Last week I went to a conference for three days and was unable to access the internet during that time. When I got back I checked my email to find that I had 160+ messages. At first, I was blown away with how many emails I had. I really did not think I receive that many messages, it turns out, normally, I don’t. The vast majority of those emails was from two archaeology listserves I subscribe to, NMAC and ACRA. In those three days these lists degraded into petty arguing and in some cases pointless name calling over about 100 emails.
NMAC started with someone posting that it was the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (USA’s). That lead to someone saying, “oh you mean the war of northern aggression”. This lead to Civil War II on the NMAC list serve. Now, if this had been about civil war archaeology that would have been impressively cool, it wasn’t.
While the NMAC listserve and its dozens of posts NOT about civil war archaeology (it is an archaeology listserve) annoyed me it was the ACRA listserve that really degraded and made me ashamed to be an archaeologists. You can see a pretty complete list of the conversation at paleowage here. Name calling, pointless attacks, etc. etc.
Basically, the lesson is that archaeologists are just the same as every other person in the world. They can be small, petty, and mean people at times but they can also be some of the greatest people I have ever met. Still it would be great they acted more like heroes then petty trolls. Mainly, because I just can’t be bothered to get into this petty bullshit. This video from the onion sums up my feelings on the matter-