The first series of debates fell short of the objective due to the fact that I didn’t clearly define procedures on how we should go about conducting it. I would like, therefore, to make another attempt at setting up this series. The process for selecting debaters is rather cumbersome, so I will ask for volunteers that are willing to take up or oppose a given issue. I would like to adopt the following:
1. Debate starts with the reading of the operative question and the selection of participants;
2. This will be followed by a brief period for points of clarification;
3. Debate is set to a minimum of 2 rounds but can be extended upward to four if requested by either participant;
4. Although there is no specific length to statements or rebuttal, we ask that debate be as concise and to the point as possible;
5. Following completion of the rounds, the operative question will be opened to discussion from the membership;
6. Participants may be asked if they are open to points of information following their respective rounds; and
7. Points of inquiry from the membership (to the participant) can only be made following the complete series of rounds.
8. After a period of one week, we will move to the next operative question.
We ask that all participants refrain from any sort of deliberately obstructive comments. Also, I would like to thank all the participants and those who thought this might be a worthwhile exercise.
A challenge that commonly appears in Western anthropological critique is the dichotomy that exists between the celebrated place of academic theory and the practical involvements and experience derived from fieldwork. QUES: Is this a major source of the problems and confusions in contemporary anthropology?
Unfortunately these elder masters and artists are not anthropologists but simply indigenous traditional people for the simple reason that an anthropologist must be DIFFERENT from what is passing really in a field ( ritual or mythological oral narratives). These masters are not dufferent , because thety don't observe anybody else and they reproduce their own culture by their means.
Anthropologists must OBSERVE from some neutral distance what is happenning in a field and TRANSMIT or try to INTERPRET these happennings in a conctrete neutral ''scientific'' language with no sentimentalities , otherwise their work will be evaluated as fiction.
Anthropologists need Academia as a central institution not only to finance their expeditions but also as a point of reference to which they belong. Academia is their ''natural field'' the same as the OTHER real field is for the indigenous peoples they observe.
An anthropologist who will not report the outcome of his/her observations in a ''scientific'' journal addressed to colleagues , will forget even him/herself what about was writing after some years. But academia as a reproductive matrix will make this work published even if unimportant addressing it to many others in the generations to come.
An anthropologist is transcripting oral expressions of culture of the indigenous to a written form of language, creating thus a personal culture ( scientific) that usually takes the charming (and much familiar in thge West) appellation of a THEORY.
For all these reasons anthropologists will never be confused with the indigenous people. The criterium of OTHERNESS will be always leading them as a compass. Finally, this model could be reversed in the years to come in the sense that a Papuasian tribesman could arrive to Paris to observe and possibly interpret in his terms the indigenous crowds that are the Parisians. But this inversion of powerful/non powerful is not changing the initial model of defining an anthropologist as somebody who is culturally DIFFERENT from the ''indigenous'' people (s)he chose to observe,.