Friday, 19 August 2016

PAS do your Job (updated)

When someone walks onto site uninvited
with a bag of artefacts your heart just sinks
and you have to bite your tongue.

Somebody exposed
Over on the John Winter blog is a text 'The Female Archaeologist ‘Bites her Tongue’, 20 August 2016 about an old article in the Guardian about being an archaeologist (Anonymous, 'The secret life of an archaeologist: soil in your sandwiches and sexism on sites' The Guardian Monday 25 April 2016). What caught his eye was the bit where the lady writes about metal detectorists being unaware of the importance of context and associations in the turning of a 'find' into archaeological evidence. The PAS it seems does not teach that, and the archaeologist's comment goes winging right over the head of the metal detectorist as well as the eleven other ones who have commented below his article.

PAS now do your job. Mr Winter's blog is widely-read... please, one of you get on it and do that outreach you are all taking millions of pounds to do. Is there nobody among you who sees the potential of social media for 'outeach' to and informing those 'partners'? 

Some of us noted the original article and commented on it when it first came out ('An Anonymous Archaeologist Afraid to tell metal Detectorist What is What' 26th April 2016).

UPDATE 20th August 2016
"Shove a shovel
in 'er marf"
There are now 32 comments under Mr Winter's piece, most of which achieve little more than suggesting what a group of unreflexive, empty-headed fluffbrains UK metal detectorists are. As I have observed before, study of their forums seems to indicate that for many of them, coping with a text more than eight sentences long is a huge mental effort. Unfortunately the quote Mr Winter discusses is after the nineteenth, largely self-indulgent, one - so unsurprisingly many of them think that what the writer is talking about to her Guardian readership is "nighthawks". Note also the chip-on-the-shoulder remark about the author being "indoctrinated at college or university". I sent a comment explaining what the article's author had said - about context - but got rebuked by the blog owner (20 August 2016 at 12:40 pm):
Please consider your audience, Paul [...] and compose your comments so that we can understand. I’ll book you in to Stoke Mandeville Hospital so they can lance that PAS complex you seem to have. Please advise … as I’m sure you will!
The PAS of course has taken millions of pounds of public money (and still does) to sort out misunderstandings such as the views of the public on a "bag of loose finds" hoiked by metal detecting. Anyway, I think it was pretty clear in my comment (it is exactly six sentences long) what the issue mentioned was .... but instead of answering the point I made, one "Keith", for whom English seems fom the way he uses it not to be his native language remonstrates  20 August 2016 at 1:24 pm:
Mr Barford[,] you should be well aversed [sic] with the statement ” walking onto site uninvited” [...].
while "QM" from Romford Essex threatens the article's authoress with violence  (20 August 2016 at 7:05 am):
stupid women …things are going forward with folk working together …maybe to help [sic] her from bitting [sic] her tounge [sic]  we can shove a shovel between [sic] it [.]
Certainly I think even the PAS would be forced to honestly admit after reading that sequence of comments that things are hardly "moving forward" if after 20 years, not even the first aim they set out to achieve in 2003 has become part of tekkie lore. Perhaps the PAS is waiting until Monday to put these people straight. I see that the text of mr Winter's article was published in 'The Searcher', the favourite detecting magazine of the PAS - so perhaps there will be an exhaustive answer there.

UPDATE UPDATE 20th August 2016
True to form, not being able to concentrate on discussing the issues - which is that he totally misunderstood what the Guardian author wrote - John Winter tells his readers that I have now sent an "abusive" comment to his blog and on those grounds he has blocked me from commenting further there. I guess that's one way of getting out of backtracking when you write arrant nonsense.  I urge him to prove he is telling the truth by shaming me through publishing this alleged abusive comment from me, let us see how it is formulated and spelt. Needless to say John Winter did not receive any kind of abusive comment from me - he is making this up. He will not publish it for the simple reason he did not receive one. How utterly lame can you get?

TAKE A GOOD LOOK at this behaviour, for these are precisely the sort of people the PAS wants to grab more and more millions of public quid to make into the "partners" of the British Museum, archaeological heritage professionals and to whom they want us all to entrust the exploitation of the archaeological record. Take a good look and decide what you think about that as a "policy".  

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