+shellbadger Posted March 9, 2021 Share Posted March 9, 2021 I have finally accepted that the fate of my bugs is completely in the hands of others. All I can do is prepare my trackables as though they must last for years of handling by many cachers. It is a task undertaken with the certain knowledge that half the bugs won’t survive even one year, won't survive handling by as many as six cachers, and that 10-13% will disappear after each release (see here). That said, I also know a handful of my trackables are 10+ years old and others have been moved by 60+ cachers. Thus, except for that first year, when I still believed all my bugs had a future, I have never known how many of them are active at any one time. So, I thought I would try to obtain an estimate at the end of 2020. I defined a trackable in circulation as one having at least one retrieval, visit, or drop log during the calendar year 2020. I reject discovery logs as untrustworthy. I started with the Owned Trackables link on my Dashboard at Geocaching.com, I sorted the list with the Last Log function, the oldest logs at the end. I then pasted part of each line of the list into a spreadsheet. After removing duplicates, the final tally came to 1,421 trackables which is 33.6 percent of all trackables (4,229) released in the years 2010 through 2020. This is a number much greater than I would have guessed, but the total includes the 435 trackables released in 2020. The table below is an accounting of trackables released in years past, but have survived long enough to yield at least one log in 2020. The first column is the year of release, the second column is the total number of bugs released in that year. The row across the bottom shows the sums of the columns above. Read the table as follows. For the year 2010, a total of 240 trackables were released. Of these, 16 had survived to have at least one log in 2020. The 16 value is 6.7% of all the trackables released in 2010, and 0.4% of all trackables released 2010 through 2020. Skipping up to the year 2020, there were 435 releases and 435 logs, including the logs for my releases, mostly into my own containers. The 435 releases in 2020 were 10.3% of all trackables released 2010 through 2020. From the bottom row we learn that the 1421 bugs logged were 33.6% of the 4229 total bugs released before 31-Dec-20. It is hardly surprising that the trend in the percentages of surviving trackables decreases toward the past…with age comes more encounters with cachers and caches, each of which presents new sets of risks. However, there seems to be an attenuation, or leveling off, of the rate of loss in the oldest trackables. If the rate of decline was the same throughout, the line would eventually reach the zero baseline. This attenuation suggests some trackables are persisting better than others, a circumstance that requires me to start a formal investigation of my oldest bugs. I already know why they are persisting, but I have to prove it to the satisfaction of others. This post is an excerpt of a larger project. The full text, including background and more about the methods are here. 1 1 1 Quote Link to comment
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