alienist

manuscript-day 208 of 100  ‘Prior to the twentieth century, persons suffering from mental illness were thought to be “alienated,” not only from the rest of society but from their own true natures. Those experts who studied mental pathologies were therefore known as alienists,’ historian and writer Caleb Carr clarifies in a preliminary note to his 1994 thriller novel. In ‘The Alienist’ Laszlo Kreizler, psychiatrist, hunts down a serial killer—the story taking place in a hardly gaslit New York City of the year 1896. Not only Theodore Roosevelt makes a cameo appearance, but also Franz Boas, American anthropology’s founding father of … Continue reading

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21st century man

  ‘It is like you to be more concerned for a machine than for a man.” He [eminent professor of sociology Simon Ninheimer] looked at her with savage contempt.     It left her [US Robots’ Chief Robopsychologist Dr. ↑Susan Calvin] unmoved. ‘It merely seems so, Professor Ninheimer. It is only by being concerned for robots that one can truly be concerned for twenty-first-century man. You would understand this if you were a roboticist.’     ‘I have read enough ↵robotics to know I don’t want to be a roboticist!’     ‘Pardon me, you have read a book on … Continue reading

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my writing

There really is no use in having manuscripts merrily rotting away in drawers and on HDDs. So here are some pieces of mine, on cyberanthropology, appropriation, and game modding:  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2008. ↓maxmod—eine Ethnographie der cyberculture: Exposé des Habilitationsprojektes [128KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Game modding [136KB | .pdf]. [unpublished manuscript]  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. ↓Die kulturelle Aneignung des Spielraums: Vom virtuosen Spielen zum Modifizieren und zurück. [ 220KB | .pdf]. [second version of the manuscript] Scheduled for publication in Shooter: Ein Computerspiel-Genre in multidisziplinärer Perspektive [working title], edited by Matthias Bopp, Peter C. Krell and Serjoscha Wiemer. … Continue reading

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open source annual 2007

  The ↑Open Source Annual ↑2007 has been succesfully presented at the CeBit 2007.  LUTTERBECK, BERND, MATTHIAS BÄRWOLFF, AND ROBERT A. GEHRING (eds.). 2007. ↑Open Source Jahrbuch 2007: Zwischen freier Software und Gesellschaftsmodell. Berlin: Lehmanns Media. From now on it is available at bookstores and ↑can be downloaded for free in several formats. On pages 59 through 72 you’ll find my contribution “↑Die Deutungsoffenheit der Quelle“ [The source’s interpretative flexibility], which—as ↑all the other contributions—can be downloaded separately:  KNORR, ALEXANDER. 2007. “↑Die Deutungsoffenheit der Quelle,” in Open Source Jahrbuch 2007: Zwischen freier Software und Gesellschaftsmodell edited by Bernd Lutterbeck, Matthias … Continue reading

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bureaucracy

  Die Bürokratie ist der nicht greifbare Feind des gesunden Menschenverstandes und der Gerechtigkeit, sie fördert Trägheit und Willkür, und oft haben wir das Gefühl, machtlos zu sein gegen kleinkarierte Beamte, die sich gegen alle Vernunft und manchmal mit tragischen Folgen an ihre Vorschriften klammern. Der Prozess ist ein beeindruckender Roman, weil er uns schonungslos vor Augen führt, dass die Bürokratie die Wegbereiterin eines Totalitarismus ist, in dem der Einzelne der geballten Macht der Funktionäre wehrlos ausgeliefert ist. Was diesen Roman für den aufmerksamen Leser von heute so bedrückend macht, ist die Erkenntnis, dass die Bürokratie als solche alle totalitären … Continue reading

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engaging anthropology

↑ERIKSEN, THOMAS HYLLAND. 2006. ↑Engaging anthropology: The case for a public presence. Oxford: ↑Berg.  Anthropology ought to have changed the world. What went wrong? Engaging Anthropology takes an unflinching look at why the discipline has not gained the popularity and respect it deserves in the twenty-first century. From identity to multicultural society, new technologies to work, globalization to marginalization, anthropology has a vital contribution to make. While showcasing the intellectual power of discipline, Eriksen takes the anthropological community to task for its unwillingness to engage more proactively with the media in a wide range of current debates, from immigrant issues … Continue reading

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videogamestudies

cultural difference on intercultural persistent state worlds Alan Meades, a Masters-degree (Electronic Arts) student at Middlesex University (UK) does post-graduate research in cyberanthropology: “This study aims to verify if players originating from geographically and culturally different backgrounds exhibit different game preferences, and therefore behaviour within Massively Multiplayer Online games. This study focuses specifically on Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XI because of the design of the server infrastructure, and the resultant feature that each server is shared with people from many cultures and nations. […]“ On his website Alan hosts an according online-survey, both in English and Japanese language! When I hit … Continue reading

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