Saturday, December 03, 2011

Poland discredited?

UK Detectorists: The way to Block Discussion

[toxic URL suppressed to avoid contributing to its statistics] by Paul Barford

Over on the UKRally forum, in the context of the recent Twinstead Theft case, metal detector user "Hammyman" writes about so-called "media misinformation". He reckons "I think you will find B******d is behind this.It's got him written all over it. Most definately, one day he will reap what he sows". if he's talking about the Daily Mail article, this Ba***rd pleads not guilty, never touch the paper myself. Hammyman claims he has at some undisclosed time had some kind of "argument about this with an online Blog artist, I think you know who I mean". Anyway he claims the upshot was that "after contacting the publisher they took it down and made an apology to RallyUK. since then not another thing has been published...". First I have heard of anything being taken down by a blog "publisher" about a rally (Wordpress? Blogspot? Google? or a dedicated server?). Why would any of these supporters of free speech "apologise" to metal detectorists trying to quash free speech? Sounds like a shaggy dog story to me... Hammyman further claims:

the country is now banned from our server so no more worries from there anymore [icon_thumright] Why don't the other forums do the same as us and ban Poland from access to their forums, it's real simple, that would stop him.. if anybody would like to know how to do this, it is a simple command [...]

for the benefit of would-be blockers of the artefact hunting ilk, this is followed by:

here is the Code [...], just copy and paste this into your ,htaccess file using a ftp program.

A whole country banned from accessing discussions of metal detecting in Britain? Wonderful. That really shows the devotion of British artefact hunters to honestly presenting what they do to the outside world.

Poland is a big country RIGHT in the centre of Europe, 38 million people. My Polish colleagues estimate there are 60 000 metal detectorists here (though they are wrong) and at the moment the Polish tekkies are engaged in some serious political wrangling, trying to get the law on metal detecting relaxed (got a whole pile of stuff on my desk on this). Interestingly, the (real) professional numismatists (academics, not shopkeepers pretending) in Poland are behind them. Letters are flying about from professional institutions for and against to the Ministry, and guess what? The situation in "Britain" and the sad old PAS argument is trotted out (how could it be otherwise?) in aid of the Polish tekkies. How remarkable then if the Men from the Ministry want to look into the British scene, they will find their access blocked by some code on a server which makes the forums inaccessible to those central Europeans who do not happen to be a step ahead of the "tekkies" and their "techies". If these blockers have their way, about the only resource on the web they and anyone else in Poland interested in the topic will will be able to use to look into what "benefits" the open British policies on artefact hunting have brought is this "Portable Antiquities and Heritage Issues" blog, which of course only presents one person's (considered) view. Obviously that's not very helpful in generating a picture of the British detecting scene, nor in generating trans-continental debate. But of course British metal detectorists could not give a monkey's about that, they can barely look beyond the hedge around the field with "their" "productive" site in it.


Blocking access to uncomfortable candid information however is endemic in what the Daily Mail calls the "murky world of metal detecting". A few days ago, a detectorist here told me where I could follow a link to show what a decent bloke the organizer of the Twinstead rally was. The link led to a forum where you have to register to be able to read that thread. I could have registered as "Bazza1234" or "Beergutmax" or some other suitable screen name, but then, why hide? So I used "Paul Barford". Apparently the account needs site moderator approval to be activated before I can read anything there. That was three days ago and the email welcoming me to the site has yet to arrive, so I guess the moderator (I beliebve this is the one known as "Jammy Johnny" from South Lanarkshire) recognised the name and decided it belongs to the Great Satan and I'll never know from that forum thread what a sweet decent guy that "SkunkyPaul" really is. I'm not really sure that is my loss. I think I've seen him on You Tube anyway. I guess there are things on the new British Metal Detecting forum that the moderator does not want outsiders like me seeing and expressing an opinion about...


It now appears that ArchaeoGollum has managed to discredit not only archaeology, whose establishment has for years maintained an embarrassed silence about his fanatical rants, but the entire nation of Poland which is apparently now being looked upon by detectorists as the "Land of the Freak and the Home of the Rave."

The author of this whining complaint apparently thinks that expressing his opinion ought to be welcomed and sought after by others. Here is a different perspective:

“Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one and everyone thinks everyone else’s stinks.”
~Home for the Holidays (1995)"

It's not hard to understand why detectorists and numismatists would have such a perspective toward ArchaeoGollum's toxic opinions. In the vernacular, they would be classified as LLDs.


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