Wednesday 18 September 2013

What Dr Pearse Does not Understand

Above, I discuss a recent post by Dr Roger Pearse, who strives to understand what it is archaeoloblogers are writing about. He criticises the language used in an old text of mine to which he took exception, calling it "thoughtless".

The general public who want to find out about metal detecting in Britain can (apart from blogs like mine) go to two types of sources. There's the media, currently slavishly following the wording of the PAS press releases, then there are the detectorists' own forums and blogs. Readers who have been here more times than Dr Pearse will know that I constantly urge any reader wanting to get to grips with the issues around artefact hunting and collecting to visit the latter. To see the tekkies in their own environment, read their own words. They tell a quite different story from the version the PAS and supporters of artefact collecting are trying to foist on the world. Anybody who has visited a few of these resources more than once will see where the differences are and whether my portrayal of a certain element in the detecting community is a fair one or not.
- If the PAS are right, then all these nice "metal detecting enthusiasts" ("amateur archaeologists" [sic]) are on the whole the benign and co-operative force they paint them to be. Not in it for the money but the love of history" is the official mantra. Then current policy makes sense.
- If however, beneath the constructed façade, there is a persistent and sizeable thuggish element that is not at all benign, socially responsible and indeed which is wholly hostile towards archaeology (conservation, preservation, academia etc etc) or the "establishment", then current policies of gentle outreach are going to hit a brick wall, a stage beyond which it cannot go. That is how I see it. My view, after examining the problem (for coming up to forty years), is that so-called metal detecting is about collecting, its about self-centred, self-serving behaviour, very little real altruism. Then current policies make much less sense, indeed they could well be devoid of sense (which is why those whose income depends on prolonging current policies will bend over backwards to tell the world otherwise, but is that intellectually honest?).
My emphasising the 'thugwit' element is deliberate, it is provocative. It is intended to open the eyes of anyone looking at tekkiedom to this undercurrent, and provoke the question, how bad is it? This is a question the PAS will not ask and will not answer, never has done, and I doubt it ever will (honestly). Dr Pearse probably has not visited many artefact hunting forums, which is probably why he does not understand. Understanding  involves putting the information in a broader context. Understanding requires effort.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.