talking cyberanthropology

Several weeks before this year’s conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA/DGV) took place (14-17 September in Vienna, Austria), Thomas Lohninger contacted me via e-mail. He is the founder of, and force behind ↑Talking Anthropology which went live in July 2009. Since then he has produced and brought online 39 podcasts, 16 of them in English. The idea of Talking Anthropology is to bring topics, notions, and ideas from social and cultural anthropology to a broader public. The podcast seems to be a fitting format for that endeavour. The download numbers, for some of his productions in the thousands, confirm … Continue reading

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godbox upgrade

It’ll be not long and I am back in the game. With ↵DX3 and the other goodies around it is obvious that after more than four and a half years an upgrade of my former ↵godbox has become unavoidable. Today I sprang headfirst into Tom’s Hardware and began doing research on current graphics cards. After a quick e-mail exchange with KerLeone (asking him what hardware he’s currently on) I went on with my research, but then thought: ‘Mine has to be bigger!’ So I skipped my plan to just replace the graphics card. Instead I opted for really upgrading the … Continue reading

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environmental malfunction

After our conversation in the elevator unfortunately is interrupted by ↑Francis Pritchard entering, ↑Megan Reed has to go and meet ↑Athene Margoulis, ↑David Sarif‘s executive assistant. The latter is my boss, the founder and CEO of ↑Sarif Industries, whom I now have to meet up in his office. And quite an office it is [see above], although not as impressive as the one of ↑Dr. Eldon Tyrell—but then again Sarif Industries is characterized as ‘a moderately-sized biotechnology company.’ For that the building housing his company is quite impressive.     While talking with the old man [strange to say that, … Continue reading

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human revolution

When I entered the last chapter of ↑Far Cry 2 (Ubisoft Montreal 2008) my account read 178 diamonds. The sneaky bastard I am, I felt so comfortable once I had the combination of silenced P9, Dragunov, dart rifle, and the camouflage suit, there was no reason for me to spend anything on new equipment. The payments for accomplished missions came in, and the fortune amassed till ↑suicide was painless.     Somehow mixing this up with my bank account, the one my salary as an anthropologist goes to, yesterday evening I strolled into a shop and laid fifty quid down … Continue reading

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seventythree percent

Just a li’l rant in-between, because this is hilarious and I have to let off a bit of steam.     I played through ‘↑Far Cry 2‘ (FC2) till 73% of the story mode, and now I am stuck. I have done all missions available, and the game prompts me to reach a briefing point to get a new mission. The only spot marked on the map where I can get a new mission is the headquarters of the ‘Alliance for Popular Resistance’ (APR) in Mosate Selao.     So I head there, the guy at the door takes away … Continue reading

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infiltration

my first ↑vig! The good Evil Doctor to be seen here just recently found out that his newest invention, the death-ray, is just perfectly suited for joining aquatic cartilage and human tissue. While welding the head of a ↑Galeocerdo cuvier upon his latest victim, the latter’s comrades have discovered a sneaky path into his well secured laboratory …     It’s not a mere tradition but a rule that supervillains, ↑mad scientists in particular, build their secret hide-outs and laboratories within or right above active volcanoes at the brink of eruption. In sharp contrast to public opinion this has significant … Continue reading

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rogue states

It’s 20 years ago that Bruce Sterling drew a connection between ↑cyberpunk in the nineties and Jules Verne: ‘↑Captain Nemo was a technical anarcho-terrorist.’ (Sterling 1991: 39) By chance last night I stumbled over a passage in Verne’s ‘↓20,000 leagues under the sea‘ I had marked some time. It is part of a conversation between Ned Land [picture Kirk Douglas] and Professor Arronax. Together with Arronax’ trusty servant Conseil they in effect are prisoners aboard Nemo’s submarine ‘Nautilus’ and now speculate about their jailors’ origin: “My opinion is formed,” replied Ned Land, sharply. “They are rascals.” “Good! and from what … Continue reading

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delineation

Some weeks ago I once again had a conversation on the distinctions between social/cultural anthropology and neighbouring or kin disciplines. On the very same day a bookseller sent me an e-mail advertising the (quite costly) “Encyclopaedia of Social Anthropology” by Indian sociologist Henna Tabassum (2011). The book’s ↑product overview gives a quite comprehensive description, which very much is in synch with my convictions: Social anthropology is distinguished from subjects such as economics or political science by its holistic range and the attention it gives to the diversity of culture and society across the world and the capacity this gives the … Continue reading

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1945-1998

Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea’s two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear). Isao Hashimoto himself on his ‘1945-1998’: This piece of work is a bird’s eye view of the history by scaling down a month length of time into one second. No letter is … Continue reading

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tie rendering

It seems like I can’t resist the gravity of the vast ↵moc- and afol-scene. And thick participation means, among other things, sharing practices. So I followed the comprehensive tutorial ↑Converting LDR Files to POV Files for Rendering by Jeroen de Haan and Jake McKee and then ran my rendition of a ↑TIE Interceptor (which I built first in the flesh, and then with the ↑LDraw-based ↑MLCad) through ↑POVRay. All that reminded me very much of ye olde days of game modding. Here’s how my model (every single part of it stems from the 1970s!) looks in meatspace:  … Continue reading

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