"footprintswalks" <>
Sent: 5/30/2001 2:18:45 PM

Re: [gpsstash] Censorship, Criticism, and Open Discussion (Was: The Death...)


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Footprints of Sussex
----- Original Message -----
From: Neil R. Ormos
To: GPSstach List ; Geocaching List

Sent: Wednesday, May 30, 2001 6:34 PM
Subject: [gpsstash] Censorship, Criticism, and Open Discussion (Was: The

> Edward Hofman recently posted what IMO was a reasonable,
> thoughtful, and apropos piece on certain risks to the
> survival of the Geocaching hobby occasioned by centralized
> control of the web site and its related
> mailing list.
> Ed writes:
> > I am sorry to report in the future the death of
> > Geocaching.
> Ed goes on to note several specific risks or issues
> associated with single-source, central control of the
> primary resources used by participants in the hobby, which I
> liberally paraphrase here (apologies to Ed if I've got it
> wrong):
> (1) reliance on a single source may result in a temporary or
> permanent interruption in access to the
> website;
> (2) if the website adminitrator chooses to close the site or
> deny access, even the coordinate data supplied by others may
> be unavailable due to access or alleged copyright
> restrictions;
> (3) the website administrator has usurped existing resources
> developed by others relating to the hobby by creating
> duplicate functionality (e.g., new geocaching list, Ed
> Hall's (Buxley's) maps); and
> (4) the website administrator has sought to restrict use by
> others of data from the website in order to
> create a separate non-commercial website that provided maps
> of cache locations when such maps were not available on the
> site.
> These seem to me to be reasonable issues for discussion,
> expressed without rancor or personal attack, and Ed
> explicitly recognized the hard work contributed by the
> website administrator.
> Sure enough, out comes the flamethower:
> Brett Smith writes:
> > Your style of comments are the only reason Geocaching
> > might die. Why dont you all try being alittle more
> > supportive to the situation.
> > things are getting out of
> > hand a bit.
> Mr. Smith then proceeds to denigrate another participant on
> this list by insinuating (incorrectly, it turns out) that
> the software used by that participant to provide cache
> location maps might not be appropriately licensed.
> I urge people to understand that these mailing lists are
> intended for discussions. Discussion is sometimes
> controversial. You will not agree with everything posted by
> other participants. However, to the extent participants are
> treating each other with courtesy and respect, it is not
> necessary to attempt to censor their comments simply because
> you don't agree with them. Learn to use your delete key.
> Moreover, Mr. Smith's comment above is not the first to
> launch an unwarranted attack on a participant in a kneejerk
> reaction to polite criticism of the web site
> or its administrator. Although I am second to none in my
> admiration of the website, there are many
> ways in which it, and the hobby, may be improved. And with
> all due respect to the website administrator, I don't always
> agree with his policies and positions.
> Frank, open, discussion of these issues is the primary
> driver of improvement in the hobby. List members should
> feel free to participate without risking flames and
> character assasination by others.
> The gpsstash page
> The GPS Stash Hunt page.
> GeoCache HQ
> GPS Stash Hunt FAQ :
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