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Monthly Archives: May 2007

Of mudfishes, fruitful ambiguity and misunderstanding

“An account of a meeting between the British governor Rowe and an Asante embassy in 1881 gives a slight indication of the Asante use of such indirect and allusive speech in diplomatic negotiation. The senior Asante stated his intention by declaring ‘I have come down to stop all those small leaks in the roof which […]

Human terrain systems and other ways of ordering people

Military social science creeps me right out. Well, mostly the military bothers me and the idea of working for or with them directly conflicts with almost all of my values. I bring this up because I just read a post on “the dangerous militarisation of anthropology” and I started thinking about military culture. Coupled with […]

Vital gardens

Pruned: Defiant Gardens “Defiant gardens are gardens created during times of extreme crisis, built behind the trenches of World War I, on both sides of the Western Front; in Jewish ghettos and Nazi concentration camps during World War II; in POW and civilian internment camps of both wars, tended to by prisoners and their captors; […]

Lawn & (dis)order

I’m completely fascinated by the college lawns in Oxford and Cambridge. Whether large or small, they are some of the most perfectly controlled, and beautifully resisted, spaces I’ve ever seen. Gardens have been favoured by philosophers and scholars since the days of Ancient Greece, and while Oxbridge gardens are often open to the public, it […]

Chronicles and auto-ethnography

The Abaporu Project on Technology Appropriation: São Paulo’s motoboy ethnographers “Earlier this year, 12 motorcycle couriers in São Paulo started using camera-phones to chronicle their daily lives. They get together periodically to discuss each other’s finds and decide collectively what stories they want to cover. The result is Canal*MOTOBOY, a real-time account of life on […]