March 2013 Blog Posts (10)

Theoretical Anthropology: Is It Possible?

The best thing here at OAC is that anyone can write a blog post or a comment or a discussion topic about anything as long as there's a discernible anthropology in it.  Other anthropology sites are too academic and formal; thus the posts and the comments seemed restrained, awfully familiar, and vanilla--that's not out of the box.  It makes me wonder if anthropologists in those sites are really sharing their best or if they are being careful not to sound unprofessional or come out unacademic.…


Added by M Izabel on March 31, 2013 at 7:31am — 12 Comments

Mathematical tradition in Anthropology. An Introduction 1. Edmund R.Leach


Anthropologist sees the world  as a world of extreme complexity or as a series of Big Data ( NP hard ) problems , hence, some field complexities could be described as“ botanic rarities of the most exotic kind “ by literary forms , whereas another complexities are ready for scientific computational analysis.

As is known the first attempts to introduce systematic scientific analysis of culture as “ a set of mechanical devices “ ( Malinowski ) or  as a  sort of “computer…


Added by Michael Alexeevich Popov on March 28, 2013 at 4:17pm — 20 Comments

Meet the New Left: Small Business Owners

From the frontlines of the battle for a human economy, some interesting noise, via the Nation. Our times are indeed crying out for new kinds of associations and coalitions. "Small Business Owner," the sacred cow of American politics has become a contested brand, a classic David v. Goliath.

The corporate bureaucracy resembles Nike, circa early 1990s, and its attempt to indirectly own the whole category of sports.  It almost worked for a while and then it didn't. Now, an outfit who…


Added by Boris Popovic on March 27, 2013 at 5:00pm — 5 Comments

Goodbye to Alison Redmayne, Mung'anzagala Semugongolwa

I've mentioned Alison Redmayne a number of times in my East African Notes and Records blog and will again, I hope. We first met at her house in north Oxford in February 1980 when I was planning doctoral research in …


Added by Martin Walsh on March 23, 2013 at 10:08am — No Comments

Anthropology Inc.

Forget online surveys and dinnertime robo-calls. A consulting firm called ReD is at the forefront of a new trend in market research, treating the everyday lives of consumers as a subject worthy of social-science scrutiny. On behalf of its corporate clients, ReD will uncover your deepest needs, fears, and desires.

The Atlantic Monthly on the latest in an…


Added by Boris Popovic on March 21, 2013 at 7:19pm — 8 Comments

Selling the Sea, fishing for Power: A study of Conflict over Marine Tenure in Kei Islands, Eastern Indonesia

Dear all,

I would like to share my book, Selling the Sea, fishing for Power: A Study of Conflict over Marine Tenure in Kei Islands, Eastern Indonesia. It has just came out from ANU E-Press in Canberra, Australia. The book is available for free download at: …


Added by Dedi Supriadi Adhuri on March 17, 2013 at 9:42am — 3 Comments

Joi Ito's Nine Principles

Just stumbled across these thoughts from Joi Ito, Director of the MIT Media Lab, on Boing-Boing.

There are nine or so principles to work in a world like this:

1. Resilience instead of strength, which means you want to yield and allow failure and you bounce back instead of trying to resist failure.

2. You pull instead of push. That means you pull the resources from the…


Added by John McCreery on March 12, 2013 at 11:30am — 4 Comments

Savage Minds


Today's Savage Mind

Why we are not as wise as we think we are.  Not observing patterns, loss of knowledge and the empirical method.

Comments and responses welcome.  



Added by Alice C. Linsley on March 5, 2013 at 3:00am — 14 Comments

You are tomorrow's anthropology

Reviewing my recent contributions to Savage Minds and OAC, I see myself writing about anthropology in an increasingly severe and critical tone. As I reflect on where that tone is coming from a phrase pops into my head: disciplinary involution. The words are a twist on Clifford Geertz's  "Agricultural Involution," the title of a book in which he describes the economic plight of Javanese peasants who, as part of a growing population, cultivate smaller and smaller fields with increasing…


Added by John McCreery on March 4, 2013 at 6:30am — 12 Comments

Remark on History of Anthropology and Mathematics


This remark inspired by David Mills (Department of Education, University of Oxford) paper "After Malinowski..." ( Ethnicity seminar at ISCA 1.03.2013 ). David described Malinowski style of doing anthropological seminar at LSE with its interactive way of presentation, formalism,"raumkunst" and, of course, pub. It became puzzling for today's anthropologists because mathematical aspects of Malinowski functionalist thinking ( as well as Levi-Strauss algebraist thinking) are ignored…


Added by Michael Alexeevich Popov on March 1, 2013 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

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