The Consequence of a Liberal Society

Years ago I used to clip quotations, cartoons, and other pithy comments and display them on a bulletin board in my bedroom. I recall scratching down a quotation from The Paper Chase television show (I think) in which a secretary stated:

The consequence of a liberal society is saying “Yes” to everything.

I was reminded of that today after reading these two posts (quote 1, quote 2) in the GC.com fora that discusses the ethics of the cache run at Geowoodstock IV.

While it is easy to categorize the opposing argument from one as “fundamentalist”, “extreme”, etc., it appears to me this is exactly what is going on with geocaching these days. All attempts to draw the proverbial line as to what is acceptable are challenged vociferously. It appears we are at the point as a community where all “standards” as to what is acceptable have gone out the window.

Back before I knew anyone in this game, a new cacher (who has gone on to become a prominent player in this area) e-mailed me to explain I could boost my find count by logging locationless caches. He further elicited that he thought it was neat that they added to the count.

At the first event I attended more than three years ago, going with the flow meant that our group split up and logged two caches with everyone’s name in both logs. FRS radios were used to get spellings correct. This bothered me to no end (mind you, I did not speak up at the time) that I later drove the 90 minutes to find the other cache to enter my log myself.

Caching with others opened my eyes to lots of questionable finds. Once, someone I was with sat in the car as I sought the cache. He claimed the find online nonetheless.

Another time a virt was logged that was never visited. Yes, we drove by the road sign. Yes, I have a blury photograph of the road sign. But we never stopped, we never read the sign, we just kept going. Needless to say, that too was logged online as a find.

Reading logs of locals who replace caches for the owner and then claim a find is commonplace.

It wasn’t long before locals were exchanging waypoint numbers of caches that could be logged from home.

It was during this time that I dropped out of the race. We had moved significantly from what I was comfortable with. And no, this was not the reason why I bowed out, but to disregard that this contributed to my removal from the community is revisionistic.

Since then the extremes have become even more so. The community is definitely saying Yes to everything. What will the result of that be?

Also blogged on this date . . .

8 thoughts on “The Consequence of a Liberal Society”

  1. Stats are evil; they encourage greed. None the less, it is as natural for people to keep records as it is to scrutinize them. Frankly, I find all the flap about numbers amusing, in the same distorted way I enjoy reading the news daily.

    The game was designed as a free for all and it is living up to the predictions of Dave Ulmer himself. I just blogged today, I will go on playing the game my way, picking up as much trash as feasible. And I will not be surprised or upset at the behavior of others who choose to play the game differently. And I will enjoy myself.

    I am hosting an event next month, specifically designed to introduce newbies to geocaching. It is in conjunction with a public geocaching seminar sponsored by my local library. My guest of honor at the seminar will be TheAlabamaRambler, the captain of the team claiming the controversial record.

  2. I don’t think stats are evil. I think the smiley count, however, is highly flawed.

    That said, I am pretty much of the feeling one does what one does. As one who rarely even signs the logbook when he finds a cache, I guess I pretty much have to be in that camp.

    But there are standards. I do not claim to have found any number of caches. Whether I found one or 3,617 isn’t a concern for anyone. But for those who do say I found 312 in 24 hours or 15,000+, they open themselves up to scrutiny. Either have thick skin or be beyond reproach. Where do you think TAR fits in?

  3. I think TAR has thick skin. He made a mistake in judgment. He admitted it. He didn’t get out of the car, he didn’t log any of the caches himself. He publicly stated that he was the team captain. He declined to accept credit for the accomplishment.

    Unfortunately, the whole record scandal is moot. Not worth a hoot. That includes Lep and Carleen’s record and any others who have laid claim to any kind of geocaching record of accomplishment. There is no sanctioning body; and there is no doubt that a bigger statistic was claimed, even defined in advance by their own set of rules.

    I’ve said before that the whole record thing moot; it’s a real dead horse. The fact that so many people are seriously concerned about it’s validity is laughable.

  4. As an afterthought, if I was the president of the sanctioning body for geocaching record accomplishments, I would strongly advise that all teams use the same rules I do. That would require every person in the caching party to actually find the cache, without any assistance from teammates who may have already discovered its location. That’s the way we cache. 🙂

  5. And he was fired for his actions. Just in case anyone thought that the volunteer reviewer thing is an altruistic service.

    I do not recall TAR declining taking credit for the accomplishment.

    You will be waiting a mighty long time to hear a retraction from me!
    . . .

    I claim to be a member, then, of the world record number of caches found in 24 hours team.
    . . .

    Whether you like the rules we concocted or not is pretty much irrelevant to me

    Those are not the words of an apologetic man.

    I am torn on this issue, as I suspect a lot of folks are. Spending a day finding hundreds of lame micros to claim a record is not something I am interested in ever accomplishing. Yet, for those who do it, it should at least be done with some “standards”. No one can defend signing a container as normal practice.

    TAR should have known better than to construct the run the way he did. But even more so, he should not have tried to excuse what was done. He is paying for that. Had he just come out and accepted that they screwed up and not claimed a record (no matter how frivolous such a record is), he would still be reviewing, still be respected as a cacher, and not being beaten up over it.

  6. The fact that TAR was fired as a Groundspeak reviewer says very little about that company’s ideals, standards or accuracy (after all, Groundspeak effectively and wrongly fired/banned me from their forum); there is a plethora of other Groundspeak lackeys that have consistently broken, bent and ignored the policies and guidelines presented on that website.

    A couple of cursory observations: Crow T. Robot, a Groundspeak reviewer logged GW4 with the questionable comment, “I was there in spirit, anyway.” Does this mean he wasn’t really there but chose to collect the mega-event icon anyway? http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=69342d2a-0f3c-4239-af6e-439d0c048975

    And what about Keystone, the smart mouthed moderator who can do no wrong? Most recently, he is playing the rude and tormenting game (absolutely publicly attacking and chastising) known as CRR, mocking the DRR team by defacing avatars. Granted, he is participating using his *other account,* The Leprechauns. Interesting though, that his sock account also has the Moderator button displayed right below his avatar. TAR made a mistake and admitted it. Do you think Lep will? Do you think Lep will be fired, or even disciplined?

    TAR stated, “I personally will not log any of these caches as an attempt to accept responsibility for this unfortunate mistake – Anyone that wants to deny the legitimacy of my claim to the title is welcome to do so, but to deny it to them (the rest of the team) is grossly unfair.” http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?act=ST&f=6&t=133696&hl=&view=findpost&p=2242865

    I agree with you that massing smilies to claim any kind of a record is not something that interests me. In fact, this concept is so unattractive to me that I don’t care who claims what record, or how they achieved it. And I suspect that TAR will remain a respected cacher in spite of it all.

  7. You were not an employee of the frog. You were banned from their fora. TAR was fired from their employ. Big difference. But even so, it just highlights that TAR’s actions were serious enough to catch the frog’s attention.

    Do you think Lep will?

    No, I do not think O’Connell will apologize. But I also do not ascribe to one gets away with it so they all should mentality.

    That TAR offered to not log the finds is as hollow as Jack-o-latern. TAR is notoriously behind in logging finds. I believe he is on record as having said there are many he will never log. He offered not to log them, not to not claim them. There’s a difference.

    And I suspect that TAR will remain a respected cacher in spite of it all.

    Not by everyone . . .

  8. Just a quick follow-up . . .

    TAR stated today:

    if I as part of a group saw the cache at the cache site, even in someone else’s hands, I would log it (if I logged caches anymore).

    That kind of makes his offer to not log the questionable caches in the “record run” hollow, don’t you think?

    He further stated:

    Once I KNOW someone lied about a log, that’s different – but I seriously doubt you can prove CCC ever has.

    Unfortunately, as nice as Lynn is, yes, I can prove that she has lied about a cache find.

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