gamic

Believe it or not—there is not yet an entry for it at Wikipedia: ↑gamic [pronounced. game-ick] is a combination of the words ‘game’ and ‘comic’, meaning a graphic novel based on screenshots made ‘inside’ a computergame. Gamic is the ‘still-side’ of ↑machinima. One could say that gamic has the same relation to machinima as graphic novels have to animated cartoons. As gamic and machinima are no formally defined genre-concepts, but contemporary ‘native cyberculture concepts’ the boundaries are bleeding. Sometimes gamics are seen as a sub-genre of machinima, and there are true borderline cases ↵like the MP2-based “↑The White Room“, to … Continue reading

Share

a coder in courier land

Simply a ↑great story, in my opinion: “There are a number of reasons why the courier life was particularly attractive to this budding young programmer. Part of it was of course standard Office Space fantasy. But there was more. Gibson and Stephenson had taught me that the messenger, the mailman, was a vital romantic figure. The soldier of the information age.” … Continue reading

Share

tsunami audio slideshow

  A bit belated, I know, but nevertheless big congratulations to my friend Matthias Eberl, who succeeded in having published his audio slideshow “↑Drei Jahre nach dem Tsunami“ [“Three years after the Tsunami”] at ↑Spiegel online. For the international readership—serverlogs tell me that half of you who drop by here come from the US—, “Der Spiegel” [“The Mirror”] is Europe’s biggest and Germany’s most influential weekly news magazine, published in Hamburg, with a circulation of around one million per week. “Spiegel online” is its online presence. For his piece of multimedia journalism Matthias has recorded and shot material on location … Continue reading

Share

reification

reification   There is much discussion about what anthropologists should do or should not do with their knowledge and skills. Indeed this is not an easy issue to deal with. When it comes to anthropologists working for the industry, or even for governmental institutions, a plethora of ethical and moral controversies arise. Due to the complexity and manifoldness of the problem there can not be a simple solution, a recipe which covers all. My own position varies a bit from case to case, but I am convinced, that the stance of complete negation is fundamentally wrong. By complete negation I … Continue reading

Share

robotics

Both “cyberspace” and “robotics” are neologisms by influential Science-Fiction writers. Both neologisms in turn are based on neologisms, too. For “cyberspace” ↑William Gibson preyed on ↑Norbert Wiener‘s concept of “cybernetics”, for “robotics” ↑Isaac Asimov preyed on writer ↑Karel Capek‘s “robot,” when he wrote this sentence: “Compare Speedy with the type of robot they must have had back in 2005. But then, advances in robotics these days were tremendous.” (Asimov 1995b [1942]: 257)  Why I am writing about this here, is the fact that both neologisms and their contexts, the stories within which they appeared, somehow developed into self-fulfilling prophecies, shaping … Continue reading

Share

mana’o

The ↑Mana’o Project is “an experimental open access anthropology repository.” It is just some months old, but there already are items as far back as 1891, including some classics. Of course the frequency of items gets bigger and bigger as you get closer to the present day. Additionally the topics are tell-tale in some respect, too. Below I listed what generated a search according to my current focus of interest. Alas, it would be premature to deduce, that the things “cyber” have conquered whole anthropology, because those working on said topics of course are the first to publish their texts … Continue reading

Share

unanthropology

During this year’s summer term I am going to offer an advanced seminar I christened “Ethnologie enzyklopädisch”, roughly translated “Sociocultural Anthropology encyclopedia style”. The widely visible result of the seminar shall be a completely overworked entry ↑Ethnologie—and maybe changing of items closely linked to it—within the German version of the Wikipedia. The rationale behind the project consists of a row of strategical thoughts and didactical ponderings.  First of all the Wikipedia is widely consulted and read, an empirical piece of reality not to ignore. Hence for the sake of the discipline we simply have to make sure that the entry … Continue reading

Share

dart plane

Remember Gaff (Edward James Olmos) continuously leaving behind tiny origami artefacts, thereby more or less cryptically commenting situations in “↑Blade Runner“? The ↑famous unicorn in particular? Well, during the Christmas days I unearthed a book I 15 years ago ordered from Dover Publications: Gery Hsu’s 1992 “How to make origami airplanes that fly.” The inside of my copy is littered with quarter- and half-finished specimen. Obviously I tried out a lot of models, but always had to give up and abandon the projects—with the exception of the very first model in the book, the “Space Shuttle” (pp. 12-15)—glides greatly! With … Continue reading

Share