still the case today. All you have to do, is dig around more garbage to find the good caches.

 

This! ^^^^

 

I note that the person quoted started in 2002. Quality was easier to find then, but as he noted, this issue was also still there at that time, just not as overwhelming as it is now. It has gotten more challenging, but still is easy. Go old fashioned and look at the maps. Find the green park areas and caches rated above one or two stars. Take a hike and find something nice that way. I don't bother with anything these days that isn't a bit of an adventure. I prefer it that way. That is not to be a knock against the numbers crowd, to each their own, but I personally have gotten pickier and picker as time goes on.

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Many folks here argue geocaching offers something for everyone; I believe it shouldn't. Geocaching should be about certain things and if you don't like those things then geocaching isn't for you.

 

Holy elitist attitude, Batman! :rolleyes:

 

Geocaching is about the adventure for people, but that adventure is what the person thinks it is. Climbing a tall mountain for one cache or doing a nice power trail in the country can both be adventures.

 

Since you've appointed yourself the all-knowing guru of what caching is supposed to be about, do explain for the class what "certain things" caching should be about.

 

Most of all, if you think quantity is more important than quality I strongly suggest you rethink your priorities in life.

 

Most of all, if you think people should follow your narrow-minded caching ideals I strongly suggest you rethink your priorities in life.

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Imagine if there would have been a minimum of 30 unique words needed to post a log.

 

I am imagining this and I imagine it would take one of our resident computer buffs about 10 minutes to create an easy way to automatically generate unique, 30 word logs.

 

You are being pessimistic; ten minutes is too much time.

If you want the logs to be gramattically correct, maybe 15 minutes.

 

Austin

 

I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs. Ten examples:

 

* It was cold today. I was caching alone. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Really enjoyed the search. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a great day.

* It was cold today. Just me and my wife caching today. This was where I expected it. Mosquitoes were not too bad. Enjoyable hike to the cache. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a disappointing day.

* It was cold today. I was caching by myself. This took a bit of searching. The mosquiotoes were terrible. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. Only caching by my self today. This was an easy find. Lots of muggles today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was the highlight of a mediocre day.

* It was rainy today. Just me and my wife caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. I made this harder than I needed to. Had the place to myself today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

* It was cloudy today. Only caching by my self today. This took a bit of searching. Lots of muggles today. Thanks! I'm glad I came here. Cool container. I really had a lot of fun today.

* It was rainy today. I was caching alone. I made this harder than I needed to. The mosquiotoes were terrible. I don't know how I missed this last time. Another container like this. This was one of my favorite days cahcing.

* It was cloudy today. There was a group of us caching today. This took a bit of searching. Had the place to myself today. I don't know how I missed this last time. Unique container. You helped make a dull day caching better.

 

And that's exactly why I said "would have been", now it's too late, tools and statistics have taken over the game.

 

For those who enjoy "tools and statistics, " I guess the game has improved.

 

Oh, and that computer - it really needs to get out of the house more and meet more people.

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I tried this. Took 15 minutes. Generator can create up to 67,200 random logs, all at least 31 words long. Adding one phrase to each category goes up to a quarter million random logs.

Oh, and that computer - it really needs to get out of the house more and meet more people.

Unfortunately, it is out. The Python script based BLG "Bulls*** Log Generator" already exists (not by me, dunno if this thread helped giving birth):

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b6xxm7jnt6ebgv3/blg.zip?dl=0

-----

$ python3 blg.py -l en

 

Been today on tour again for some caches.

One of the caches visited was this one.

Thanks for hiding and maintaining this cache.

----

Features multi language support (option "-l"). Editing the template file gives more/other combinations.

 

We'll see...

Edited by Ben0w
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Would anyone argue that this is quality?:

 

272585840251500f5606109e575664b9.jpg

 

Normally, no. But if the cache is called "Rusty, Mouldy Mess," and the terrain is a 4.5, and it requires wading through hip-deep mud, then yes, it is a quality cache.

Most of us would not persue a cache like the one I am describing, but there are some who thrive on it.

 

Austin

Not that I've ever met. And if there ARE, they surely don't thrive on it because they consider it to be a quality cache. They may do it because they like to find abandoned caches in need of TLC, or lonely caches, or some other criteria, but I can assure you that "quality" is not one of them.

 

I also worked in QA for a time. Not 13 years, but long enough to know that they DO have a definition of quality, and my job was to ensure that the product lived up to that definition.

 

But you still refuse to define quality.

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In industrial quality management the term "quality" is defined as "measurably meet expectations". It's not easy to define expectations so they could be measured, plus cost/time issues have to be taken into account.

 

But if you expect a "rusty mess", then the shown cache meets the expectations and hence is quality, yes.

 

Every major fastfood chain for example has a harsh QA system in use and makes sure, every burger meets those well defined standards. So they have all right insisting they make "quality food".

 

Then there is the standard quality target of "ongoing improvement" and "customer satisfaction" (and how to measure this)...

 

That is true for industrial quality management systems (ISO 2000 ff.) and works more or less.

 

John Doe Cacher's feeling for general quality may vary from this (but: see customer satisfaction above - if feedback for the rusty mess is good, it obviously is quality, no?).

 

Best way is: define "caching quality" for yourself and tell in the log. Don't think "TFTC" tells enough for a bad cache, express your opinion!

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Many folks here argue geocaching offers something for everyone; I believe it shouldn't. Geocaching should be about certain things and if you don't like those things then geocaching isn't for you.

 

Holy elitist attitude, Batman! :rolleyes:

 

Geocaching is about the adventure for people, but that adventure is what the person thinks it is. Climbing a tall mountain for one cache or doing a nice power trail in the country can both be adventures.

 

Since you've appointed yourself the all-knowing guru of what caching is supposed to be about, do explain for the class what "certain things" caching should be about.

 

Most of all, if you think quantity is more important than quality I strongly suggest you rethink your priorities in life.

 

Most of all, if you think people should follow your narrow-minded caching ideals I strongly suggest you rethink your priorities in life.

 

Personally, I have no problem acknowledging that I am elitist. We are playing a game that is based on elitism and privilege. An extraordinary amount of privilege. Yet, I always find it interesting in how the term "elitism" is applied. Its always ascribed to others. I can make an argument that banning any kind of new virtuals (apart from earthcaches) is narrow minded or that calling a row of caches placed every 528 feet a "power trail" is elitist. But if it is suggested that the game be defined differently, I hear that people are being elitist. Perhaps its too easy to use those terms.

 

I agree with some of what the OP wrote and think the game would have been better off if Groundspeak had made other decisions. Some of the decisions have restricted ways I want to play the game. Some have taken the game into areas that I do not think have benefited caching. The very fact that they thought it appropriate (even for awhile) to include a default log on an intro app expressing "one more for me" showed me that the priorities they were advancing were not my own.

 

A long time ago, I was given a bit of wisdom: "Despite what they say about beggars, if you are not choosy, you end of with a lot of . . . ." I try to heed that advise, and I suppose that makes me elitist. Yes, I have an app that lets me filter the caches I want to find, and export them to whatever device I want to use. I can ignore repetitive trails, caches in areas I have no interest in visiting, and certain types of caches I have no interest in finding. And there are still some rare caches that remind me of the reasons I started to play this game. I can recognize that the game will not be overhauled to any significant degree. But I can also can think about the directions that were taken and wonder . . . .

 

So I have watched people stopping every 528 feet and wondered about priorities. Finding unique petroglyphs, ghost towns, fossils, and visiting "bucket list" areas were more important to me. I interpreted the quoted remark to be a suggestion. And I have suggested that if people choose to come to that area in order to do repetitive caching, they at least should think about other possibilities. If that makes my caching ideals narrow minded, so be it.

Edited by geodarts
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Would anyone argue that this is quality?:

 

272585840251500f5606109e575664b9.jpg

 

Normally, no. But if the cache is called "Rusty, Mouldy Mess," and the terrain is a 4.5, and it requires wading through hip-deep mud, then yes, it is a quality cache.

Most of us would not persue a cache like the one I am describing, but there are some who thrive on it.

 

Austin

Not that I've ever met. And if there ARE, they surely don't thrive on it because they consider it to be a quality cache. They may do it because they like to find abandoned caches in need of TLC, or lonely caches, or some other criteria, but I can assure you that "quality" is not one of them.

 

I also worked in QA for a time. Not 13 years, but long enough to know that they DO have a definition of quality, and my job was to ensure that the product lived up to that definition.

 

But you still refuse to define quality.

 

We all realize that quality is subjective. There are many things that come into play when we try to define it. Even so, i'd still guestimate that around 90% of people will have the same opinion when coming across an item that they think is of good or bad quality.

 

There will always be those few who think guardrail and lpcs are quality caches but i'd bet their opinion of this was not made because of the cache itself. It's more likely that it was a finder's first ever cache, or that it was easy for the person to access on a hot day, easier for them to get because they lack some mobility, or that it helped to get their smiley count up quicker. The cache may have helped with these situations but it doesn't mean that it was a quality cache.

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Quality is not all that subjective. Sure, there is some wiggle room, but not all that much.

 

Categorically untrue. If you speak of container quality, I give it to you. If you speak placement, there is a lot of wiggle room. Different strokes...

 

I am not referring to container quality. Tell me of one person that would consider, say, a LPC in a Walmart parking lot a "quality" cache.

 

My paraplegic neighbor.

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I don't like TFTC logs either but with smart phones being used so much now, it's cumbersome to type in a long paragraph about your experience.

Then don't log with your phone. Wait until you get home, just like you used to do.

Or use the "talk to text" feature that smart phones have nowadays. You can enter all the text you want like you're on a phone call while you walk back to your car. BOOM.

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Would anyone argue that this is quality?:

 

272585840251500f5606109e575664b9.jpg

 

Normally, no. But if the cache is called "Rusty, Mouldy Mess," and the terrain is a 4.5, and it requires wading through hip-deep mud, then yes, it is a quality cache.

Most of us would not persue a cache like the one I am describing, but there are some who thrive on it.

 

Austin

Not that I've ever met. And if there ARE, they surely don't thrive on it because they consider it to be a quality cache. They may do it because they like to find abandoned caches in need of TLC, or lonely caches, or some other criteria, but I can assure you that "quality" is not one of them.

 

I also worked in QA for a time. Not 13 years, but long enough to know that they DO have a definition of quality, and my job was to ensure that the product lived up to that definition.

 

But you still refuse to define quality.

 

I believe it starts at the cache.

 

Without the cache this game would be Waymarking, or mz, or a photo location-based game, or sightseeing, or hiking....but not geoCACHING.

The above example is not a quality geocaching experience no matter how you spin it, even if it happens to be at a scenic view or if for example, it has a clever puzzle which needs to be solved to find a piece of junk.

A quality cache, would include a container that when used properly protects the contents from water damage.

Then you add the layers of quality, starting with a decent location.

If you add a quality container to a garbage filled ditch, you've eliminated the overall quality experience. A lipstick-on-a-pig kind of experience.

This is not quality:

B97306294Z.120140416093651000GNE5ALVE.11.jpg

 

I think we can define quality to an extent, especially when it comes to the low end of the scale, i.e. junk vs quality.

 

People who thrive on junk caches in junk locations are not into geocaching for the quality.

 

 

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Quality is not all that subjective. Sure, there is some wiggle room, but not all that much.

 

Categorically untrue. If you speak of container quality, I give it to you. If you speak placement, there is a lot of wiggle room. Different strokes...

 

I am not referring to container quality. Tell me of one person that would consider, say, a LPC in a Walmart parking lot a "quality" cache.

 

My paraplegic neighbor.

 

Seriously? He wouldn't prefer something nice in a park or trail with a paved path?

 

When I was recovering from a broken leg and using a brace and crutches, LPCs didn't suddenly become my cache of choice. I still avoided them.

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Would anyone argue that this is quality?:

 

272585840251500f5606109e575664b9.jpg

 

Normally, no. But if the cache is called "Rusty, Mouldy Mess," and the terrain is a 4.5, and it requires wading through hip-deep mud, then yes, it is a quality cache.

Most of us would not persue a cache like the one I am describing, but there are some who thrive on it.

 

Austin

Not that I've ever met. And if there ARE, they surely don't thrive on it because they consider it to be a quality cache. They may do it because they like to find abandoned caches in need of TLC, or lonely caches, or some other criteria, but I can assure you that "quality" is not one of them.

 

I also worked in QA for a time. Not 13 years, but long enough to know that they DO have a definition of quality, and my job was to ensure that the product lived up to that definition.

 

But you still refuse to define quality.

 

Are you a consumer? Do you consider quality when making buying decisions when purchasing a product? If you've ever bought clothing, do you base your decision on a universal definition of quality for pants, shirts, or shoes? I'm guessing not, since I've never seen one, but that doesn't mean that billions of people can't making purchasing decisions based on the quality of a product, and I suspect that if one was giving $400 to spend on shows, most would just buy as many pairs as possible in their size.

 

IMHO, it doesn't matter if every individual has a different interpretation of a quality cache. As far I know, nobody has asked every geocacher to provide a quality rating for every cache, but even though my definition might be different than yours, once you put all the definitions together it think it would be pretty easy to tell what characteristics a cache might have to be deem to be generally higher quality that a cache which was deemed to be low quality.

 

 

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I also worked in QA for a time. Not 13 years, but long enough to know that they DO have a definition of quality, and my job was to ensure that the product lived up to that definition.

 

But you still refuse to define quality.

 

Oh, good grief! OK, here you go... from Wikipedia:

 

Quality in business, engineering and manufacturing has a pragmatic interpretation as the non-inferiority or superiority of something; it is also defined as fitness for purpose. Quality is a perceptual, conditional, and somewhat subjective attribute and may be understood differently by different people.

 

I remind you that this is a discussion forum, not a debate forum. I dislike this sort of nit-picking discussion. My whole point is that we (the majority of people) agree within pretty close parameters what the word, "quality" means, and we don't need a nit-picking definition of it, just as we (the majority of people) pretty much agree on what "blue" looks like. Even though we may all be thinking of a somewhat different shade, we don't confuse it with red or yellow or green. Anything more is simply being argumentative for the sake of arguing.

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