A paradigm is a set of ideas or rules, a way of looking or thinking about something. Paradigms can also be referred to as “thinking inside the box”. This can be limiting, because we tend to apply rules to things we really don’t know about. “There’s nothing going to be found at that site.” “This signal is a deep nail.”
If I’ve learned one thing in thirty-something years of detecting, is that no set of rules exist that govern metal detecting finds. Sure it is ok for us use our knowledge and experience to make decisions, as long as we don’t limit ourselves with narrow thinking.
Here are five ways that paradigms can limit our detecting finds:
I do this automatically. “I found nothing in the yard next door, so I might as well not bother hunting this one.” or “The site next door had only bullets, so this one will as well.” Sometimes I’ll be foolish enough to apply that logic to an entire street! I’ve learned to try to throw aside my judgment and hunt the site anyway. Nothing wrong with hunting it hard for an hour or two and deciding to move on to somewhere more productive if one is available.
Facts are facts: there is nothing wrong with riding probability. If you find more relics or silver in one neighborhood than another, then focus on the one that is winning.
The reason this is limiting is that we might only fail to hunt a monster site, but if we do hunt it, we may hunt it with a bad attitude and low expectations. And I believe, whether you think that you can do something or that you can’t, you are usually right.
The sites we think are bound to hold something good often are a bust, and many sites that we don’t hunt or put off hunting because of how bad they are, very often turn out to be the greatest sites we’ve ever hunted.