grim sad tale

Giancarlo Macchi
Sun Aug 13 18:07:21 CEST 2006

I will try to introduce my personal point of view related with 
Vittorio's last post where he pointed out how the archaeological 
community may appear divided in two groups: the A team (supposedly well 
prepared on digital techniques etc) and the B team (traditional 
archaeologists). By the way, this is at this point a traditional 
classification accepted by the entire archaeological community.

I do agree with you Vittorio that many people in the A team think people 
from the B team as "paleo" users and other stuff either. But the fact is 
that this traditional classification doesn't have to much sense to me. 
Why? As once Karl Popper wrote, there are only problems and the urge to 
solve them.

And so what? What's the point?

Well, let's put things this way. There are archaeological problems that 
can be solved with traditional means. I mean without the use of a 
computer. In addition to these there are some problems that can be 
solved necessarily with the aid of a computers. Therefore the use of the 
computer represents an essential condition.

My point is that in the A as well as in B team there are plenty of 
archaeologists that do not have scientific problems to solve. Therefore 
assertions of the kind "you are a *#%$= because you USE the computers" 
or "and you are a ?&%%$& because you DON'T use computer" take place. 
Pretty funny isn't it? They simply don't get the sense of the whole 

At the same time we have to deal with a BIG misunderstanding here. The 
fact that computers are some sort of advanced technological techniques 
that differ from a traditional approach. Any one who knows what a 
computer is (in the Jacquard loom sense) knows well that there is 
nothing more scientifically sticked to tradition than computer sciences. 
The sad part of the story is this. There is plenty of people in the A 
team that doesn't have a damned clue of what computers are.

I know archaeologists (team A of course) that spent most part of their 
life in front of a computer thinking that his/her computer is some sort 
of miraculous, paranormal machine. We may call them the Z team. The Z 
stands for zombies.

If a computer can help you it is because you have full consciousness of 
what your scientific problems are.

There is no real boundary between tradition and technological approach. 
There is instead a ...

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