Monday, September 28, 2009

I would personally like to bury somebody

In a thread called paul barford and the saxon hoard MLO forum member "rainchinchilla" 27-09-2009, 11:07 PM, ambassador for metal detecting, writes:
"I would personally like to bury something - any volunteers? Can we also check that no metallic objects are located on the 'thing' to ensure that no one ever digs it up in the near or distant future :evil:"

Friday, August 21, 2009

The coming-out stories of anonymous bloggers

The coming-out stories of anonymous bloggers

Story Highlights
Formerly anonymous bloggers share their coming-out stories with CNN
(Maybe CNN would like to hear Buffy's story?)
The writers can be forced to give up their identities by courts or technology
Earlier this week, a judge ordered Google to give over the identity of a blogger
Another outed blogger says she was fired for her online opinions

Some anonymous bloggers […] worry their veils of anonymity will be pulled back against their will, and plenty of news events validate their fears. […]

Some bloggers who post under their real names say that those who write under pseudonyms have something to hide or don't want to be held accountable to their audiences. Heather B. Armstrong, who was fired from her job after her employer discovered her blog, Dooce, where she posted under her real name, said there are few valid reasons a blogger should veil his or her identity. "I think if you're doing something anonymously you've got some issues going on," she said. "There's a reason that you're hiding."

Probably actually that he has no real properly considered "response" to the issues I was writing about, so all he could do was spit out puerile personal attacks and attempted defamation.

Szukany blog nie istnieje.

I thought I’d darken an already dreary day writing about “nighthawking” by seeing what else my anonymous rodentine critic who calls himself “Buffet the Ham Pie Slayer” had written on his "Paul Barford response" blog now. Last time he was impudently posing questions about my apparel, sex life and aspirations apparently anticipating that I would answer. What next? I wondered.

Imagine my puzzlement when logging on to find a white screen appeared with „Nie znaleziono bloga” on it. It probably does not take much knowledge of Polish to work out is a negative, a verb (to find) and a noun which is the object of the verb. Can’t find the blog, eh? More interesting, his other pretentiously worded blog “The Mighty Buffet” (sic) also at the moment “cannot be found”.

So, has the metal detectorist tired of his silly game? Has he realized he’s not up to finding examples of the other eleven cut-and-paste categories of alleged falsehood in what I write about the dodgy dealings of the antiquities trade? Or has he realized that one way or another, the game would be up and his identity would be revealed and he’d actually be accountable for his vendetta of defamatory remarks?

Or has he at last realised (duh) that in attacking my blog for criticising what is bad in portable antiquities, he is aligning himself and to some extent fellow metal detectorists with the groups criticised in the blog, dodgy dealers, careless collectors, looters and all the rest? That his was the worst possible "response" a supposedly responsible hobby could muster against a blog pointing out the bits of the hobby that have gone so badly wrong.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One for Buffet: Ruling could let victim find, sue online heckler

Here's a cheering bit of news - Story Highlights:
- Judge orders Google to hand over blogger's identifying information
- Blogger had anonymously criticised individual
- Judge: Anonymous online taunters can be held accountable
- Victim's legal team intends to sue the blogger

A model who was slammed with derogatory terms by an anonymous blogger has the right to learn the identity of her online heckler, a judge ruled. In August 2008, a user of, Google's blogging service, created "Skanks in NYC," a site that assailed Liskula Cohen, 37, a Canadian-born onetime cover girl who has appeared in Vogue and other fashion magazines. The blog featured photos of Cohen captioned with terms including "psychotic," "ho," and "skank." On Monday, New York Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden ruled that Google must hand over to Cohen any identifying information it possesses about the blog's creator.
Steven Wagner, Cohen's attorney, said Google complied with the ruling Tuesday evening, submitting to his legal team the creator's IP address and e-mail address. Only a valid e-mail address is required to register for a blog on Wagner said that once his legal team tracks the e-mail address to a name, the next step will be to sue Cohen's detractor for defamation. He said he suspected the creator of the blog is an acquaintance of Cohen. The blog has not been operational for months. The unidentified creator of the blog was represented in court by an attorney, Anne Salisbury, who said her client voluntarily took the blog down when Cohen initiated legal action against it [...].
But even so, if they have their way, he's going to jail. You will not be able to hide forever. Buffy take note. Now, Buffy claims to be in the "legal profession", so he'd put up a good fight if it came to that no doubt.

The whole story is here, in the CRIME section.

The Buffy Tapes

The anonymous author of the Barford-response Blog now kids himself I am going to give him an interview and answer personal questions about myself and my work and aspirations which he no doubt hopes will reveal answers he can then use against me. What a jerk. They are not even interesting questions.
If Mr Buffy wants to conduct an interview with anyone, he must first introduce himself properly. There may be other archaeologists perfectly willing to give an interview to a nameless sniper who has not done his research, but personally, I really am not interested in playing his games.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No Reaction: Acquiescence or Apathy?

I pointed out that on a numismatic discussion list a coin collector had announced to his fellows that "archaeologists want to abolish private property" and remarked that not a single collector demurred. Buffy, the author of the "Barford-response" blog claims that I have not:
"cottoned on that when it comes to radical viewpoints, a lot of people simply ignore them. If a far right group hand you their leaflet in the street and you decline to read it or enter into discussion with them, does this mean you accept their viewpoint?.[sic] Of Course not".
Well, firstly in the example he cites, I am sorry, but it does. It means you accept them spreading this type of material about in the streets. I live in Poland, where that act is illegal, and I do not see why Buffy thinks decent people would walk by ignoring the fact that an illegal act was going on under their noses.

Nevertheless, what is being discussed is an opinion expressed on a discussion list, a list where members do not normally simply "ignore" points of view with which they disagree. I imagine that if somebody posted on a British "metal detecting" forum a similar opinion, that "all archaeologists are trying to abolish private property, first they take away your rights to detect, then they will be after your car, we must stop supporting and co-operating with the PAS"... Buffy is suggesting that there would be total silence, even though not everybody on UKDN or or Minelabsowners Forum etc etc agrees. Is that the case? Let Buffy try it and see.

Considering the number of posts there have been on the Moneta-L forum on "Government intrusion" and "Government theft" and other such-like topics, and especially the tone in which they are conducted, I think it is not insignficant that there was no response to Rieske's post.

Buffy then gets excited because he realises something:
Hold on, Mr Barford never questions my views on this Blog does he? so HE MUST agree with them using Barfordian logic. Yet another act of capitulation from Mr Paul M Barford- Hoorah
Well, first of all Buffy rarely expresses "views", just cheap jibes, and there is indeed a response to some of them here. There is no point trying to address them all, I have no intention of proving I am not a camel. That is not "capitulation", it means I have better things to do than play an anonymous critic's silly word games. He is just trying to waste everybody's time with his sniping.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

e-rodentition gone wrong

In the schools to which I went, we learnt to use the plurals of nouns, both regular and irregular as well as the correct use of an apostrophe. It seems that in his rush to be cute, the mouse-loving legal eagle hate-blogger Buffy forgot what he, presumably, too learnt at school. In his efforts to cover up the fact that in order to present a fuller picture, there are two blogs to which he ought to be directing his readers, he forgot to delete the ‘s’ and in the process attacks the Barford Community Website Group, gratuitously accusing them of having produced a “one-sided” website for accessing of which “discretion is advised”:
The Paul M Barford Blogs in question.
CAUTION - The Blogs below may contain content that readers may find one sided in nature. It is therefore advised that readers exercise discretion before clicking. Thank you.
Mr Paul. M. Barford blog.
And here, a Barford we can warm to, be inspired by and just enjoy for being............Barford.
This is getting so childish. It is not the fault of the local community that they live in a village with a name that sounds like mine (no connection by the way, my family is East Anglian as far back as it can be traced, to the 1500s). I note that the change was made just after the blog’s author received my comment directing him to the true URL of this blog – a comment though that it will be no surprise to learn has not yet been posted by the blog’s owner, who apparently would prefer to conceal from his readers that metal detecting and Buffy’s non-responses to the issues raised are being discussed here.

UPDATE 23/7/09: Mr Buffy/Welton has now edited his blogsite, removed a couple of posts into the bargain (he also seems to have some problems with the formatting doesn't he?). Now he refers to a "blog below". As I say, it's all getting a bit childish.

Metal Detecting in California

"It's guys like this get metal detecting a bad name", I can imagine the tekkies all wailing in unison. It is however supposed (I think) to be parody indicating what some epeople think of metal detectorists.

"Looking around the park, one has to wonder, what is the history of the park, what kind of people went there, when was it made, what activities went on there? The truth is we simply don't know [...] There's no records, we don't know the history"..."I don't want to dig too much here, [...] metal detecting is not permitted in the park, so I kinda go on the outskirts, and hope they are cool with that, or they do not see me...". "Some people say you should fill in your holes....". "Maybe what I really need is a girl detector".

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Whose "prejudices"?

Buffet the cartoon mouse-fixated hate blogger says this blog reflects my “class based prejudices”. Perhaps he is unaware that despite the best efforts of its "partners" the PAS to give the hobby (seen as "dorkish" by many) some form of dignity, the hobby of artefact hunting with metal detectors which he tries so desperately to defend is indeed widely associated by society as a whole with certain social elements.

It was Minister of Culture David Lammy who a few years ago praised metal detecting as allowing all those underprivileged social groups (C2s, Ds and Es in modern sociological parlance) who had been previously "challenged by formal education" some kind of hands-on contact with history. This is published in the PAS annual reports as well as the Hawkshead review of the PAS. It was not me that said it.

In 1995 Laura Bushell, Carrie-Anne Brackstone produced a book called “Oi Pikey! A celebration of Cheap Living”,* which characterizes this social group pretty well. They give a list of “pikey pastimes” as including bingo, car boot sales, complaining, DIY, eBay and metal detecting.

* For the non-Brit: "Pikey is a pejorative slang term used in the UK and Ireland […] to refer to a wide section of the (generally urban) underclass of the country, particularly those on whom the lower middle classes look down [...]"

Heritage "Crusade" needs detectorists' approval?

Buffy the anonymouse rodent fetishist really does not get it. In the blog which he and his guffawing low-brown sidekicks think is an adequate "response" to the issues which conservationists raise about the exploitation of the archaeological record merely as a mine for collectables he attempts to claim that raising these issues is damaging... well what? He reckons it is damaging the relationships with people who "care about history". He has even produced a picture worth more than a thousand of his words: "Barford[']s Heritage Crusade Needs YOU" proclaims somewhat effete cartoon mouse with teeth sprouting from his chin.
Well, actually it does not, I have no "crusade"(and if I did, it would certainly not recruit the likes of the readers of blogs like his anyway).
Instead I have my own views about artefact hunting and collecting. I think there are good reasons for saying that certain prevailing attitudes to them, especialy in the UK, are utterly mistaken. Consequently I make attempts to articulate why, to help me think them through. I do not need readers, I do not seek agreement, in fact I would welcome well-articulated confronting ideas with a firm basis in logic and fact against which to test and refine my own models.
Mr Buffy's puerile "responses" really do not fit the measure. It seems to me that in response to my explorations of some issues, he is the one embarked on a "crusade", or rather a vendetta against a single person.

Metal Detecting: Night Vision Lithium Light

Over on ebay you can buy a light which is advertised as a Night Vision Lithium Light for Metal Detecting. I suppose it must be intended for when they want to go under dense low-hanging vegetation on heavily overcast days.
"This is a great alternative to the traditional head light or flash light which you strap on your head. This light comes brand new & complete with batteries. Lightweight, compact and made to take plenty of rugged treatment, the 5 LED cap light is powered by 2 lithium coin cell batteries for use up to 96 hours. Ultra bright white from 5 LED bulbs with 100,000+ hours or burn time. Completly water resistant, the 5 LED cap Light attaches under the brim of a cap for a number of hands free tasks". Oddly enough the same guy is selling the same product to metal detectorists for 99p, while he's posted them in another section for the huntin', shootin', and fishin' crowd for GBP 4.99. I wonder why that might be?

Left, American pays to be an "Upper Class Twit" for the week, Right, fairly typical UK metal detectorist .


With reference to the little matter of the anonymouse critic of my main heritage issues blog announcing to his readers that I have deleted this one, I have just posted this as what seems to be the first reader's comment to Buffy's childish vendetta blog:

Dear Anonymous,
You claim you cannot find my second blog. The one where
I reply to some of the nonsense you and your guffawing detectorist and collecting mates and English, Welsh and Scotish archaeologist friends consider to be an adequate “response” (sic) to the issues I raise about portable antiquity collecting.

Frankly, I find this hard to take at face value, you could have found it by simply Googling the blog’s name. It seems to me that since nobody else has access to the set-up page, the most likely person to insert a “0” [zero] in one of the words in the place of the letter “o” in the URL of the other blog [thus rendering it useless] is the owner of the "Paul Barford and Barfordisation" hate-blog.

In case my suspicions concerning your motives are wrong, here is the correct URL, it has no “zero” You can now insert it at the top of the front page of your hate blog for the benefit of the readers seeking a fuller picture.

You will see I have added to it a few comments since you last visited.
Paul Barford

Let us see what happens, will he be a mouse or a man and admit his mistake?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Reading the news - detectorist style

It's not just the Americans that "don't do irony", metal detectorists don't get it either do they? So I wonder how many coins Mr Welton, Buffy and his pie-scoffing sidekick Julian Morgan have found which "date from between 206 BC and 195 BC." though are " stamped (sic) with the head of Emperor Augustus, while other date back (sic) to around 63 AD" and "were used from the third century BC until the middle of the third century AD". But certainly the report says: "The coins, stashed in a clay urn and buried around four feet underground" and "Landowner Peter Turner, 74, said [...] 'After digging down around four feet he saw the top of a large pot had been smashed and hundreds of silver coins were inside' ". I guess the landowner should know how big the hole was in his land. Unless of course somebody was telling porkies in the inquest.

Read all about it in the Daily Mail:

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Radom spots Buffy's accusations of a "con" involving them

I see from the map of servers accessing the Buffy blog, that a number of metal detector users throughout Europe reads "Buffy's" revelations with great interest, including Radom in Poland. This would be presumably linked to Buffy's misrepresentation of the work done at the Witkowska tomb ("Context or Con Text?"). Frankly I would not like to be in Buffy's place if my colleague Witold Bujakowski catches up with him. Or the provincial curator of monuments for whom this work was carried out - or indeed the US team who led the work.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hiding behind a curtain

Buffy the anonymous hate-blogger pretends he cannot see this blog anymore, so he has removed the link (the one that had the numeral "zero" in the place of the letter "o" which is why he could not get it to work) from his own blog. Of course the reasons are transparent, he realises that the reader of his blog need only follow that link to find that his "responses" to the Portable Antiquities and Heritage Issues blog were being noted and answered. They are then found not to be "responses" at all, but merely a series of personal attacks. Now based on the "wikipipedia" dictionary (sic) page he has cached away, he has concluded, from the fact it contains a paucity of information that its author could not find on the internet, that Paul Barford is "hiding behind a curtain". That is rich from somebody who cannot even put his real name under what he writes. Mr Buffy or Mr Welton whatever his name is, is coming very close to stepping over the line here with his speculations and innuendos. First about me and now he is attacking my wife into the bargain. This is intolerable.

By all means let us have some responses to the issues I raise on my blog, let us have some discussion with any "metal detectorists" able and willing to have a proper discussion. Are there any? Certainly the author of the "Barfordisation" blog has well shown his inability to fulfill that role.

This big red round thing Mr Buffy is what we call a "zero", recognise it now?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The zero and the anonymous sniper

Buffy ('What, no Barford Blog?? ') cannot find this blog through the use of the link he himself gives on his "Barford-response" hate-blog. Maybe if he'd paid more attention in school, he'd know the difference between the numeral '0' and the letter 'o', and then he might get it poor chap. Certainly at the moment, this detectorist-ghetto blog is still up and running and reserved for answering the likes of him.

Buffy is trying (Its been a bad week for Barford) to throw a smoke screen over the Wikipedia page that suddenly appeared a few weeks ago. He pretends "It seems that someone hijacked Mr Barfords Wikipipedia (sic)entry and caused the now known to be "less than erudite" one to enter a state of apoplexy before he had to have his own entry removed from the worlds favourite dictionary. (sic) And I missed the whole damn thing. Bugger!". Hardly "highjacking" when a Steve Welton was the entire author of that attack page from beginning to end. A Steve Welton whose writing style shares clear parallels with the idiosyncracies of "Buffy's". Perhaps they are just soul-mates, or maybe there is more in that relationship....

Now Buffy claims "Not all is lost though as I am fortunate enough to have been forwarded a Cached copy of the entry along with the story of events as they unfolded", well, I "wonder" who sent him that, then?

Anyhow, Buffy says: "not only is it amusing, Mr Barfords Wikipedia entry does shed a whole load of new 'personal' light on Mr Barford and his whole 'raison d'etre'". The fact that it was a 'personal' attack presenting untrue information as encyclopaedeic "facts" was the reason why the Wikipedia editors deleted it. There was in fact no "personal" information there, the self-appointed author quite obviously knew nothing about the subject he was writing about beyond what they found in the Internet. By the way Buffy must have had a long "holiday", as Steve Welton began writing that page at the beginning of May and it was deleted in the middle of June.

So one of the things Buffy derives "from the cached Wikipedia page" is that "Barford has no qualifications" (What, no Qualifications?). Well, that's not surprising as that "encyclopedia entry" totally failed to discuss my university background and work, since the author knew nothing of it. Yet Buffy quotes from the Unidroit-L list an old post of mine, the implications which he chooses to ignore. Perhaps he thinks I am lying, but really I do not feel any compulsion to prove myself to a mere "metal detectorist" who canot even put his own true name under what he writes.

Buffy makes a mock confession of having laboured under a misconception about my academic titles [In the circumstances, I find the mocking of Catholics in that post offensive, but cultural sensitivity was never any UK "metal detectorist's" strength]. Nevertheless he'd be hard-put to demonstrate the truth of that with reference to the state of his blog on 7th July, where the only title he uses with reference to me in his blog is "Mr".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buffy gets a Badger Blessing

Somebody points the readers of an archaeology forum to a blog which he claims to be „bitingly funny” quirky deconstructionism. Sadly the link turns out only to be his metal detecting mate (“Steve Welton’s”) Buffy blog which despite its title ["paul-barford-blog-response"] dismally fails to be a “response” to the portable antiquity issues I raise on my other blog.

The archaeology forum owner who thus tries to boost his metal detecting mate’s falling viewer figures claims that like me he is in some way concerned about what he calls “looting”, but like his pal Buffy does not agree with my “method of delivery and finger pointing” because that is “rather less agreeable in many posts”. Mr Connolly is a “pat-em-on-ther-head “,“hail-good-fellow-show-us-what-you’ve-got” advocate, and then he wonders why I say that he is pro-collecting.

Connolly writes, apparently about me:

As I said about Water Newton... some folk do, others write about what people should do without ever doing anything constructive. (that I can see)
I think that is what he must have said to the IFA when he (at the time a member of their Council) was called to explain himself over his participation in a commercial artefact hunting rally which – several people tried unsuccessfully to warn him – was (in the manner he did it) against the IFA Code of Practice. Now he is no longer in the IFA and trying to set up a parallel “Federation”. It seems to me that when dealing with artefact collecting, especially carried out as a commercial enterprise, there are some very slippery ethical issues involved for the serious archaeologist in "doing" anything in "partnership" with them.

Well, Mr Connolly can carry on patting artefact hunters on the head and cajoling them into showing him some of what they’ve found and taken from the archaeological record. What I have “done” in another area however is more than he, and that is to write with Nigel Swift a fairly detailed and closely referenced book placing in the public eye the other side of the argument and setting UK metal detecting and the associated ethical and practical issues in a wider archaeological and conservation setting.

Mr Connolly may count that as “not constructive”, he may call it “deconstructive”, but personally I think taken as a whole it is rather “instructive” about how shallow and provincial the arguments used by insular pro-artefact-collecting archaeologists like Connolly actually are. I think it says a lot more about the ideological and methodological crisis of British archaeology as anything.

It seems to me that what people sharing Connolly’s credo on artefact hunting and collecting will have to “do” after it comes out is to find some good and coherent arguments against ours, and frankly the kind of derivative ad hominem “response” that an anonymous half-wit metal detecting mouse fetishist is capable of coming up with is not going to help them.

[Connolly warns himself (!) "expect a stiff reply", well here it is, but only on my metal detecting matters ghetto blog which is where mentions of such metalista-trivia belong].

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

'Arry Stottle's got a lotta bottle but Buffy takes the Biscuit

Buffy, apparentrly the alter ego of Steve Welton the Phantom Biographer reckons he can find examples of all thirteen of “Aristotle’s fallacies” in my writing, specifically on my blog. So he’s found a “filosofy fer dummies” webpage, and is successively copy and pasting bits of it onto his blog as though he’d written it and then added some examples of these logical fallacies that he claims he has found on my blog. ("Paul Barford is often found stumbling over his own arguments and conclusions drawn thus, yet he uses the smokescreen of erudition to provide the defensive cover to the paucity of his arguments.") Well, lets have a look at them. So far he’s only got as far as two of these posts, and seems to have run out of stamina.

The first was, appropriately enough, posted the day after April Fools’ Day – this was devoted to ‘Affirming the Consequent’. "Anyone reading this and Mr Barfords Blog will instantly spot that Affirming the Consequent is a favoured tactic of Mr Paul Barfords to foster his pre-agenda (sic) arguments". Examples of this which Buffy claims he has found on my blog are:
" A bad thing was done by someone using a metal Detector. People using metal detectors do bad things"
"An unethically sourced item passed through the PAS.
Items passing through the PAS are unethical".
Now, actually it would be helpful to the reader for Mr Buffy to put a little hyperlink so that the reader can see where I said these things he is using as his “examples” from my blog. Logic would demand that wouldn’t it? But oddly enough this logic does not apply to Mr Buffy’s black propaganda. The reason for this is perfectly logical in fact.

The reason is that nowhere on my blog do I say "A bad thing was done by someone using a metal Detector. People using metal detectors do bad things". What I say may be paraphrased is the opposite, just because some metal detectorists co-operate with archaeology and such things bring benefit to archaeology, not all metal detectorists can be seen as beneficial to archaeology, in assessing the phenomenon we need to differentiate the one from the other and not say that “metal detecting is good for archaeology”. Some of it quite clearly is not.

Equally Buffy is deceiving his readers when he asserts that I said "An unethically sourced item passed through the PAS. Items passing through the PAS are unethical". What I say is that the items recorded by PAS cannot be assumed to all be of licit origin and from the provenance stated, since PAS cannot carry out any independent checks. This means that potentially an unknown quantity of items in the PAS database are of no use as archaeological data and we have no way of knowing which ones. The example illustrates this fact. It is not so much an example of affirming the consequent as raising an issue which calls into question the total (rather than overall) reliability of a dataset.

It took him another three weeks to think up the next post in the series. This is devoted to the "false cause" fallacy. Allegedly “The Assertion of the false Cause if [sic] a favoured tactic of Barfordisation in action. How many times do we see Mr Paul M Barford squirming his way through various topics, presenting his one sided views of a situation, to further his own false cause without giving the reader the true picture.” [I think that is a question but metal detectorists cannot “do punctuation” ]. Well, he has found three examples of what he says is the “Use of False Cause by Paul Barford”:
" Finding and removing metal artifacts destroys the archaeological record"
"YOUR heritage is being destroyed by metal detecting"
" The PAS sanctions the the sale of metal artifacts"
Well, here he’s lost me. I certainly do say that “finding and removing metal artifacts [from the archaeological record] destroys the archaeological record”. Finding and cutting out all the letter ‘b’s from a medieval manuscript Bible would destroy the Bible as it would yesterday’s Times. That is not an example of false cause.

Number two: “YOUR heritage is being destroyed by metal detecting" – Again, this does not seem to be a quote from my blog. Neither is it an example of false cause. Metal detecting and artefact collecting, by removing evidence from the archaeological record without record, is indeed destroying the archaeological heritage, which belongs to everyone, not just a few selfish collectors.

Maybe Buffy has more luck with his third example, also no link sourcing it to a specific point in my blog… " The PAS sanctions the sale of metal artifacts". Where do I say that? [The word sanctions” on my blog is entirely associated with imposition of UN sanctions in Iraq which began the looting there]. I presume that Buffy means the reader to believe that somewhere on my blog it says that artifacts are bought and sold BECAUSE the PAS sanctions such sales. That would indeed be an example of “false cause”, but Buffy if asked would not be able to say where I say such a (stupid) thing. Because I do not.

I find it really puzzling that somebody would set out to prove the existence of logical fallacies in what somebody writes without actually having a single clear example in mind where there actually is such a thing. It’s a bit like somebody setting out to write a biography of a person in an encyclopedia having no idea at all about who that person is or what they have done.

Despite these deficiencies, Buffy soldiers on. Where he can produce no quotes to back up his claim of logical fallacies, he makes them up. He makes up quotes which do not exist, and therefore does not provide hyperlinks to them, safe in the knowledge that the metal detecting populace of Great Britain is not at all interested in checking the facts for themselves. But metal detectorists are a small minority.

All Mr Buffy's insults and innuendos will not change that. Instead of making up quotes in order to say they are nonsense (as they are, they are also fictional), let the pro-collecting lobby take up real arguments, and produce real arguments against them.

I look forward to the third post on the "fallacies" - let us see if Mr Buffy can make an improvement on his first two wholly unimpressive performances in this field.

I've been deleted

The malicious page on Wikipedia purporting to be an encyclopedia article about me written by a metal detectorist has at last gone.
Who is Steve Welton and what have I ever done to him? Maybe he'd like to answer that on his equally obnoxious "barfordisation" blog, what is it he has got against me personally and why that he has decided to engage in this destructive vendetta against a single person he has never met, and - it turns out - knows next to nothing about? Why does he not "respond" to the points I make on my blog with something a little less puerile than personal attack?

Mr Welton has not been mentioned a single time on my "Portable Antiquities and Heritage Issues" blog, so the only thing Mr Welton can have against it is that it discusses portable antiquity and heritage issues - obviously he finds that fact uncomfortable. Seeing his inability to answer the points raised, I think we can easily understand why that might be.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Welton listens to reason

I see this evening that after I pointed out on the "discussion" page of the text he had "kindly" contributed to Wikipedia about me, that the person calling themselves "Steve Welton", metal detectorist, thought the better of his malicious action and has deleted most of the damaging nonsense he wrote. Good riddance. But now he has revealed - presumably intentionally - something of the identity of the "Barfordisation" blogger called "Buffy" who has embarked on a similar campaign.

Metal detectorist Wikiwonkydom

In general I am (unlike most of the academic world) a fan of Wikipedia, its a great idea, but obviously is prone to the whims of the Tom, Dick and Harriets that create it. Any text on Wikipedia related to "metal detecting" tends to be highly tendentious, as they are written by "metal detectorists". It's a waste of time trying to edit them to give a more balanced presentation (which in any case should be under the heading "portable antiquity collecting") and generally personally I have never never thought it worth the effort as they'd only change it back again.

Washington coin collector Peter Tompa found a Wikipedia page called Paul M. Barford and seems to believe that it is an accurate presentation. He is apparently not a very critical reader. Just as its author (one Steve Welton) is not a particularly fastidious author. He'll obviously write any old crap to try and discredit those he sees as his enemies. Personally I was not even aware until yesterday that there ever was a "Steve Welton" in the world. But I do now. He does not however restrict his attacks to me, he brings in another group of people concerned with the protection of the heritage, Heritage Action. I see that in the discussion page attached to the Wikipage concerned, its Chairman is objecting in no uncertain terms to the imposition. He writes:
In general terms, I know Paul Barford well, which the author doesn’t, and I confirm the article contains many distortions and lies which lead me to believe it is of malicious intent.
In specific terms I wish to cite the section titled “The Heritage Counter”. As Chairman of Heritage Action I should like to
point out 1.) that its title is not as suggested but is “The Heritage Action Artefact Erosion Counter” 2.) that it is not designed to highlight “various odd bits of metal unearthed by metal detectorists” but, in the words on our website “recordable artefacts” 3.) The quote from our website "The counter may or may not be a precise reflection" was cut short mid-sentence, deliberately to mislead in my view. It goes on “of the rate of depletion. The broad picture it paints, of millions of artefacts being progressively removed and society being deprived
of the associated knowledge of its past, is certainly accurate.” 4.) Paul Barford was NOT it’s creator – I was. It was my idea, my design, my accompanying text and Heritage Action’s algorithms. Paul was consulted, as were many others, and supports it, as do many others. In my view, since the true facts are freely available, the false facts were not mistaken but deliberate and intended
to both mislead regarding the nature of metal detecting and to blaggard one of it’s critics. As such, it should not be allowed to stand here. It reduces Wikipedia to a farce.
Should the author or any like-minded British metal detectorist wish to create a page about Heritage Action or me, Nigel Swift, they are free to do so. However, it would seem to me that in view of the global reach of Wikipedia its effect will not be as they anticipated. In the rest of the world people who are in favour of archaeological conservation are well thought of whereas metal detectorists, who help themselves, are despised. The prospect of the latter attempting to discredit the former will be seen for precisely what it is.
Heritage Action (talk)
11:36, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Mr Welton may think that by launching this ill-researched, ill conceived and thoroughly objectionable personal attack, he is strengthening the position of metal detecting in the United Kingdom. Instead he is simply compromising it, showing the milieu for what it is. If Mr Welton or Mr Buffy wish to "respond" to the issues raised by those who suggest we need to take a closer look at the long term archaeological effects of artefact hunting and collecting on the archaological resource, then I suggest that if they do not want to get laughed right out of court for their ridiculous aggressive posing and strutting, then they should responsd with proper responses, not attacks. the same goes for Mr Tompa and his coin collecting mates over the other side of the sea.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Buffy and the Heritage Action Counter

Steve Welton a "metal detectorist" seems not to understand some basic issues.
Nevertheless he persists in writing about things of which he has no inkling.
Paul Barford was instrumental in the creation of the Heritage Action counter, a web based instrument designed to loosely highlight the possible number of various odd bits of metal unearthed by metal detectorists in order to demonstrate how tedious and time consuming *metal detecting can be.
The purpose of course is entirely different as even an utter ignoramus like Buffy should recognise.

The rest of this section of the "encyclopedia article" is irrelevant. Some basic writing and editorial skills are lacking here. I am nothing to do with Heritage Action, Heritage Journal, nor David Lammy. I support the first two, but am not responsible for what they do or say, so maybe Buffy should start separate articles on them.

I wonder though what possible relevance Steve Welton thinks such a text would have to anyone looking at the encyclopedia outside British metal detecting? Let us note the average length of biographies of British archaeologists more deserving of a place in an encyclopedia is about three quarters of a page of succinct factual material, Buffy just waffles, and gets it wrong.

Welton on the Portable Antiquities Scheme

In his wikipedia attack page on the subject of "Paul M. Barford", Buffy the cowardly critic maliciously writes:
Paul Barford is a vociferous and outspoken critic of progressive, modern archaeology and outreach between the Archaeological community and the general public, in particular the *Portable Antiquities Scheme in the united Kingdom which Paul Barford has called " the Portable antiquities Scam" *[5]
Mr Buffy has clearly not read the text of the TAG paper, so he is unlikely to understand what I say is the "scam". I wonder to what degree a global encyclopedia should be saying that it a "progressive and modern archaeology" that forms partnerships with artefact hunters and collectors. Outside the topsy-turvey world of British archaeology artefact collectors are (rightly) treated as a threat to the archaeological record. Such a "partnership" in most other milieus would be regarded as "retarded and outmoded". Buffy goes on to say about the PAS:

This immensley successful scheme was set up to allow members of the public to formally record objects of historical interest that they may have found, for the greater benefit of the archaeological community and the UK's cultural and historical *Patrimony.
Except as far as I can see no Steve Welton has contributed any information to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. I am checking this with the PAS. So far they have not vindicated him.

Some examples of the success of the *Portable Antiquities Scheme are the *Harrogate Hoard & the *Ringlemere Cup.
In what way I wonder? They are both Treasure items. As any (responsble, informed) metal detectorist should know, The PAS is for recording non-Treasure items. Weston is misleading his readers.

In June 2009, Paul Barford cynically compared the *Tiananmen Square protests of 198, in which 2,600 innocent Chinese protesters were were killed, with his own struggle against the concept of 'Partnership' between The *Portable Antiquities Scheme and members of the public recording items they have found with the *Portable Antiquities Scheme.
Well, of course Buffy neglects to supply his reader with the reference here, because if he had done so, the reader would see that this is not at all what I said, Buffy is deliberately and maliciously twisting the truth. I contrasted the Tankman (now believed to be a Chinese archaeologist) standing up to the Tienanmen tanks with British archaeologists who will not stand up to looters of the British archaeological record with metal detectors. Nobody is "struggling" with the concept of members of the public recording accidental finds with the PAS, what there is concern about is the uses to which artefact hunters and collectors are putting it - and the deghree to which they are simply NOT using the scheme, which is what the Hertitage Action counter does - by giving figures that may be directly compared with those of the PAS database. There is a massive shortfall, which is of course why Buffy is not telling wikipedia readers the truth about what it is intended to signify.

The Pitfalls of writing an Encyclopedia Article if you are an Ignorant Malicious Intellectual Gnome

Somebody calling themselves Steve Welton has written a wikipedia article about "Paul M. Barford". A sample:

Paul M Barford is a British born former archaeologist (*Polish- Archaeolog) who in 1986 moved to Poland and is currently living in central Warsaw. Formerly an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Archaeology, *University of Warsaw (*Polish - Uniwersytet Warszawski) and an Inspector of Ancient Monuments in the *Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland (*Polish- Ministerstwo Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego). During his time as inspector Barford, it is believed that Paul Barford personaly inspected many of Polands Ancient Monuments.Paul Barford also wrote articles on conservation during his time inspecting *[1] Paul Barford is the author of various books, articles, Blogs,Internet forum threads and several reports on excavations in England and Poland. Paul Barford now works as a translator. Paul M Barford is interested in *Slavic Peoples ,in particular *Early Slavs and the development of Slavic tribes as they spread across central Europe and has since written a book on the subject. Education & Qualifications Currently unknown.

Good grief. As many as eight factual mistakes and three spelling mistakes in one paragraph. What kind of an "encyclopedia" is that? So if the author actually currently does not know anything about the subject's educational background, why did he put pen to paper before finishing his research? What "qualifications" does the author of the article have for writing on this subject, it is not his knowledge of Polish or what the subject has done for a start. In fact where are the date of birth and death of the subject? What was the subject doing between 1974 and 1986? Was the subject always engaged in research into the early Slavs since 1986, or was there some other field of research involved? Where's the sex scandal?

It is clear from the topics which the writer "selects" for discussion, that he is a "metal detectorist".

This in Wikipedia terminology is an "attack page" and for this reason, I doubt it will be up for long. The author seems not to take into account that not everybody reading an encyclopedia thinks that metal detecting is acceptable. His writing lacks focus.
Besides which he is deliberately and slyly misleading.
"Current interests/ Since the early 1990s Paul M Barfords main interests have been searching eBay and also artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities and coins. Paul Barford is also an avid blogger and internet forum user."
Coin Collecting/ Paul Barford has a particular interest in coin collecting & *Numismatics and is a regular contributor to internet discussions regarding coins and coin collecting, especially coins offered for sale, where his insight and knowledge has proved invaluable in proving the sometimes disputed *provenance of rare coins.
This no doubt is slanderous in the circumstances, besides which the author displays ignorance, there was no eBay in "the early 1990s".

Interestingly, I found an eBay seller called "Swelton" - and there is no trace of a metal detectorist Steve Welton on the PAS database. I doubt it is his real name. Like the sly individuals who wrote to the Times falsely using my name...

It is obvious that metal detectorists are worried about some of the arguments that are being raised against the glib justifications that are offered in favour of the hobby of the expoloitation of archaeological sites merely as a source of collectables. Instead however of addressing these arguments, a whole bunch of them is merly engaged in diversive tactics of deception like this "black propaganda".

Buffy's kind informant

Over on his hate-blog, Buffy the cowardly anonymous critic says: Someone kindly pointed me in the direction of a Paul M Barford web article re an exhumation".

Well, I wonder who that could have been and whether they really were being "kind"? I do remember having a discussion over this with a certain Scottish archaeologist who insulted the American team that carried out this work, and refused to apologise. Far be it for me to suggest though that he might be the one who is now helping "Buffy" in his scribblings.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bottle of plonk on the way to Poland then?

I see from the mouse-loving anonymous hate blog which purports to be a "response" to mine on Portable Antiquities Issues that anybody who can point the author "in the direction of Mr Barford with his actual Trowel out" will win "a fab bottle of Chateau Calon Segur 1961 from my own collection". If any of my colleagues or students claim the prize, I'd be glad to hear the coy English gentleman's address. From drinking with them, I think Mr Buffy really needs to offer Polish archaeology students something a little more "hit the spot" than Bordeaux.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Morganization (Re: Buffy the ham Pie Slayer)

Apart from guffawing British “metal detectorists”, „Buffet the Ham Pie Slayer”s has a pal Julian Morgan “a damn fine chap and an educationalist by trade”. I wonder if this is him: Julian Morgan is a writer and Classics teacher at Derby Grammar School and also is one of six partners in CIRCE, a Classics and ICT Resources Course for Europe. I wonder how Mr Morgan would feel about some twerp from the other side of Europe, who he has never met and who has other views on the teaching of "Classics", starting up a “Julian Morgan and Morganization” blog.
Confessions of a Classics teacher, Julian Morgan, British Classics teacher living and working in a Grammar school in Derby. For a long time a primary interest has been correcting the grammatical mistakes made in a dead language by confused pupils”.
I do not expect Mr Morgan or his literary agent would appreciate it very much. Especially if he finds the author of this personal attack masquerading as a contribution to the discussion on a serious issue has equipped it with "search engine optimalisation tags" clearly deliberately aimed at damaging his professional reputation.

Does Mr Morgan have a metal detector and go out after work to denude local Roman sites of coins to collect or maybe use in his teaching?

[If he sees this Mr Morgan may consider it would save us all a lot of trouble if he would write to me to divulge the name of his fellow but cowardly-anonymous Buffet admirer so suitable action may be taken in response to the manner in which he has chosen to respond to me].

UK Metal Detecting COWARD declines to "respond" to the issues

We find that since 25th February this year there has been no action over on the misnamed “paul-barford-blog-response” blog (“Paul M Barford and Barfordisation” run by some anonymous "metal detecting" coward from Monmouth (or so he claims) who is afraid to post under his own name. Anyway, he has apparently decided (‘Capitulation over erudition’ ) he actually has nothing much to say except to splash a lot of personal comments all over the web and claims that “Judging by Mr Paul M Barfords recent posts and also from correspondence I have been getting, it seems this Blog has effected change within Mr Barfords, previously less than pleasant Blogstyle”. Really? Peter Tompa does not think so. Anyway Buffy the cowardly metal detectorist announces that “So, for now Paul, you can get up from the naughty step”.

He writes something quite remarkable. “View this blog is a sort of Re-hab for archaeologists who have lost thier (sic) moral compass along the way”. Frankly as far as I am concerned, it is archaeologists who support artefact hunting and portable antiquity collecting in any form that have lost their compass bearings.

Buffy the Cowardly Metal Detectorist seems to think that it is his RIGHT to be accepted and lauded by all archaeologists BECAUSE he is a metal detectorist… by what rights Mr “Buffy”? What rights have you to attempt to dictate what I think or say about artefact hunting and collecting and those who engage in it and those that accept, encourage and aid and abet them? Why should you attempt to place me on any kind of "naughty step" (whatever that is) because I think differently about the archaeological heritage from you and your guffawing metal detecting mates?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Responsible metal detecting on WWF Earth Hour

WWF Earth Hour Saturday 28th March. Turn your lights off 8:30pm for 1hr to show you want to help save the planet. Well let's hope all those "responsible metal detectorists" out doing a bit of night time finds grabbing will take the batteries out of their machines for an hour at least.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stew and Trace in Nighthawking Report

Those still following Monmouth "detectorist" Buffy's ramblings on what a thoroughly nasty person I am for questioning the current UK policies on artefact hunting and collecting will note that a few days ago 14th Jan (in a post called Godwins law or Barfords Law?) I was held up to his fellow "metal detectorists" as a class obsessed snob (or something) for referring to two of their fellows as "Stew" and "Trace". Buffy expresses his solidarity with them: "Why would anyone want to do this other than to underline some cultural and social separation in order to manipulate the readers opinion[?]". The present author is a bad guy: "the mere mention of 'Metal detectorists' seems to bring about a change in Mr Barford revealing a deep seated social and class based resentment that manifests itself in the aforementioned manner".* Anyway to come back to solidarising with "Stew" and "Trace", Buffy will see now that the case to which I refer is one of the case studies in the Nighthawking Report which came out today.
Anon 2009 Nighthawks and Nighthawking: Damage to Archaeological Sites in the UK and Crown Dependencies caused by Illegal Searching and Removal of Antiquities, Strategic Study Final Report, Oxford Archaeology for English Heritage). Buffy's fellow metal detector users Stuart and Tracy Nighthawker are on page 68-9 and also mentioned in several newspapers today. I am sure however that they are well gratified to see Buffy is at least still on their side.

*Actually it is aimed at those in the pro-collecting lobby who (on the basis of arguments marshalled by US coin collectors) try to present all collectors of portable antiquities as erudites engaged in serious research which will add to archaeological knowledge. They clearly are not. Not by any means all of them, it was the PAS and the Hawkshead Review which have has been talking about the social background of artefact hunters.