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Re: The finished circle
Aug 05, 2012, 19:13
harestonesdown wrote:
bladup wrote:
rockhopper wrote:
My own experience with 'academics' has I'm afraid given me rather a jaundiced view. I can only speak about this country (Eire), but the ones I have met have been aloof, dismissive, and in one or two instances downright obstructive. Based on 10 years experience I have yet to meet one prepared to give 'amateurs' (a term I use through gritted teeth) a fair hearing.
It seems that most are interested solely in their own careers and pension prospects, and have an eye firmly on the next tranche of funding for their own projects. This of course is human nature, but it excludes much that is relevant.
There are many intelligent people out there who were not able to benefit from higher education, who (and I do not include myself among them) had circumstances been different, could well have gone on to eclipse the careers of those who were more fortunate.
Personally I have learnt an enormous amount from all walks of academia, as have we all. But the possesion of an expensive piece of paper from a university does not confer automatic intellectual superiority upon anyone.
I regard the guy who fixes my car as an absolute genius, without whom both me and the academics would be well stuck. Not everything in life requires a university degree, and I would list the ability to see and reason, one of the mainstays of archaeology, as one of them.

I couldn't agree more!!!


I can't argue with your own experiences obviously, and it's sad to hear that's what you've encountered. I also agree wholeheartedly with Rockhopper that there are loads of people who, had things been different, could have had equally impressive careers as the more "fortunate". I also agree that just because you have a piece of paper, it doesn't make your opinions more valid or important.

But this does seem a little like cutting off your nose to spite your face in some ways. I realise that some archaeologists/academics are tossers, same as some milkmen are tossers and some astronauts are tossers. But that doesn't mean that there isn't loads to learn from professional archaeologists or academics. The piece of paper might not make them intellectually superior (it clesarly doesn't) but it does indicate that they have invested a lot of time and energy into their chosen field. So they might know things that people who haven't spend years of study don't, and we can all benefit from that knowledge, as long we are prepared to learn. Obviously the academics need to be prepared to share their knowledge freely, and I admit that this is sometimes where there is a real problem.
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