anthropology, definition of

The project of anthropology is to understand objective empirical phenomena which are the consequences of the fusions of highly subjective experiences. For a preliminary sorting of these phenomena the congeries society and culture have been invented. It took me ten years, but now here it is (above) … the definition of anthropology ;)

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irevolution in bahrain

  The role online media played and do play in the so-called Arab Spring is not an easy one to understand. Anthropologists are at it and a student of mine currently prepares a thesis—and from what I have seen till now he already produced interesting insights. The ongoings around Amber Lyon’s segment of the CNN-documentary ‘iRevolution’ adds a new layer. You can read the whole ↑backstory of CNN suppressing its own documentary at the Guardian. via ↑entry at ↑boingboing … Continue reading

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relational reality revisited

Having ↵mentioned Alex ‘↑Rex‘ ↑Golub‘s ‘↓Being in the World (of Warcraft)‘ (2010), I allow myself to point you to my ‘The Stability of Cyberspace’ which I first presented at the Cyberspace 2005 International Conference, and which subsequently was published in the conference’s proceedings (2006).     In order to grapple with the problem of reality, Rex draws on ↑Alfred Schütz and ↑William James (Golub 2010: 24, 33, 39, 40)—the same choice I made in ‘↓The Stability of Cyberspace‘ [just uploaded the thing for your convenience]—here is the, somewhat preposterous, abstract: The lack of a suitable understanding of reality experienced by … Continue reading

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at tannhaeuser gate

  At boingboing they currently have ‘a ↑series of essays about movies that have had a profound effect on our invited essayists.’ The day before yesterday it was ↑Gareth Branwyn’s turn. From his ‘Like Tears in the Rain:’ I can’t really say what made such a fundamental impact on me. The dark noir mood of the film, certainly, and the questions it raises about the nature of life, memory, what constitutes humanity, and whether “androids dream of electric sheep…” What I didn’t know I was looking at was a cyberpunk aesthetic that I would soon become completely immersed in, through … Continue reading

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our mundane world

In a longer blogpost/essay ↑on his Rule 34 Charlie Stross wrote, among other things: We’re living in the 21st century: it’s not possible to write a novel that seriously explores modern life without a background that includes rapid, cheap international travel: the commercial space industry: smartphones and the internet and spam: social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter: the rapidly shifting reference points of life expectancy, gender roles, and politics.     The mundane world we live in is rapidly accreting the baroque trappings of a science fiction novel. The internet has exploded messily across the world around us: ignoring its … Continue reading

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fun times ahead

According to Kaspersky ↵Stuxnet has ↑an heir. Here are two snippets from Wired’s report on it—mind the rhetorics: “It’s pretty fantastic and incredible in complexity,” said Alexander Gostev, chief security expert at Kaspersky Lab. […]     “It took us half-a-year to analyze Stuxnet,” he said. “This is 20-times more complicated. It will take us 10 years to fully understand everything.” To my cyberpunk-infested mind this sounds as if some mysterious AI has written the thing, maybe even ↵Colossus himself … And if ↑this is true as well, there for sure are fun times ahead. … Continue reading

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teliasonera’s black boxes

Here’s the timely follow-up to ↵heretics house tripoli, an hour-long feature by the Swedish news show Uppdrag Granskning, investigating the entanglement of Swedish telecom giant ↑TeliaSonera with authoritarian regimes—especially in ex-Soviet states. From ↑Eva Galperin’s write-up at EFF: According to a recent investigation by the Swedish news show Uppdrag Granskning, Sweden’s telecommunications giant Teliasonera is the latest Western country revealed to be colluding with authoritarian regimes by selling them high-tech surveillance gear to spy on its citizens. Teliasonera has allegedly enabled the governments of Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Georgia and Kazakhstan to spy on journalists, union leaders, and members of … Continue reading

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heretics house tripoli

Much has been said and written about the role of social media and the Internet during the Arab Spring. Especially the liberating potentials of these technologies are discussed, even anthropologists are belabouring the topic. But, and that’s the ↵core theme of cyberpunk, technologies are fundamentally ambivalent. Just yesterday ↑Jamming Tripoli: Inside Moammar Gadhafi’s secret surveillance network by Matthieu Aikins was published by Wired: [The] activists would suffer greatly at the hands of Gadhafi’s spy service, whose own capabilities had been heightened by 21st-century technology. By now, it’s well known that the Arab Spring showed the promise of the Internet as … Continue reading

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me on wikipedia

This is in order to prevent anyone assuming that my vanity has gone straight through the ceiling. I just discovered that there is an entry called ↑Cyberanthropology at the German Wikipedia. To my surprise within this entry there is an inside-Wikipedia link ↑Alexander Knorr (Ethnologe) [(social/cultural anthropologist)]. And indeed, since 25 April 2012 there is an entry at Wikipedia on yours truly [I am awaiting its speedy deletion ;-]. Someone started the thing and meanwhile four other people worked on it. Till now it’s only four sentences long—and here my question: Should I, as time will permit, myself enlarge it? … Continue reading

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colonial crimes records

again a glimpse into the heart of darkness Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments, an official review has concluded.     Those papers that survived the purge were flown discreetly to Britain where they were hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive, beyond the reach of historians and members of the public, and in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain.     … Continue reading

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