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    Re: On line anonymity
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2010 Jan 8, 08:15 -0800

    You wrote:
    "these anon entries seem to point to persons with instruments/bits of instruments or bits related to instruments (cases) who want a 'provenance' and value prior to putting it up on something like Ebay with a seemingly informed description. We, Navlist members ,are supposed to be the valuers and sources of info on all nav instruments...for free!"

    Yes, think of the vast mountains of money we could be making if those evil anonyms would only pay for our highly valuable services. We are very important people, and we require respect and subservience from all newcomers.

    Ha. Well, ok, maybe not. :-) Just remember, there are all sorts of folks digging around in "dad's closet" after he passed away wondering whether this or that bit of junk is actually treasure. Should we shun them for their ignorance? Or welcome them as guests?? Is it courteous to assume that they have devious motives and slam the door in their faces? Or is it courteous to invite them in? That depends on each of us, I suppose. And naturally, one never knows. There are always many possibilities. All you have to go on is the text that they write.

    Meawhile, here's an example, of someone who had an item appraised at no cost:
    http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20100107/LIFE02/1070301/Rare-find

    Do you have "Antiques Roadshow" or some equivalent program on Australian television? They routinely appraise antiques at no charge. The program is very popular here in the US despite the fact that it runs on public television which does not usually produce popular programs in this 'reality' category.

    The item described in the article is supposed to be a quadrant that "washed up" on a beach. But in this case, we have more than text to go on; there's a photo. To me, that does not look like an instrument that spent 300 years underwater. I suspect it is actually a stolen instrument that was either dumped on the beach to get rid of it (after the thief became convinced he couldn't sell it without getting caught) or the beach-combing story is a cover. As I said above, one never knows!

    You concluded:
    "My feeling; ignore the anon entries, no name, no game!"

    Good call. Anyone can ignore any post on NavList.

    But while we're here (and I am not all saying that you have done this), calling it out and posting 'I shall ignore this post' is not actually the same thing as ignoring the post.

    Now... *why* should you ignore someone who posts anonymously? Let's compare with your case, Mike. You have made five posts to NavList (counting this latest) in the time you've been on-board. You sign your posts as "Mike Bowman" and they come from an email address starting with "sydnpolly". Your posts are on-topic and interesting. I always read them. Now suppose someone posts a message without giving their full name and suppose that their posts are on-topic (guaranteed, since I personally review any and all anonymous posts) and interesting. Do we really "know" you better than we know this hypothetical anonymous person? Do we know anything about you except what we find in the text of your posts? Of course not. That's life in the online universe. And we should not complain about the level of privacy that some people *choose* for themselves.

    If someone can convince me that they have been harmed in any way by an anonymous post, and furthermore, that this "harm" has occurred in a way that they cannot result from a post with an associated email address, then we have a real issue. Otherwise? This is just a tempest in a teapot.

    -FER
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