Friday, 2 November 2012

The Great Conspiracy: What "They" Do not want You to Know...

In the post above I mentioned attempts by the coiney milieu to dismiss arguments that we should challenge assumptions going back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries about what is called "ancient art". From the ACCG stable, we read a notable example on the Moneta-L forum, discussing something Professor David Gill wrote:
While the anti-collecting lobby has been diminishing greatly over the last year or so, real damage has been done and we can see that it has been used (though the MoU's with various countries) to create quid pro quos, the details of which are protected under U.S. State secrecy laws. Occam's razor, applied to the people and countries involved, would suggest that the reciprocity might well be to do with GMO's - something that carries great public concern. However, the lack of transparency makes it impossible to state this with any certainty.
How convenient for any speculations masquerading as conspiracy theory. So according to this scenario,  the US is agreeing to look at export documentation of some items of cultural property on the basis of a public bilateral MOU, while behind the scenes the CPAC has been rubber-stamping secret protocols involving supplying the same countries with US-made mutant potatoes and five-legged sheep?  The CPAC reports to Congress and is appointed by the President himself. Does he know about the five-legged sheep?

Note also the attempt to convince the Unthinking who swallow such ideas that the anti-illicit antiquities lobby has "diminished greatly over the last year or so". Believing that involves putting blinkers over eyes that already are accustomed to seeing nothing. Over in Glasgow a big well-funded project has just been set up and staffed and is now actively seeking more researchers who are going to be leaving in a couple of years with a lot of ideas about how to (and why we should) fight illicit antiquities. There are all sorts of initiatives going on which certainly do not justify such pessimism.

I imagine the writer of those words has in mind a few isolated cases of cultural heritage preservationist bloggers who have given up in the face of the bullying, trolling and threats that is all the pro-collecting milieu can muster in a vain attempt to stave off the inevitable public debate on illicit antiquities and the current mode of handling them. A relatively small group of people with few scruples is intent on disrupting any public debate on current policies on artefact hunting, collecting and the antiquities trade by such means. 


Chris Exx said...

Connecting an apparently unrelated issue (GMOs) with the antiquities issue is an exact COUNTEREXAMPLE of Occam's Razor.

What Occam's Razor SUGGESTS is that throwing unnecessary considerations like GMOs into a theory is illogical.

Moneta wisely gave up most of these counterproductive ruminations a while ago. But it remains amusing to see the occasional eruption of everything-but-the-kitchen-sink pseudo philosophical musings on the list, fully explaining why the people involved have so much free time on their hands.

-- Callsign: "Occam's Plunger"

Paul Barford said...

Hi Chris, welcome back.

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