Sunday, 7 November 2010

Crystallised Candy Criticism

Readers may remember that a UK metal detectorist posing as a woman and calling himself for some reason "Candice" wanted "the truth" to come out about Paul Barford and his views as expressed on this blog. It took him long enough to get around to it, but we now have a critique of sorts of this blog ('Mr Barford's blogs'). Well, several of them in fact, I'll deal with the comments on two of them here, comments on his critique of the other two will be found in the respective blogs themselves when I get round to writing them as they have nothing to do with this collection of texts.

"Candice" calls my Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues blog "a rather unique resource for anyone interested in portable antiquities", but although she advocates something she calls "archaeology for the people" considers that the issues I discuss are "a peripheral issue of little consequence to most people". Looting is not really a problem as there is enough stuff in museums and "95% of the antiquities found" are now "in public collections". That rather seems to be missing the point - besides which the latter is annually less true than it may perhaps have been at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Her readers are informed - as if they did not know - that "a large number of his opponents DO read his blog". Absolutely, coineys in particular, so I am only too happy to detail how they are all being led by the nose by those that set themselves up as their leaders and spokesmen. On the other hand, the tracking software shows it is read in universities on two continents, museums, by legal firms (hmmm)and yes government departments (though some official bodies it seems are doing their best to hide they are peeping ... hi, guys).

As for the quality of "debate" this blog represents, in an attempt to discredit me, "Candice" repeats the accusations of others similarly uninformed:
Mr Barford is only happy to publish comments on his blog if they are praise from his small circle of sycophants or otherwise suit his purpose. Polite comments from his opponents are either ignored or edited (often severely). You see, Mr Barford, who professes so much to want to debate the issues, can't stand alternative points of view, no matter how sensible.
Hmm. Well, since I see what comments get sent here, and not Candice, I'll just say that any comments worthwhile discussing (and many that are not) are indeed posted on this site, whether the person agrees with me or not (see the recent debate with Martin Rundqvist on the EU directive on metal detectors). The author of this blog would indeed welcome many more "polite comments from his opponents" with whom to debate the issues. The reader will see that a persistent theme here is that there are a whole series of issues that once you drill down below a certain level of superficiality those "opponents" (and some allies like the PAS) simply refuse to enter into discussion. I find this disturbing and would welcome anyone willing to explore those deeper issues with me to add their contribution. We cannot all go on running away from the issues.
But would Mr Barford publish an opponents comment unedited - I think not!
try me Candice. I frequently do. I more frequently give the comment a robust answer than delete it. I think that tends to put people off who are not clear in their own minds about what they want to say.

By the way, it should be noted that in Blogger you cannot post half a comment, its either all or nothing. If any editing is done (usually to keep a comments thread on topic - like the one on "Polish antisemitism" which was getting way off the topic of illegal exports which was what the post was about) it is clear.

But when all is said and done, this is after all MY blog, which - by its nature - will reflect my views. That is what blogs are for. I had no problem at all coming on to metal detecting and collecting forums to put forward and defend my views on artefact hunting and collecting. It is a matter of record that it was the other side which did not appreciate my willingness to take part in a real exchange of views on their terms. That I do so on mine in my own little not-in-your-face segment of the Internet is really precisely what collectors wanted.

Other two points about this blog Candice makes are discussed on the "Tekkie Nonsense Ghetto Blog" (here) and in the post below.

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