A couple of days ago, I made reference to a discussion in the comments under an article about a scandalous bit of Treasure hunting that was going in the typical tekkie direction - superficial thinking, loutish aggression and name-calling ('Focus on Metal Detecting: Tekkie Nonsense Writhing on Conservation', Wednesday, 26 February 2014). I noted that one of the crowning arguments used by one of the participants that his comments had received more "likes" than the person who was disagreeing with him (what I suspect was happening was all his fellow club-mates were "liking" his comments in solidarity and support). This of course is no real argument at all under those circumstances.
Nevertheless the tekkie feeling of entitlement might be chipped a little if they took a look at those "likes" now (late evening 28th Feb 2014). Although the discussion has petered out, the comments thread is now being read by people who have an opinion about what they read, and - on the top page at least - it is pretty unanimously against the tekkie ranters and their aggressive stance (I am sure the moment I mention this, the Medway mob and their m8s will be over there clicking away and deleting cookies and clicking again to change those figures). In itself, this is not much, but has some significance to one of the arguments tekkies often advance about their hobby. Yesterday on one of the blogs, Andy Baines published the remarks of an anonymous commentator who was holding forth about "where Barford is wrong"
frustratingly for Barford, the public love metal detecting and the results of metal detecting. They want to go to a museum and see shiny stuff and as the true 'stakeholders' as Barford and Swift like to point out, we give them what they want from thier (sic)'stake'.This is an unjustified patronising approach to the entire British public, likening them all to the lowest common denominator which seems well represented in tekkie circles. I think there are those among the broader public (normal people) who are perfectly willing to listen to the point of view that uncontrolled hoiking, no matter how"shiny" the "stuff", is incompatible with the aims of conservation of the historical resource. These are among those clicking away at the loutish comments under the Kent Mercury article, suggesting that tekkie attitudes do not enjoy the same popularity among the population as a whole. I suspect that the tide is changing (see here too), and erosive and selfish artefact hunting cannot continue to expect overall UK public support for no effort. Perhaps the enthusiastic PAS press releases being foisted onto the same public and its uncritical press are beginning to lose their charm when not backed up by anything more substantial.