Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dealer Dave not Happy

It's still a dark Sunday over in the States while we have progressed to a lovely sunny Monday morning over in Europe. Bungalow Dave seems unhappy with my reply to his "inquiry" (read: "interrogation"). But instead of deciding that discretion is the better side of valour, still seems determined to get his boot in.

Nevertheless, whatever this guy wants to think, I do hold degrees in archaeology ( last time he asked I answered on his Unidroit-L forum, I really do not feel inclined to repeat myself). Frankly I do not think it matters, I could be a burger flipper in a well-known syndicated US junk-food chain and it would not make any difference in whether I say is logical or not. I think an argument hangs on its internal logic, the facts that are used to support it and how they articulate with other facts. Not who said it and how many exams they passed.

I think we all have a right to question how resources are used on this planet, and in a demiocracy a duty to question how a government's policies affect those resources, I do not think one has to come to the question always from the same angle and I certainly do not believe that to be conservation-aware you need a degree.

Mr Welsh is a strong supporter of individual liberties, I claim my individual liberty to criticise the trade in dugup antiquities without first being subject to Mr Welsh's requirement to first get a Masters' Degree in "Criticising-Antiquities- Trade-ology" .

That's not "evading the question" it is stating a belief that no "qualifications" are required to blog about Ms Spears' latest hits or J-Lo's Butt, the fate of Polar Bears or why the antiquities trade needs to clean its act up. Yes, it is a "rant". That's what blogs are for. If you don't like my blog, Mr Welsh, or don't think that I know what I am talking about, DON'T READ MY BLOG. Simple.

But allow other people their individual liberties to decide whether they want to read it, and leave them their individual liberties to decide for themselves whether they want to believe some, none, or all of it. OK?

Somehow it is important to Mr Welsh whether or not I want to learn more about something he calls "numismatic science" (in which he claims to be a proficient "professional"). Frankly, I do really not care what "numismatic science" is if its source is illegally obtained material illegally exported from a source country at the expense of the illegal destruction of a finite and fragile resource which I happen to care about. In the same way as none of us care what "results" Jozef Mengele obtained from any of his immoral "experiments" in concentration camps. These are data that no ethical scientist is going to use (though I believe some in the US military have been known to do so).
"Coin dealing" (as Mr. Barford puts it) can indeed become a scientific activity, to the extent that one involved in it goes beyond simple commerce and becomes involved in making numismatic discoveries and educating collectors.
Then we obviously differ at the fundamental level of what actually constitutes "science". Making a commercial website is not "science".
One example is this monograph, published on the Classical Coins website: Lathe Machining of Bronze Coin Flans [..] /flans1.html Another example is this compilation of diagnostic and conservation methods for coins and other artifacts suffering from "bronze disease" :
Oh, pleeeease.... the shopkeeper is merely making a buffoon of himself. "Monographs", "white papers" - no. I do have a little bit of an idea what an academic paper looks like, written quite a few myself, edited even more. These are not academic publications by a long chalk (and there's only two of them!). This is pseudoacademic, one is "an untested idea I had" webpage, the other a compilation of other people's work - though no sources are given. Welsh is talking chalk and cheese. Where is the bibliography to this so-called "monograph", the literature survey?

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