Saturday, June 13, 2009

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".

No comments: