Saturday, 20 January 2018

Quaint UKDFD Supporters, Gotta Love Them

 Traer Scott 
It's sort of like looking at little puppies, they look so cute, innocent and tumble around in the basket like they have no brains, awwwww.... but enough of that, now it's time for substantive comment on the pay-to-view UKDFD like only metal detectorists know how
Jim Crombie commented on Launch of the new UKDFD: This UKDFD creation can only do a lot of good for the hobby and metal detectorists in general. Being a hobbyist myself I hope government continues to enable the hobby to continue and be regulated as it is. [...] The UKDFD’s webpage will encourage metal detectorists to record finds of interest to the authorities and help finders of metalwork identify what they have dug up. Towns, villages, parishes, counties all over the UK will have instant access to a facility that provides up to date historical information about any area within the UK. Looking forward to viewing the UKDFD’s new site.
What a shame he did not visit the site first before writing about how jolly useful it will be. But like the puppies, maybe he's not learnt to read big words yet. When those 'authorities', 'towns, villages, parishes, counties all over the UK' get their access.... the money will be rolling into the UKDFD coffers. Somehow I do not think this actually will be doing artefact hunting the 'good' Mr Crombie anticipates.   Another tekkie, one Micheal also commented on the same topic with even less understanding of what has been said about it:
An excellent idea whose time has come John… [...] And with the mapping that this project has undertaken, there will be a more complete analysis of where and when items are found. Hopefully patterns can be extrapolated Micheal
I suspect Mr Micheal has confused the UKDFD (which has not up to now had a mapping facility) with the PAS, which has. I'd like to ask Mr Micheal who he thinks will be doing this 'mapping' with data that the people who have now seized control of them want to charge them to even look at them.

I think really we do not need to bother what the sort of metal detectorists that are grouped around John Winter's blog 'think' about anything, the equally inarticulate puppies are more satisfying to watch as they slump around aimlessly in their own cocoon of entitlement. 

Newborn Puppies posted on You Tube by Chronicle Books 27 mar 2013

Responsibility" in words, and "Then the Sad Reality About Literacy.

Incendiary found, advice pls (Post by 'panzer'',  Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:29 pm)
I was digging a belting signal in an open field, relatively remote, and started to come across blueish clumps of crytallised gunk, bit more clearance showed it to be a 1kg WW2 incendiary with a heavily damaged aluminium casing with a rather nice bronze tailfin still attached. I had my little one with me so decided to rebury it for another day. I am making an assumption that this has been soaking up rainwater for 60 yrs and is likely very much inert, well the crystals certainly didn't fire up when exposed to the air anyway. Whats the guidance on this? I feel a call to EOD would be an over reaction in this case? The tailfin would look rather nice on my mantlepiece though [emoticon]
Oh, oh, isn't their that aaaa, you no, woss it called? You no, that Codey fing... the Code of, of..., um, Responsible... yeah, thass it, Responsible Metaldetecting! Woss that say then? Bury it and hope nobody hits it when hoeing the spuds next year? Gor Blimey!

Vignette: 'Burning man', courtesy of a sawdust-for-brains-detectorist who can't follow even a simple code

Is this Really a 'Way Forward'?

I have on more than one occasion given an account of my concerns about the privately-owned UK Detector Finds database run since 1st September 2005 by a group of renegade tekkies in protest against the discussions then going on about the original official Code of Practice for Responsible metal Detecting in England and Wales. And yes, I said it would not survive as an informal body run on a shoestring by volunteers. It is still here, though, but in a vastly altered format. Gary Brun announced yesterday the launch of its newest incarnation, the new UKDFD. :

After going on about the 'successes' of the original voluntary scheme, they have decided to fund their costs by charging a subscription:
We have sought to spread the cost equitably across the various types of user, and minimise the impact on those who already pay to record. [...] All who wish to view the records and use the database will need to register and purchase a Membership Plan. These start at £15 per year. Those who also wish to record will need to buy a Recording Package. These start at £5.  [...] Further details of the subscription arrangements can be found on the new website.
So much then for the UKDFD as an alternative for the PAS.  I wonder how many tekkies support this as a way forward.

Let us note that this heritage paywall now involves all the 47000 items originally 'recorded' there under a different form of regulation- when the recorders thought the results of their work would be a permanent record visible to the general public for free. They must now feel cheated that the showcase has been removed from public view. In the same way, all those landowners who donated their property (the artefacts found on their land) to the finders on the understanding there would be an open access public record have been cheated - because the money generated by people accessing information about those objects is now going into the pockets of the UKDFD team, and not a penny to the landowner. Have they all been contacted to ask if they would like a cut of the proceeds?

In my opinion, this is a massive shot in the foot for the hobby. It is pretty startling to note that there are detectorists so "responsible", they'll pay more than fifteen quid a year  in order NOT to use the PAS as a form of legitimation-of-the-hobby-by-'recording'. That sends a pretty nasty message to Britain's main stakeholder community - the non-collecting public - that they'll have to PAY to see what the heritage pocketing Treasure hunters have taken from them. A non-public 'record' is information hidden from the public. I do rather think this move will ultimately go against the detecting community as a whole.

 It also suggests to me - unless I have missed something, and if so UKDFD organizers please enlighten us - that the 'Revised Code of Practice..." is now shown pretty conclusively not worth the paper it is printed on. And let us recall that it was from the publication of the original PAS/CBA 'code' that the UKDFD took its beginnings.

But maybe there is a message here for the PAS - start charging for membership packages for recorders. Why is it that you expect the public purse to pay your salaries and expenses, when the UKDFD shows that it can be done at the cost of the database users themselves? In 2016 there were 326,502 users of the PAS website, in addition to 10,633 registered users. If the PAS had membership packages at 15 quid a shout, they'd raise more than 5million quid for operational costs. That'd even pay for a proper Welsh PAS too. Maybe the UKDFD ("recording Our Heritafge for Future Generations') has shown Whitehall the way the PAS should be going. After all, each detectorist probably pays that much a year for batteries and petrol. All they need to do is put a few more duplicate collectable metal bits on eBay and they'll soon cover the costs - just look at the valuations in 'The Searcher'. Or perhaps the sum can be deducted from Treasure rewards. Why should the British public any longer foot the bill for the legitimation of collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological heritage by artefact hunters and pocketers?

Detectorist Supports Preventing Stakeholders Seeing what Collectiors Take Behind a Paywall

John Winter replies to my comment underneath the Gary Brun announcement on the pay-to-view-the-heritage-taken-from-you UK Detectorists Pocketed Finds Database:
John 20 January 2018 at 12:43 pm Yes. I wholeheartedly support this initiative and fail to see how it is a ‘shot in the foot’ The database is an alterative (sic) to the PAS and all credit too (sic) Gary Brun who has created one that is superior in many respects to what is currently available. Many detectorists use both means of recording. The records are not ‘hidden’. I hope Gary sees this and responds accordingly. You use emotive language to suit your own ends … how you can interpret this as a ‘scam’ is beyond me. But, par for the course and your negative comments were expected.
Records that are not publicly available are not a public record, are they? Heritage-pocketing artefact hunters are enriching their private collections at the expense of the heritage that belongs to all, and cannot claim that a private pay-to-view database showing some of what they have taken is any form of making that information available to anyone. It's just a commercial scheme, and yes the pretence that this is in any way "responsible" artefact hunting is a scam, A scam John. I would hope the PAS will creep outside their comfy comfort zone to comment on that aspect of it.

 So, can you (or Gary Brun) give us the statistics on the number of the 47000 objects that are now hidden from view are objects more than 300 years old and actually recorded on both the UKDFD and the PAS Database?

It is not difficult to be superior to the old UKDFD which was always rather clunky and dysfunctional. And yes, I do look at a pirate database created in order to (a) be a thorn in the side of the PAS, (b) scatter the data on pocketed material, and (c) provide a divisive 'alternative' ('by metal detectorists nur fur metal detectorists') with a critical eye. I also remember even if you have forgotten the manner in which UKDFD set out to sabotage the PAS forum by a trolling campaign - including posting doctored porn pictures on it (which they managed to succeed in - the forum was closed because their misbehaviour was costly to police and creating a bad impression in a public space of the detecting community)

Nur Fur Detectorists: The Red Pill about Artefact Hunters' "Contribution" to our Knowledge of the PASt

If we look at the pricing details for the use of the data entered in the past and currently on the UKFD we see that grabby detectorists with their smug feeling of entitlement think it s perfectly 'fair' to charge a member of the general public who's interested in seeing what a crotal bell looks like fifteen quid for the 'privilege'. But look at the red rectangle. The membership package for a 'professional' will cost them a hundred quid. That seems to be pretty symptomatic of the real degree to which artefact hunters are engaged in 'creating new knowledge about the past' through a partnership with archaeology.  Here's what they say about their entitlement to charge us for even seeing what has been pocketed from the archaeological record:

I have a better idea. Let archaeologists demonstrate to these patronising creeps their 'integrity' by simply boycotting their commercial database. That is entirely within the terms of the current Code of Conduct of several major archaeological bodies, to have nothing to do with extralegal commercial transactions involving decontextualised archaeological material. The very idea!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

NCMD Feet-draggers Left Behind by New Code

Heritage Action note: 'There’s a new Metal Detecting Code! First, the excellent news…', the good news is that in drawing up the Revised Code last year, 'only those who have the welfare of archaeology in mind have drafted it'. Although, as they point out - given the nature of the 'partnership' called 'responsible metal detecting' - this was a pretty obvious arrangement,
it’s not something that was recognised as sensible in Britain until now. So could this herald a fundamental change in stewardship of the buried archaeological resource? Might the next step be something that’s been equally overdue: a letter from archaeologists to farmers explaining the realities of [collection-driven exploitation of the archaeological record] without it being submitted for detectorists to edit, as previously demanded by their National Council? Could it be that the elephant has finally been thrown out of the room and off the backs of heritage professionals?
As the National Council of Metal Detectorists continues to drag its feet and take a back seat in the heritage debate, perhaps it is time for it to abandon its own 'close the gates' Code of Conduct for one which is far more in tune with the public interest. STOP taking our past. The past is not for pocketing.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

James Fielding shoots his mouth off

To James Fielding, loud-mouth tekkie. I posted this on his 'Detecting is an Attitude' blog
In a comment on another blog you write: "I find it interesting how purveyors of BS always somehow shoot themselves in the foot at the onset" Your concern with "depth" however belies your own shallow approach - you failed to check what was the sentence following the fragment that in his blog piece your tekkie mate took OUT OF CONTEXT in the text to which you respond. I think it is rather you that shot yourself in the foot writing without actually checking what it is that is being discussed (and how). 

I would contest your hasty assessment that Dr Samuel Hardy is merely a 'purveyor of BS', the paper referred to carefully sets out the methods used and references the sources utilised for critical review. All the tekkies can do is write with insulting 'Daily Mail adjectivisation' - but without citing a SHRED of evidence that Hardy is in error. I think that is rather telling, even if you do not.
This is typical tekkkies seem to think that a belief repeated often enough becomes the truth. There are texts that raise uncomfortable questions about current policies on artefact hunting and collecting, so instead of examining the underlying premises of them (often set out in a form allowing that to be done), tekkies and collectors label them 'lies' and those raising the questions 'liars' and imagine the issue is resolved. I would say that such an approach in itself reveals that the criticism to which they have no substantive answers has merit.

 UPDATE 18th Jan 2016
No substantive arguments, so ad hominems are used as a substitute - in further comments the metal detectorists compare Dr Sam Hardy to 'cockroaches that come out at night'. Yes, as the blog's title has it, metal detecting is based on several attitudes, and one of them is disrespect, disrespect for the remains of the past that are merely pocketed and disrespect for people like Sam Hardy, Nigel Swift, myself and others who question the effects of these practices.  Metal detectorists are in general a disrespectful bunch of loud-mouthed, self-centred knowledge-thieves with a misplaced sense of entitlement. 

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