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My respect for GC.com has finally fallen to the same level as theirs for me as a hider. A sad day.


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They formulated a generic message to send, instead of having many to choose from. And the reviewers messages state "may be" "it may need attention".

 

The reviewers do not have clairvoyancy enough to know a NM log means I was within one hundred feet and did not see anything so it must be gone.

 

Yes, it would be nice if a l DNF log was made with a story about the search. I try to do that. 

 

Don't let it get you down.

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2 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

They formulated a generic message to send, instead of having many to choose from.

Then the generic message should be truly generic, and include some text explaining what the CO should do in the case of a false positive, to let the system know that the algorithm screwed up and that all is well with the cache.

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4 hours ago, Jayeffel said:

Yes, it would be nice if a l DNF log was made with a story about the search. I try to do that. 

 

I did that once and got yelled at by the CO. They said there was to much information to help people eliminate search areas. 

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I've gotten a couple or three of these nudges come in from Groundspeak over the years but never had one that got me upset. Have never had one I'd consider a nastygram. 

 

For me, it all depends on the cache it comes in on as to whether I think I need to take action soon or put on the back burner. A difficult cache that I believe is probably still in place get's assigned to the latter category where, who knows, it might be found by the very next geocacher.

 

To be honest, I'm very forgetful so these kinds of reminders are sometimes helpful.

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7 hours ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

I'm unsure why getting the message from GCHQ would be "dreaded", you just deal with it.  Which you did.  Now potential finders know why any DNFs were inaccurate and they'll feel better looking for the cache. 

 

Why were those DNFs inaccurate? A DNF doesn't mean "the cache is missing", it means someone was trying to find it but didn't succeed. These are a couple of recent DNFs I've had on my caches:

 

image.png.5f13d9a53b591b7b485f681ce8d5fc9e.png

There's nothing inaccurate about those, they describe in good detail what the cacher experienced. Neither implies in any way that the cache is missing nor requires any follow-up from the CO, but the CHS doesn't know that, it just sees them as DNF logs and bumps down the cache's health score. Enough bumps like that and eventually the email is sent.

 

Saying "just deal with it" is fine if the cache is one you can easily just pop out and check on. One of my friends has a cache he walks past on his way to work every day so "dealing with it" would be trivial should it get a CHS ping. But that's not always the case, there are some caches that are quite hard for the CO to just go and check on, and Murphy's Law says those are the ones most likely to be pinged. The ping I had back in 2016 was like that, it was on a T5 water-access cache and came at the height of the summer holidays when the normally quiet waterway was packed with water skiers and jet skis. I'm in a similar situation now, with the extreme wet weather over the last couple of months (and more to come over the next few months) meaning I can't safely get to about a quarter of my caches. If one of those were to get a CHS ping, well, I just hope they don't.

 

The email gives the CO three options: go out and fix it right away, disable the cache until you can (which then starts the disabled cache timer and the reviewer's countdown to archival) or archive it. None of those are good options if the cache is inaccessible to the CO for any length of time, especially if the DNFs that triggered it were like those "inaccurate" ones above and you know the cache is almost certainly fine.

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12 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

My complaint, as ever, is with geocaching.com, which appears to value hiders less and less every year. I am hopeful that posting this maintenance note will turn their maleficent gaze elsewhere.

Be glad that this year they are especially friendly Yearofthehide

/ irony off 

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20 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

But that's not always the case, there are some caches that are quite hard for the CO to just go and check on

If one of my remote caches receives a dubious DNF I write to the author. If I don't get any feedback within a week or the feedback shows, that the search was not done at the right place, then I know what I'm doing: Strange algorithms are sometimes answered by me with equally strange reactions...;)

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13 minutes ago, Johannis10 said:

Be glad that this year they are especially friendly Yearofthehide

/ irony off 

 

But isn't the Year of the Hide all about archiving caches?

 

Quote

We realize it’s not always easy to decide if a cache has reached the end of its lifespan. For instance, many caches from the early 2000s are going strong (and provide fun opportunities to complete the Jasmer Challenge). Just because a cache is older or rarely found doesn’t necessarily mean it should be archived. But there might be one you own that most local geocachers have already found and the location is not frequented by tourists. It could be time to archive it and free up the area, or you might consider creating a new and improved cache!

 

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

inaccurate

 

LOL you wrote a whole dissertation on the use of my word "inaccurate".  Sorry for my poor word choice; what I meant was, the cache was actually there and people couldn't find it.  Next time I'll choose my words better.  :laughing:

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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The email gives the CO three options: go out and fix it right away, disable the cache until you can (which then starts the disabled cache timer and the reviewer's countdown to archival) or archive it. None of those are good options if the cache is inaccessible to the CO for any length of time, especially if the DNFs that triggered it were like those "inaccurate" ones above and you know the cache is almost certainly fine.

 

Then post a log explaining the situation. It's often that simple.

 

If the location is confusing seekers and causing "inaccurate" DNFs maybe the D/T rating is too low.

 

There are some COs who practically need to be on the receiving end of a cattle prod before they will check on their hides.

 

COs who under-ratie their hides and ignore DNFs and NMs makes things difficult for the responsible COs with difficult hides.

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3 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

Then post a log explaining the situation. It's often that simple.

 

If the location is confusing seekers and causing "inaccurate" DNFs maybe the D/T rating is too low.

 

There are some COs who practically need to be on the receiving end of a cattle prod before they will check on their hides.

 

COs who under-ratie their hides and ignore DNFs and NMs makes things difficult for the responsible COs with difficult hides.

 

Apparently your respect for other hiders matches that of HQ quite closely.

 

The CHS was not the main issue here.  It was the last straw, the culmination of a theme: the company treats those who hide caches with an attitude of condescension bordering on contempt.

 

I have been surprised to discover that the whole "year of the hide" thing happening this year has only reinforced that perception.  I had hoped it would be otherwise.

 

But clearly the messaging has been effective, given that you seem to endorse it wholeheartedly.

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14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The email gives the CO three options: go out and fix it right away, disable the cache until you can (which then starts the disabled cache timer and the reviewer's countdown to archival) or archive it. None of those are good options if the cache is inaccessible to the CO for any length of time, especially if the DNFs that triggered it were like those "inaccurate" ones above and you know the cache is almost certainly fine.

 

Then it's a good thing that the email can't archive caches by itself. That decision is in the hands of human* reviewers, who sometimes just need a note of explanation.**

 

"Post a reviewer note" is potentially something Groundspeak could consider adding to the email. But the email is a prompt for action, aimed at inexperienced who are not acting on their caches. Like many things that experienced cachers repeatedly complain about on the forums, it is not aimed at experienced cachers, who know the difference between a good hide and a hole in the ground. And yet, here we are, again.

 

*Some reviewers are dogs.

 

**Sometimes a dog treat will also work.

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4 minutes ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

"Post a reviewer note" is potentially something Groundspeak could consider adding to the email.

 

I thought a CO could only post a Reviewer Note log prior to publication. It's certainly not an option on any of my published hides:

 

image.png.580129368711c72a909b7330f060c3f1.png

 

25 minutes ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

But the email is a prompt for action, aimed at inexperienced who are not acting on their caches. Like many things that experienced cachers repeatedly complain about on the forums, it is not aimed at experienced cachers, who know the difference between a good hide and a hole in the ground. And yet, here we are, again.

 

But experienced cachers are still required to respond to the email and the reviewers here come down pretty hard on any that don't, regardless of experience. I've seen a reviewer disable a CHS-pinged cache just days after its very experienced owner had posted a WN saying he was pretty sure the cache was fine in spite of the recent DNFs and would check when next in the area in a few weeks (and the cache was fine when he checked). I've also seen a reviewer archive a disabled cache for non-communication just days after another experienced CO had posted a note saying access to the area the cache was in was still closed. It seems posting a WN doesn't cut it, yet we're constantly told NOT to post an OM until we have physically visited the cache and carried out the repairs.

 

So what is the CORRECT response to a CHS ping when you can't reasonably do any of the things the email says you should do?

 

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4 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Apparently your respect for other hiders matches that of HQ quite closely.

 

The CHS was not the main issue here.  It was the last straw, the culmination of a theme: the company treats those who hide caches with an attitude of condescension bordering on contempt.

 

I have been surprised to discover that the whole "year of the hide" thing happening this year has only reinforced that perception.  I had hoped it would be otherwise.

 

But clearly the messaging has been effective, given that you seem to endorse it wholeheartedly.

 

I use GSAK. Every month or so when I update my database I do a search for caches with the last two logs as DNFs. I move 99% of those into a seperate database where they wait to be Found/replaced and returned to my main database, or Archived. The majority never return.

 

As a CO, I am by no means quickly to get to GZ and check on potential issues. However, I am prompt about Disabling a geocache when I think it's missing and I have always responded to Reviewer Notes within the allotted month.

 

Groundspeak wants all active geocache listings to be physically present too. I endorse that goal too.

 

A relatively small company with volunteer reviewers uses automated notification of potential problems, with boilerplate text, because there are millions of geocaches. That's not disrespectful; it's practical.

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18 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

But experienced cachers are still required to respond to the email and the reviewers here come down pretty hard on any that don't, regardless of experience. I've seen a reviewer disable a CHS-pinged cache just days after its very experienced owner had posted a WN saying he was pretty sure the cache was fine in spite of the recent DNFs and would check when next in the area in a few weeks (and the cache was fine when he checked). I've also seen a reviewer archive a disabled cache for non-communication just days after another experienced CO had posted a note saying access to the area the cache was in was still closed. It seems posting a WN doesn't cut it, yet we're constantly told NOT to post an OM until we have physically visited the cache and carried out the repairs.

 

Reviewers are human and sometimes make mistakes? Shocking!

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

But experienced cachers are still required to respond to the email and the reviewers here come down pretty hard on any that don't, regardless of experience.

 

Hm. Reviewers being reviewers. Not all reviewers are the same. Not the CHS.

How many times have we been through this whole "CHS" thing?

Why are "experienced cachers" "required" to respond to the email?  That's new.  We know that caches that have been pinged by the algorithm are flagged for reviewers (or rather, if they're below the score threshold, to be specific, as far as I know, on top of numerous other factors available to reviewers' judgmental scans). That's it. The reviewer is the one that acts after that. That's it. That's all. If your reviewers are strict on caches with low score - talk to them.

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On 4/4/2022 at 2:13 AM, fizzymagic said:

My log:

Can I ever relate.

 

           Early on I had been in receipt of the " nastygrams" and I really got bent out of shape.  My perception was, and continues to be,  that the VAST MAJORITY of the misguided missives rely too heavily on logs from brand new, very green cachers.  

           Why on earth the cache health algorithm relies so heavily on the relative inexperience of "newbies" is beyond my comprehension.  

 

I remember a time when searching, coming up short and posting a DNF on a difficult cache was almost a badge of honor / honour ... now it raises ill feelings, will likely raise eyebrows and eventually cause the Kraken to rise from the deep and begin the "Nastygram Process".  

 

 

In response to my angst I have started a personal sub-game.

 

          I call it "NEWBIE DNF-ING":

 

                   I dedicate time and resources to solely searching for DNF-ed caches by that  certain segment of searchers. Many of whom post snarky, inane logs.   "The cache could not be found, it is not here, the cache needs archived".   

 

                 Daaaaaang ... I got through the above without calling them unflattering names nor did I suggest that they need to stop getting their world view through their umbilicus.

 

O.K., O.K. ... back to topic GEO-HUGGGGGZZZZZZZ to all.

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13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Then post a log explaining the situation. It's often that simple.

Is that true? I'd kinda feel like I was calling the reviewer a liar if i pointed out the 3 dnfs that led to him posting a note on my cache were obviously insignificant.

 

13 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

There are some COs who practically need to be on the receiving end of a cattle prod before they will check on their hides.

I would say that it's precisely fizzymagic's point that GS is treating all COs as if they were in this class.

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10 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Is that true? I'd kinda feel like I was calling the reviewer a liar if i pointed out the 3 dnfs that led to him posting a note on my cache were obviously insignificant.

 

I believe the note posted comes from GCHQ, not the reviewer, generated based on the CHS algorithm.  The reviewer then takes local jurisdiction on the matter.  

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10 hours ago, baer2006 said:

The cache was not archived by "the GC algorithm". It was archived because the CO didn't react

Several things have come together here.
- No "great" unreflectively applied algorithm => no archiving
- no strange DNF's  => no archiving
and I agree: an active owner => no archiving
In my opinion, it is a pity that some caches, which block space for hopefully better new caches and are in poor condition, are "kept alive" for years with photo logs and other completely intact ones, like this one, which are unlikely to be published again, go into the archive.

 

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6 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Why are "experienced cachers" "required" to respond to the email?  That's new.  We know that caches that have been pinged by the algorithm are flagged for reviewers (or rather, if they're below the score threshold, to be specific, as far as I know, on top of numerous other factors available to reviewers' judgmental scans). That's it. The reviewer is the one that acts after that. That's it. That's all. If your reviewers are strict on caches with low score - talk to them.

 

Not particularly new. Back in 2018 at the Meet the Reviewers session at a local mega, they said that if a CO doesn't respond to the CHS email and the cache continues to show a low health score, they'll consider it abandoned and start the TD/Archival process. They stressed that, regardless of whether it's a false positive, the CO must still respond. Perhaps it's different in other parts of the world, I don't know.

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That has nothing to do with "experienced cachers", and, just as I said - it's the reviewers making the call. NOT the CHS.

Round and round we go... how many other threads are there talking about this? :mmraspberry:

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22 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Round and round we go... how many other threads are there talking about this?

The answer my friend
Is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind

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25 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

That has nothing to do with "experienced cachers"

 

Hey, it wasn't me who brought up the "experienced cachers" thing. GeoawareUSA9 said that the CHS is not aimed at experienced cachers who "who know the difference between a good hide and a hole in the ground", but from what I've seen, experienced cachers get caught in its web just as much as inexperienced ones.

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Except for the Help Center reference, this is a typical Reviewer note I've seen on a CHS pinged geocache, after nothing has changed the health score:

 

Geocaching HQ uses a calculation called Health Score which rates caches to identify those that might need attention from the cache owner. Emails are sent by Geocaching HQ to the cache owners of low scoring caches to encourage them to check on their caches. To learn more about the Health Score and what can affect your cache's Health Score, I recommend that you read this Help Center article (link).

Based upon its Health Score, this cache has been flagged by Geocaching HQ as one that may need attention. You should have received an email about this some time ago.

I see no evidence that you have done anything in response to this email. Therefore, I am temporarily disabling this cache until you, the owner, can check on its status. After checking the cache and doing any necessary maintenance, you can click on the “enable listing” button on the top of the cache page to reactivate it. You do not have to contact me to do it for you.Also, please post an Owner Maintenance log after you have checked on your cache.

If your cache is actually there, you might consider raising the Difficulty rating on it, as it may be much harder to find than the Difficulty rating shown on your cache page.

Please be aware that if you do not take action to address the issue with your cache within 30 days of the date of this log, or at least post a note to your cache page that you intend to do so, it will be archived at the direction of Geocaching HQ.

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

That has nothing to do with "experienced cachers", and, just as I said - it's the reviewers making the call. NOT the CHS.

Round and round we go... how many other threads are there talking about this? :mmraspberry:

 

Sorry, but the CHS forces the reviewer to "make the call" and reviewers are required to address the CHS nastygrams.  So the distinction is one without a difference.

 

But, more substantively, the CHS is only one small part of my overall disgust.  Other factors, all of which indicate contempt for hiders,  include:

  • Different review standards for "regular" hiders and powertrail/geoart hiders.
  • Condescending blog posts apparently intended for 8-year olds
  • Challenge cache rules interpreted in maximally-constrained way
  • New reviewers unfamiliar with (and unwilling to learn) the local geocaching culture
  • Complete refusal to address long-standing website and app bugs (i.e. broken map searches)
  • Introduction of new "features" that make site navigation and usage unpleasant and break existing caches (e.g. image transcoding)
  • Wildly inconsistent standards for puzzle caches (did you know that you are no longer allowed to use your own checker for your own cache?)

The list could go on, but you get the general drift.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Except for the Help Center reference, this is a typical Reviewer note I've seen on a CHS pinged geocache, after nothing has changed the health score

Yes, that's a reviewer note, from a reviewer. The sentences about "at the direction of" are from the reviewer. I know for a fact that an unaddressed cache that has received a ping but not addressed is not immediately and intentionally and universally archived after 30 days. It's a fact that reviewers take the action after making a judgment, not the CHS, not HQ.

 

And the linked help center article does not indicate that a cache WILL be archived if its health score is not addressed within 30 days:

==========

Support for cache owners

If the Health Score of a cache drops below a certain point, an automatic email is sent to the cache owner. These emails alert owners that they might need to check on their cache. Here are a few options for cache owners

...

Role of community volunteer reviewer

If the score of a cache does not change after the email is sent, a community volunteer might follow up with with further recommendations if it appears the geocache continues to need maintenance.

Answer your reviewer with a “Write Note” on the cache page and let them know when you will do maintenance.

 

==========

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6 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

Sorry, but the CHS forces the reviewer to "make the call" and reviewers are required to address the CHS nastygrams.

 

Nope, "make the call" means read the listing, check the cause of the low score, and decide what to do, if anything. "The call" might be do nothing, because it's clear there isn't a problem with the cache. The reviewer might contact the CO and suggest doing something to reset the score, but primarily recommend checking the cache. The CHS does not archive a cache after 30 days of no score change.   A reviewer will assess the reason for low score and decide how to address it.

 

oi.

 

ETA: I can't address your other beefs. Not relevant to the point I'm making, and you're free to have opinions ;P

Edited by thebruce0
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7 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Nope, "make the call" means read the listing, check the cause of the low score, and decide what to do, if anything. "The call" might be do nothing, because it's clear there isn't a problem with the cache. The reviewer might contact the CO and suggest doing something to reset the score, but primarily recommend checking the cache. The CHS does not archive a cache after 30 days of no score change.   A reviewer will assess the reason for low score and decide how to address it.

 

oi.

 

Right.  If the CHS does not change the reviewer is required to review the cache and decide on further action.  Your post says exactly that:  "A reviewer will assess the reason for low score and decide how to address it."  That's why I addressed the CHS nastygram immediately; I don't want to cause my reviewers more work.

 

That was my point: the reviewer is required to deal with an unaddressed CHS.  I am sorry that I was unclear that the reviewer has the option to not immediately engage the owner.  In practice, reviewers automatically post notes to the pages, though, so yours is a distinction that makes not practical difference.

Edited by fizzymagic
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8 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

That was my point: thew reviewer is required to deal with an unaddressed CHS.

 

-- Which may include doing nothing, but of course they may choose to recommend that you do something.  And as I said above, if you choose not to do anything - because you are certain there is nothing wrong with the cache and it does not require attention - and the reviewer can see that that is the case - then nothing will be done.

 

You know why the reviewer will probably contact the CO in most any case?  Because they get nagged by low scoring caches in their dashboard. All of this demonstrates that the CHS does not archive caches. Especially not merely after 30 days of no change!  Reviewers choose how to address the situation, and we know that reviewers are dogs. But if they choose not to for whatever reason, they let the little flag sit there, taunting them.  That's all it is. That's all that happens. That's what I've gleaned from chatting with some reviewers, and from aaaallll the threads that have talked about this.  I won't call it a "nastygram", because it's not. It's a nudge, with tips, that you can interpret, and that we know doesn't go farther than that, itself. You can choose how to address it - or not, if you are 100% absolutely certain there is no problem, and the reviewer(s) also believe there to be no problem, and they are willing to endure seeing that little flag on their end sitting next to your cache listing.

 

  

8 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

That's why I addressed the CHS nastygram immediately; I don't want to cause my reviewers more work.

 

And that's another great reason to address a low score. Because you care about your reviewer :P

Edited by thebruce0
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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

 All of this demonstrates that the CHS does not archive caches.

 

Who said it did?  Not I.  I have no idea why you brought that into the conversation.

 

My claim is that the CHS nastygram, as written, reads as thinly veiled contempt.  All the other factors I cited support the hypothesis that this interpretation is likely, or at least plausible.

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It was brought in to the conversation by Johannis and baer, mentioned by geoawareUSA9, and then my first comment in response to jeff.

 

15 hours ago, baer2006 said:
On 4/4/2022 at 4:21 PM, Johannis10 said:

 

https://coord.info/GC123EA

This beautiful climbing cache also fell victim to the "great" GC algorithm. Of the last 6 DNF loggers at least 4 were certainly not where the Cache is hidden, according to the spoiler image and the photo gallery. The remaining two were most likely not there either. Sad...

Good example ... of a CO who doesn't care!

 

The cache was not archived by "the GC algorithm". It was archived because the CO didn't react at all after the TD by the reviewer!

 

14 hours ago, geoawareUSA9 said:

Then it's a good thing that the email can't archive caches by itself. That decision is in the hands of human* reviewers, who sometimes just need a note of explanation.

 

---

 

5 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

My claim is that the CHS nastygram, as written, reads as thinly veiled contempt. 

 

And I dispute that claim, because it's your opinion - which is okay to have, because you feel like that's how it sounds to you. But it's objectively not.

 

6 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

All the other factors I cited support the hypothesis that this interpretation is likely, or at least plausible.

 

At best, based on your opinion of the matter.

I personally find it ludicrous that the CHS email actually shows "contempt" for cache owners. As your commander in chief often said, "c'mon man"

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