cyberanthropology

My new book ‘↑Cyberanthropology‘ has been published. You absolutely are invited to order it online ↑via amazon [I have absolutely nothing against you clicking the like-button there] or ↑via Peter Hammer Verlag. Offline every decent bookshop can get it for you, too. As the book is in German, here is my description of its contents in German: In “Cyberanthropology” geht es um moderne Technik und den Menschen, um Computer und Internet, um Computerspiele, aber auch um GPS, Automobile, Roboter …     Was vor nicht allzu langer Zeit Science Fiction war, ist Lebenswirklichkeit geworden. Die vielfältigen Erscheinungsformen digitaler Elektronik und … Continue reading

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modern times

It must have been four, five, or more years ago, when I had a conversation on the anthropology of work with one of my three teachers, ↑Kurt Beck. Somewhere into our talk Kurt mentioned Chaplin’s ‘↑Modern Times‘ (1936), associating the famous scenes of Chaplin at the assembly line with instances of workers ‘fighting against the conveyor belt,’ described in ethnographies of work. The gist was that workers at assembly lines by their practices not necessarily do fight metaphorically against their bosses, or even commit sabotage. Happens, of course, but isn’t always the case. Rather they actively ↵appropriate the technological artefact … Continue reading

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cfp cyberculture

From 14th through 17th September 2011 this year’s installment of the biannual conference of the ↑German Association of Anthropologists (GAA aka DGV) will take place in Vienna, Austria. Since 2005 I organize workshops on ‘things cyber’ at the GAA conferences, this time a workshop titled ‘Cyberculture,’ in accordance with the conference’s overall theme: ‘Wa(h)re “Kultur”? Kulturelles Erbe, Revitalisierung und die Renaissance der Idee von Kultur’ (‘True/commodity “culture?” Cultural heritage, revitalization, and the renaissance of the idea of culture’). As of today the conference website isn’t up yet, only a .pdf with the ↓collected Calls for Papers. As I have invited … Continue reading

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cybernetic bias

The objectivity and integrity of contemporary science faces many threats. A cause of particular concern is the growing competition for research funding and academic positions, which, combined with an increasing use of bibliometric parameters to evaluate careers (e.g. number of publications and the impact factor of the journals they appeared in), pressures scientists into continuously producing “publishable” results. (Fanelli 2010: Introduction) Such begins Daniele Fanelli his 2010 article on the negative consequences of the ‘publish or perish’ policy—since quite some decades running wild within academia. But since when exactly? My educated guess is: since the late 1960s and early 1970s, … Continue reading

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maxmod: an ethnography of cyberculture

Finally the definitive abstract of my project—out of which I now have to write a book as quickly as possible—exists. Here are the English and German versions of the abstract:  Abstract The project is based upon longlasting and sustainable anthropological fieldwork, which essentially happens within conceptual spaces of interaction spanned by the infrastructure of the Internet. Central concepts of the methodological access are thick participation (Spittler) and multisited ethnography (Marcus). For being able to grasp the sociocultural phenomena empirically observable online, genuine anthropological research methods are evaluated and then transposed to the new fields. Building upon this, and upon the … Continue reading

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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

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finally …

  … it seems that I have succeeded in cramping the necessary feedback-loops into my inner cybernetic system responsible for controlling my motor functions. Now I can perform a circle jump and come out of it with 500+ units per second (ups), and yesterday night I reached 1012 ups by single-beat strafejumping on cos1_beta7b’s red track. That’s one small step for a trickjumper, one giant leap for Teh_Lamerer. … Continue reading

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less than cyberanthropology

↑Steven Mizrach‘s ↑pages on cyberanthropology [Caution: MIDI-sound! ;-] are very prominently visible on the Web, as e.g. ↑Budka & ↑Kremser (↵2004: 222, endnote #1) rightfully have noted. Hence his views on the topic can not easily be neglected. Unfortunately I was not able to find any “regular” publications by Mizrach dealing with cyberanthropology or the likes, so I have to quote from his webpage ↑cyberanthropology. There he sums his vision of cyberanthropology up in six key phrases. Every phrase is annotated and explained—to read all ↑go there. Here are the six phrases:  CyberAnthropology is the study of humans in virtual … Continue reading

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wtf is cyberanthropology?

yet another attempt  Sometimes it is quite interesting what paths thoughts take, and how this is influenced by not anticipated events. Some weeks ago ↑Kurt Beck payed a visit to my office and I told him about my recent ponderings, especially in respect to ↵bombenkrater fusion and ↵bombenkrater discussion. In consequence he asked me if I wouldn’t like to talk about cyberculture for an hour or so at ↑Bayreuth’s Institute for Sociocultural Anthropology. Of course I agreed and we fixed a date—14 November 2006, 19:30-21:00h. Some days later a letter arrived by snail-mail, containing the official invitation and all. Furthermore … Continue reading

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