Saturday, 23 August 2014

The Question A Non-Conservationist Cannot Answer


A few days ago a metal detectorist alleged that he had found "The question that a conservationist cannot answer". He asked where I would prefer a "million" PAS-recorded items to be other than scattered as isolated objects in thousands of ephemeral personal collections. I actually answered him several times, but ... metal detectorists... you know how they are.

Anyway, let's pose him one. The same guy referred to my original post and said something about "the questionable Heritage Action Journal's artefact erosion counter shows closer to 12,000,000 items". Now, omitting the total inability of the writer of those words to see that Heritage Action's webpage and its blog are two different things, I would like him to recount for us his evidence for considering the Heritage Action estimate "questionable".

This is not the first time he has come out with this type of remark about it, several of his fellows have expressed similar disdain, but none of them has produced a scrap of evidence to support their case, none of them have ever quoted any official figures resulting from fifteen million pounds of public money spent on a Portable Antiquities Scheme and liaison ('partnership') with such people which would contradict what HA are saying. It is time for them to do that now. Or is this a question that a non-conservationist parroting other people's opinion as their own is not in a position to answer?

9 comments:

Andy Baines said...

My evidence that the AEC is not fact is the PAS database. The PAS database is based on true items and numbers. The AEC is based entirely on assumption, it is basically a re branded clock. Unless you can prove otherwise?

Regards

Paul Barford said...

"My evidence that the AEC is not fact is the PAS database".
Eh?
You what?

Have you actually READ the text accompanying the Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter? You know, actually READ it?

You are not analysing it, you are parroting what you heard John Howland say.

READ it and then tell me how "the PAS database" disproves it. Go on, I challenge you. Or is that a "question the non-conservationist cannot answer (because he's not even thought a microsecond about it)"?

Andy Baines said...

Oh I am sorry, I totally forgot that it must be fact because it was concocted by educated professionals. In the same kind of way the night hawking survey was, which yet again I know from being on the ground instead of in an office is factually incorrect.

Regards

Paul Barford said...

No, no. You DO NOT get off by playing the victim of elitism (Tekkie tactic number 3).

Leaving aside the Nighthawking Survey (trying to deflect the topic of discussion onto another track, tekkie trick 2), let's just keep to what you said. You said the PAS database is "evidence" that the HAAEC is "questionable". I asked you to justify that statement having READ the text that accompanies it. Or is that a question you cannot answer?

READ the text and let's discuss it. You came out with this statement, now back it up with proper evidence, not whingeing.





Andy Baines said...

The text itself states that it is guesstimate, you cannot base an argument around something that is inaccurate or a guess. The PAS database is not inaccurate or a guess, it deals in cold hard evidence in the shape of actual objects.

Regards

Paul Barford said...

HAVE YOU READ IT?

The basis of the algorithm is clearly stated, number of detectorists multiplied by the most conservative of three values of finds rates from the literature. To disprove the model, you'd have to challenge the figures on which it is based. You do not do that, because you HAVE NOT READ it before criticising it.


kyri said...

hi andy,not all reported finds are recorded.even on the PAS website it says they "are selective in recording finds" i have read many reports from flos openly saying they are very selective about the finds they record.just last week i read a piece by ben miller who has been a flo since the scheeme began and in this piece he mentions a time when a metal detector "brought 8 ice cream tubs full of stuff" how many of those were rejected.you cant say the pas database is accurate when no one really knows how many finds are being rejected.
kyri.

Paul Barford said...

I don't think Mr Baines READS the PAS website. He just parrots what fellow detectorist John Howland says.

kyri said...

i just dug up the piece with the "ice cream tubs full of stuff",my mistake the flo was angie bolton the article was by ben miller,i did read it a while ago.
http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/archaeology/art490832-An-Iron-Age-comb-medieval-matrix-Bronze-Age-vessel
kyri.

 
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