[meteorite-list] Commercialization, meteorite coins and other ridiculous wastes of time

From: Thaddeus Besedin <endophasy_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2007 08:21:24 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <660789.10489.qm_at_web62513.mail.re1.yahoo.com>

  Indeed propaganda is important, but it should be provided at no charge if it is the preservation and dissemination of knowledge that is desired. A meteorite coin is no better a fetish than a meteorite itself, accompanied with accessible information.
  In defense of academic repositories, the curation of specimens safeguards scientifically-important materials from the fate of commodities; too bad commodification has been a necessary evil in permitting the accessibility we enjoy in our pursuit of possession of meteorites.

Jake Baker <bakers5acres at frontiernet.net> wrote:
                I?ve read the messages about this subject bantered about.
  First I have a problem with ?scientific? repositories and museums. I like to be able to look closely at what I choose and not what some academic wants to spoon feed me. My mind can process more than a few ?selected? pieces on certain subjects. If you ask to see a particular piece or subject the stock answer is ?you?ll have to make an appointment? or ?that is scheduled for March two years from now?. I may never get back to see it. In a lot of cases I helped fund it with taxes. It isn?t right that a few employees and scientists are the only people ?allowed? to see, touch and experience these wonders of our world. Yes institutes rescue and preserve items but for what? So the articles can sit in a drawer, box or bottle for years and the building finally burns down and nothing is left? It?s selfish and self serving.
  I like the way that museums used to be. Everything they had was on display. I grew up in Iowa and as a child in the 1960s spent days in the Iowa State Capitol Museum looking at everything from civil war relics, stuffed animals, American Indian garments of the 17-1800s to Dr. Bean?s one of a kind fossil plates. Dr. Bean was a dentist who spent years extracting crinoid (sp) colonies from limestone parent material. His works have a world wide reputation. When we went to Iowa on vacation in 1999 I wanted to show my husband Dr Bean?s fossils but the answer was ?that?s not available . . . . ?. I was truly disappointed there wasn?t a single fossil on display.
  With the individual collector (or dealer) that doesn?t happen. People are proud of what they have found, traded for or purchased. Most are more than willing to share their knowledge with adults and children. If you have seen the wonder in a child?s eyes when they look at crystals, meteorites, or even common rocks you know what I mean. Many children and adults who are curious will never make it to a museum or a big city. Many don?t have the funds or physical ability to get there. Many children have parents who just don?t care or are chemically addicted. If a small meteorite is purchased or given to a rural grade school or an inner city school and ignites a passion in one child and that child turns off the tv, violent video games or cell phone to find a meteorite, rocks or get outside to learn about geology or nature - that?s success. That?s what sharing and education is about. If we want a better world ? we have to cultivate the minds of children as one cultivates a
 garden. They will eventually be taking care of us.
  So ? all of you who see this subject from the perspective of a large metropolitan city dweller or a person of science who lives in an intellectual vacuum try and look at the subject and world from another perspective. Put your egos, opinions and bias aside and do what benefits the most people. You all have experience, education and knowledge to share. Leave the fertilizer in the garden.
  Barb Baker
  Show Low, Arizona
  (50 miles from Holbrook)

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Received on Sun 01 Apr 2007 11:21:24 AM PDT

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