Sunday, October 12, 2008

A "Flogger" speaks his mind

An unidentified person calling themselves "Flogger" asked a question apparently intended as a comment to my posting on my heritage issues blog, to which I gave an answer to the best of my ability.

Little did I know at the time, but Mr "Flogger" had about the same time made another contribution to the discussion of the treatment of Britain's archaeological heritage by so-called "metal detectorists". The title of the blog he has created is unneccessarily personal. I would have chosen "Metal Detecting and the Ongoing Discussion of Heritage Issues" - but then I guess its a matter of taste.

At the moment, this new heritage blog has two brief posts only. The first is merely a link to one of the posts on my own blog. The second is more substantial.

It is called "Metal detectorists are OK".

This text contains some useful advice:
"Don't listen to Paul Barford without an open mind."

Some generalizations:
"He HATES metal detectorists, he derides the PAS"
Now there's a word you do not see often on metal detecting forums.

Also some observations:
"he [...] is happy to 'plunder' the internet for evidence of MD's wrong doing."
I think the Internet gives unparallelled opportunities for non-collectors to see what "metal detecting;' in Britain is actually about. Before you had to go along to a MD club, or muddy field, now they are there talking to you through the monitor (or talking to each other and we can eavesdrop). If there was no "wrongdoing" there would be no evidence of it to find, would there?

And finally some allegations:
"He publishes pictures without copyright",
If they are without copyright, then there is no problem with publishing them. I assume you mean something else. You might like to make your allegation more specific.

"he publishes text without permission."
Good grief, I had not realised that I am required to ask somebody's permission to write what I think about the treatment of Britain's archaeological heritage. It must be getting bad in Britain now.

I suspect that "Flogger" maybe does not read many other heritage blogs or academic writing, where properly sourced quotations of fragments of what others write is fairly normal. Asking a cited author's permission to do so in the case of a text which is widely and accessibly disseminated in my experience (34 years of academic writing), is not the norm.

Mr "Flogger", if you would like to discuss the points raised by critics of metal detecting in a coherent and closely-argued manner, please go ahead. Informed debate on this topic is sorely needed. If however the best you can do is come out with personal attacks then you'd probably do the image of British "metal detecting" more of a service by keeping your thoughts and olfactory sensations to yourself.

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