amateur anthropologist

… and he ↵said it again. Here’s an excerpt from a recent round of ↑Q&A with William Gibson:  Question: On more philosophical and complicated themes. You are an artist, a creator, but more: you are through your writing an influencer, a shaper of technology, of society itself. Does that scare you? Answer: I don’t actually buy that, the mighty thunderer and shaper of technology thing. I think I’m more of an interpreter of technologies, an amateur anthropologist. I’m a sort of Victorian weekend naturalist of technology, who somehow found a way to make a living doing that (and a bunch … Continue reading

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cybermind

↑MARSHALL, JONATHAN PAUL. 2007. Living on cybermind: Categories, communication, and control. New York: Peter Lang.  Cybermind is an Internet mailing list, originally founded in 1994 to discuss the issues and problems of living online. It proved exceptionally fertile and is still going strong thirteen years later.      This book is an ethnographic investigation which follows Cybermind members in their daily lives on the List, and explores the ways they look at the world, argue, relate online life to offline life, use gender, and build community. Perhaps the most comprehensive history of an Internet group ever published, it includes detailed … Continue reading

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interview with a doomed marine

Again those little mosaic-tiles keep falling in place—and the timing is perfect. Just some days ago ↑John Postill confirmed via email that a paper I proposed for the ↑11th biennial conference of the ↑European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) has been accepted for the media anthropology network’s workshop ↑The Rewards of Media. Just one day before gamescares published an ↑interview with Peter Papadopoulos, Remedy’s community manager. Pete is an old friend of mine from the glorious days of Max-Payne modding. Within the online-scene he is better known as ADM, short for “a doomed marine,” of course an allusion to the … Continue reading

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anthropology coming of age

welcome to the 21st century    Since quite a time ↵I was eagerly awaiting ‘↑Coming of age in Second Life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human‘ by ↑Tom Boellstorff—it just arrived with yesterday’s snail-mail, so I had not yet the chance to read Tom’s book from front to back cover. Until now I only read chapter 1 ‘Subject and scope,’ plus a dozen or so random paragraphs from throughout the book. Hence I am not yet qualified to deliver a review, instead I will jot down just some thoughts.  Although ‘↑Second Life‘ (SL) is not the focus of my own … Continue reading

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raining games

manuscript-day four of 100 Yesterday night, while hunched over his C-64, absorbedly somersaulting over compact droids while running along platforms, hard banging against the door of his flat wrenched him out of immersion.     ‘Open that door immediately,’ a commanding voice shouted from the staircase outside his apartment. The order was preceded by the incomprehensible, but nevertheless authoritative yelling of a name, and of a likewise yelled address resembling the one of a nearby police station. Already close to wetting his pants, picturing himself in jail for having committed the arch-crime of copyright infringement at least a zillion times, … Continue reading

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