RugDumb has changed over the past several years, and anyone who does not agree is either not paying attention or brain-dead.
An ageing population, no new blood coming in and a variety of anti-factors have all combined to stiffle growth and bring reduced activity.
Some of those anti-factors are lack of curatorial knowledge and interest among museum professionals, the association of rugs with Islam and Islam with terrorism, the extended economic recessionary downturn's limiting spending, changing home decoration tastes to modern, contemporary looks and a new generation(s) that does not want to collect or buy what daddy bought.
All these and others RK could list are in the mix but there is one over-riding reason, and one that RK has carped about for many years, the lack of peer review on the scholastic end and any self-governing authority on the dealer/gallery selling end.
RugDumb has no one but itself to blame. And no one but itself to try and change the present state of affairs.
The refusal of those who are in the know to speak up and out is perhaps the worst sin, and the old saying "Silence is Consent" was never more applicable. RK cannot understand why those who are knowledgeable enough to realize how bad things are remain frozen in inaction.
Are they hoping things will get better by themselves? If so, they are horribly mistaken, as rarely do things get better on their own. Think about it.
But there is a little bit more to RK's penning this missive.
We have now received a number of emails from readers who, by and large, seem to feel our coverage of jurg rageth's New Perspectives Turkmen publication is unfair, one person even accused us of being spiteful.
We expect this, we are never surprised at the ignorance and myopia of RugDumb's internet peanut-gallery.
We're pretty sure a number of them do not own the book, have not read any of it, or have even done more than thumb through the color pictures, if that.
On the other hand we have spoken to several experienced and knowledgeable folks, who feel our review and critique are right on. Some of them have had close relations with this project and came away from it quite disappointed and dismayed.
We implored them to speak up and out, but we know they are afraid and would rather suffer the consequences of that silence than those of speaking up.
For RK it all boils down to either you care enough about the subject to buck the waters of indifference or you sink below the rising tide of indifference and silence.
Stories abound of rageth's behind the scene's maneuverings, his failures to heed the warnings of the limitations of radiocarbon dating for carpets and his refusal to listen to those who wanted to help him. We have promised not the reveal any of this in more depth and have to honor the wishes of those who spoke candidly with us.
No doubt about the fact the publication rageth produced will not have any great, let alone significant, influence in convincing outsiders collecting carpets now has 'science' behind it. Far from it, as the 'science' is so flawed it becomes more ludicrous to continue to tout it.
During the late 1990's when rageth was planning his Anatolian Kelim and radiocarbon exhibition and publication several interested collectors with scientific background and professional scientific credibility told him to 'watch out' and be wary of the problems with c14 dating.
But rageth ignored them, went on as if they did not exist (the problems and those who warned him about them) and burned some bridges in the process.
Then jumping on the Turkmen collector scene circus barker rageth enlisted a whole new crew of takers for his snake-oil science.
Unfortunately, this is not what rug collecting needs at this moment and RK can only see the downside of a publication like rageth's becoming more and more obvious to all.
Time will tell if anyone will join us in presenting a far more truthful appraisal than it has received so far, surely we know that rag hali won't.