For those who have followed this blog, you may find that there is something missing here that you wish to read. Posts from 2012 and 2013 (the few from 2014 as well) have been temporarily removed to be evaluated for possible use elsewhere. They will be re-posted sometime in the next few months.

In the meantime, if you need a post for citation or discussion, posting request comments and I will try to either send you a link or a copy of the post. I have been just as pleased for the requests for copies of posts to use as targets of attack in archives classes as I have been for those who used them in an, er, “kinder” fashion. I like to know that they are discussed and encourage classes to post the comments on this blog as well. Same goes for any who have cited my opinions, if they receive feedback. (Profanity will not allowed. Ad Hominum attacks will not be tolerated against others, and will only be accepted for posting when aimed at me on a case-b-case basis.) )
Do to other commitments The Heretic posted at a slower rate once he returned to blogging in 2012. The frequency has been roughly monthly, with a few extras, so somewhere around 27 posts from about 2 years have been pulled. I expect to return to more regular posting before the end of 2014, at which time my time commitments should change considerably. I should have reasonably frequent posts in the meantime, and the older ones will return bit by bit. (Caveat: Posts used in other projects may be held longer.)

The Heretic


Sorry to be Gone- Be Back Soon

September 24, 2010

In the past few months there have been several major developments in my life that have delayed my posting. Deaths of a family member and 3 major mentors in my life, a job change, the introduction of regular activities with 2 people who at best are irrational in general (and one or both of whom may be literally mentally ill to the point of being unable to function properly in their positions in life,) have cut significantly into blog time.

In addition, I have been working on several papers for possible publication. Parts of them will appear on this blog in hopes of generating comments. I lean towards self publication with the Internet as my medium of choice. If I am to have peer review through this method, it will require comments. Hope to be back soon with something worth reading, and hope to hear some comments.

The Heretic

I have received a couple of messages from people who wanted to know when my next post will be and one from someone who wanted to know if I am “alright.” (Boy, that’s a loaded question.)

The answer to the first is, soon. In fact, there will likely be a flurry coming soon. I have been working on 4 articles, one on history, one on my ideas regarding archival theory, one on my ideas regarding the dilemmas faced by professionals including archivists, and one that is centered on both archives theory and practice and religious theory and practice.

In all cases, though to a lesser extent with the historical article, those professionals to whom I have shown the drafts feel they qualify as “outside the box,” “unusual,” extolling a “different point of view,” “something we need to be discussing but no one wants to,” expressing points of view that “no one will listen to, even though they should,” “crazy,” “unreasoned,” “very well reasoned,” or “trash.” They produce a “Wow! I never thought of that,” a “You should be shot” reaction, or simply blank stares or witless grins.

Because these are the reactions I get to most of my posts on this site, at least from the folks who really know me, the material seems to be appropriate for posting. Therefore, I expect to put portions of the papers here as blog posts. I have been asked to submit one to a new on-line journal, but will otherwise likely follow my past pattern of posting them online in pdf for any to read, cite, or print and toss into a fire, as long as their actions are in compliance with copyright laws and local fire codes. The difference between these and previous self-published work will be that some of the reasons I had for publishing anonymously have gone away, so I will likely be forced to step up to the plate and take my hits like a man since my name will be on these. (It will also soon replace pseudonyms on most other works, unless doing so might bring injury to others.) In the meantime, if you stumble upon this post, feel free to communicate with a comment and know  that I am diligently practicing my heresy to perfect its presentation.

The other question, as to whether I am “alright” or not, also has bearing on my reduced presence on the blogosphere (I do blog elsewhere so I have not been totally AWOL.) If it refers to my mental state, I do not know. Obviously if the answer is yes, the answer is yes. By the same token, if the answer should be no, I might believe it to be yes, so my answer would be wrong. For that matter, if I answer no, that might imply that I am “with it” enough to at least know something is wrong, so the answer might really be a qualified yes. Who knows.

All Princess Bride-type speeches aside:

I live in Nashville and the question was actually referring to the recent floods. I’m fine. Some friends and family suffered loss of homes and businesses, and some of the collections at one of the institutions where I work were damaged, not badly but enough to require attention. They will be okay (friends, family and collections) and I got to practice some collection disaster response skills in real life. As the sole archivist for a section of a large denomination, I have also been assisting and advising others who suffered damage at institutional and individual levels. This has taken time away from my blogging, but as my grandfather loves to say, “This, too, shall pass.”

Thanks for the concern.

The Heretic

Heresy? I think not.

September 4, 2009

The Heretic

Getting Started

April 2, 2009

I have come to realize that many of my ideas, including those related to my profession as a historian and an archivist, go against the general thought flow of others in my professional world.  I realized the degree to which this was true when the president of an archival professional society listened to me expound upon several of my ideas, then looked me in the eye and said “Heresy!” I thought, “Well, yeah. Okay. I’ll go with that.”

I am not alone in my views and every now and then I discover a kindred spirit in the profession or read an article or Web post that suggests there are still others who might share some of my views. This blog is for the expression of some of these heresies, as well as some more or less mainstream views. I will eventually provide links to and for others who share my views or wish to join the discussions. It might be fun.

I will state up front that many of my heretical views are not related specifically to my profession, though they sometimes overlap. I work in a public institution, but also serve as a religious historian and archivist. Comments made by coworkers tend to stir thoughts of a religious, philosophical or even political nature that may find their ways to these pages.  That is as it is.

My first act of heresy is to be a user advocate. I feel that the primary purpose of saving anything, including records and historical memorabilia, is so that it may be used. I  have discovered that there are those who feel records should be preserved for the sake of preserving them, (art for art’s sake?) or because they give their custodian’s power. I have discovered that in religious institutions they are often hidden, destroyed or not kept at all to help entities retain power. My advocacy for open records and ready access has been met in many cases with attitudes ranging from antipathy to aggressive opposition. Again, that is as it is.

I will expound further, but the primary purpose of this post is just to get the thing going. We will see where it eventually ends up.

The Heretic