A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘anthropology

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes that the Global Village Backpackers building on the northeast corner of King and Spadina is up for sale.
  • Centauri Dreams and the Planetary Society Blog both comment on the almost last-minute search by the Hubble space telescope for Kuiper belt objects to be targets for the New Horizons probe after it passes Pluto.
  • Crooked Timber’s Corey Robin speculates that the alleged boredom of Obama in office might be taken as a marker for imminent revolutionary sentiment.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the protoplanetary disk of protostar IRAS 16293-2422 is composed of two segments, both rotating in opposite directions.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money approves of Mattherw Yglesias’ argument that some wars, like a proposed intervention in Iraq, are unwinnable.
  • Marginal Revolution has more on the court decision against Argentina for the benefit of its creditors.
  • Registan describes what the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is doing in Pakistan. (Putting down roots.)
  • Savage Minds features a post by a pair of anthropologists advocating that the discipline take part in a boycott of Israel.
  • Torontoist profiles the #parkdalelove Twitter campaign mounted after Mammoliti’s ridiculous statements.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on a lawsuit by a convert to the church that converted him, alleging that because they publicized his conversion from Islam contrary to his request his life was threatened in Syria.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests that Russia annexed Crimea because it thought alternative separatist movements in Ukraine were budding.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • The Big Picture shares photos of Iran 25 years after the death of Ayatollah Khomeini.
  • Crooked Timber continues its seminar on the ethics of open borders.</li
  • D-Brief notes the discovery of two new classes of planets not found in our solar system, Earth-mass gas dwarfs and rocky super-Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that red dwarfs’ solar wind would significantly heat exoplanets in their circumstellar habitable zones and links to another paper concluded that Kepler-10c is a giant rocky world.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes drama in Canada regarding the possibility or not of a F-35 purchase.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog wonders about the future of the monarchy in a securely democratic Spain.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis concludes that poverty isn’t clearly the cause of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, notwithstanding the relative poverty of the Muslim north.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money is rightly upset that Confederate general and defender of slavery Robert E. Lee is positioned in a new book as an American patriot.
  • The New APPS Blog considers the issues associated with democracy in the European Union after the recent elections.
  • Savage Minds’ P. Kerim Friedman considers the shooting ratio of ethnography. How much raw material do anthropologists need to collect to come up with something compelling?
  • Window on Eurasia traces the genealogy of Eurasianism in the Soviet era.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO has a visual history of the Toronto Islands up.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at GU Piscium b and Beta Pictoris b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper examining two concepts for theoretical nuclear fusion-fueled space drives, one using additional coolant and one not.
  • Eastern Approaches examines the disastrous floods in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Joe. My. God. reports on a study suggesting church attendance is exaggerated by traditional self-reporting methods.
  • Language Log notes the success in the digitization of ancient Persian manuscripts, including of a bilingual Persian/Gujarati Zoroastrian text.
  • Registan notes the influence of the Internet and social media in reshaping Islam in Uzbekistan.
  • Savage Minds features a post by Nick Seaver talking about the ways in which anthropology can get involved with computer-mediated processes, like the algorithms which recommend tunes.
  • Towleroad examines Dolly Parton as a gay icon.
  • Window on Eurasia notes Russian academic disinterest in Ukrainian culture and covers the Crimean Tatars’ commemoration of their deportation in the context of Russian occupation.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • The Everyday Sociology Blog’s Karen Sternheimer takes a look at the concept of anomie as expressed in the lives of recent graduates.
  • At The Early Days of a Better Nation, Ken Macleod comes out against Scottish independence on the grounds that the aftermath will paralyze left-wing politics for a while.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel notes that Australian defenses in New Guinea on the eve of the Second World War were terrible, verging on incompetent.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis maps contrasting patterns of illumination and Maoist insurgencies in India.
  • Savage Minds’ Alex Posecznick notes how anthropologists pose as outsiders while actually being deeply embedded in and products of structures of power.
  • Discover‘s Seriously Science notes an apparent linkage of Twitter use to relationship failure.
  • Torontoist notes some east-end home owners expanding their power vis-a-vis developers by putting their properties up on the market.
  • Towleroad notes Kink.com studio owner Peter Acworth advancing post-exposure prophylaxis as a safe alternative to condoms in the porn industry.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy takes one look, then another, in the case of custody claims of a non-birth mother in a same-sex couple.
  • Window on Eurasia links to an author arguing that the secession of the east would emphasize Ukraine’s European orientation.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • blogTO notes that the supersonic Concorde actually paid visits to Toronto.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining planetary migration in stellar binaries.
  • Eastern Approaches is critical of the referenda in eastern Ukraine.
  • The Financial Times‘s World blog notes a French dilemma: does it sell warships to Russia now in this time of economic austerty? Does it dare not to?
  • Joe. My. God. notes the victory of Conchita Wurst in Eurovision, and Towleroad comments on Russian displeasure.
  • The Language Log’s Geoffrey Pullum links to, and comments upon the recent Economist map showing how ludicrous it is to establish language areas as countries.
  • The New APPS Blog notes how problematic it is to suggest that genetic differences explain everything.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer warns that, at the current rate, Ukraine’s violence will reach a level of civil war in December.
  • Savage Minds investigates the branding of anthropology.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle describes the rose-breasted grosbeak.
  • Towleroad notes that religious freedom is reserved only for conservative Christians.
  • Torontoist provides a biography of John Bayne Maclean, a man who in the late 19th century lay the foundation for a publishing empire including MacLean’s.
  • Window on Eurasia links to an argument that federalization in eastern Ukraine would lead to disintegration.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell discusses Colorado River water politics on the US-Mexico border.

[LINK] “Beyond Surveillance Fridges and Socialized Power Drills: Social Media and the Financialization of Everyday Life”

At Savage Minds, Adam Fish and John Carter McKnight have an extended essay arguing–convincingly, I think–that the elaboration of online life and social networking is extending capitalism to altogether new areas of private life.

As kids growing up in Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” 80s we endured a lot of propaganda regarding drugs. One was the myth of the “gateway drug.” We were told that drugs like marijuana with few medically provable harms were highly dangerous because they were gateways to harder more evil drugs. Gateway drugs are like linkbait, hooks that bring unwitting subjects from a one innocuous practice to one more pernicious.

Morozov claims that social media is a gateway drug for the financial sector to hook us on a new range of products and services, while increasing its control over our lives. We hear that the dark insides of our mouths, fridges, rubbish bins, and cars will be scrutinized by networked and image-recognizing surveillance cameras. Videos will be algorithmically analyzed producing “data portfolios” which will be automatically used (for a fee) by third parties to adjudicate our credit worthiness, employability, and romantic fitness. As longtime admirers of Morozov’s guts and wit we’ve been pleased to see him begin (finally) to use the name and identify the problem head-on—neoliberal capitalism galvanized by ubiquitously networked humans.

In making this argument, Morozov brings together two academic terms and says that they are co-constituting: mediatization and financialization. Mediatization claims that social practices are increasingly linked to media performance. We do it for the camera. Presidential elections, of course, are a key example of mediatization, in which every utterance, campaign stop, handshake, and tweet is delicately engineered towards manipulating the 24-hour news cycle. Mediatization assumes a new level of embeddedness in encounters with persistent, searchable, archivable, user-generated social media, a process we call social mediatization. The “social” qualifies the “mediatization” by identifying a new phase in which information is not broadcast from corporations or politicians to a passive audience, but generated and shared constantly among people, businesses, and governments.

Financialization works much like social mediatization: both identify the ways that foreign logics (financial or mediated) find their way into once-private and domestic spheres. Classic examples of financialization include online banking at home, stock investing as a hobby, and other forms of money management which were once “work” but are now billed as necessary and mature forms of personal responsibility and risk management for the middle classes.

Basically, late capitalism. The authors end their article by sharing Evgeny Morozov’s vision of an “all too likely future of trying to level up our gamified toothbrushes to lower our dental insurance premiums.”

Written by Randy McDonald

April 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross wonders why we need to work so long when productivity and per capita wealth have skyrocketed.
  • At the Broadside Blog, Caitlin Kelly describes a week in her life as a writer.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that ancient Population III stars could, in theory, have rocky planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales warns that the Japanese economy is about to tank.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that young conservative Ben Shapiro is now boycotting Mozilla after Brandon Eich’s departure.
  • Savage Minds has an essay by anthropologist Elizabeth Chin suggesting that Lamilly, a new anatomically-correct doll, won’t take off because issues with beauty are much more deeply embedded in the culture than the designers believe.
  • The Signal examines the proliferation of E-mail storage formats.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy’s Jonathan Adler doesn’t like the pressure applied to Brandon Eich.
  • Window on Eurasia has two posts warning that Crimea’s annexation to Russia will destabilize the Russian Federation, one arguing that ethnic minorities and their republics will be put in a state of flux, the other arguing that Russian nationalists will be upset by the concession of so many rights to Crimean Tatars.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly makes a case about the benefits of radical honesty.
  • At the Buffer, Belle Beth Cooper describes how she has streamlined her writing style.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that China’s space station isn’t doing much.
  • Eastern Approaches observes the continuing popularity of Polish populist Lech Kaczynski.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog notes the vulnerable popularity of UKIP’s Nigel Farage.
  • Geocurrents’ Asya Perelstvaig comments on the entry of Jewish businessman Vadim Rabinovich into the Ukrainian presidential contest.
  • Joe. My. God. is unconvinced by the suggestion that marriage equality means the end of gay bars.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money’s Erik Loomis speculates about the responsibility of American consumers for air pollution in exporting Asia.
  • At the Planetary Society Blog, Constantine Tsang describes evidence for volcanism on Venus.
  • Savage Minds interviews one Laura Forlano on the intersections between anthropology and design.
  • Towleroad mourns the death of godfather of house music Frankie Knuckles.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • io9 links to an online version of a 1984 text game, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • After disproving the existence of Tyche, Centauri Dreams meditates on the rich data provided on the interstellar neighbourhood by the WISE infrared telescope.
  • The Dragon’s Tales maps the distribution of Russian and Ukrainian military forces.
  • Eastern Approaches visits the western Ukrainian village of Chervone, a community dependent on remittances from guest workers that finds itself getting along increasingly well with Poland and Poles. (Russia and Russians, not so much.)
  • Joe. My. God. notes that seven billionaires on Forbes’ famed list are openly gay.
  • Language Log has issues with the reported sensitivity of the new test for Alzheimer’s.
  • Marginal Revolution follows up on Edward Hugh’s suggestion that all Abenomics in Japan has been doing is boosting the Japanese trade deficit.
  • Livejournal’s pollotenchegg maps the demographics of Ukraine. Despite a significant recent improvements, the west and cities in the center of the country are the only ones avoiding population shrinkage.
  • Savage Minds features a post from anthropologist Robin Bernstein talking about how she likes grant writing.
  • Strange Maps notes a Dutch doctoral thesis arguing that the portolan charts of the early modern period are much too good to have been done in the medieval period. Are they legacies of Greco-Roman civilization?
  • Towleroad notes the testimony of a gay singer-songwriter Justin Utley before a state committee in Utah as to the persecution he has experienced on account of his sexual orientation.
  • Transit Toronto’s Robert McKenzie notes the expansion of parking at the Pickering GO station.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell complaints that his Firefox is crashing repeatedly and with frequency aren’t things I’ve experienced yet, fortunately.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • Centauri Dreams notes that some astronomers have come up with methods for measuring the densities of the atmospheres of difference exoplanets.
  • Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram thinks that the state of the migration debate in the United Kingdom is grim, given what he thinks is the toughness of even a liberal proposal.
  • Eastern Approaches notes that the Czech Republic and Slovakia aren’t as vocal in their support of Ukraine against Russia as Poland.
  • At the Everyday Sociology Blog, Karen Sternheimer explores the role of justifications and excuses in culture.
  • Far Outliers notes that, on the eve of the First World War, Germany lacked settler colonies.
  • The Financial Times‘ World blog worries that Croatia might not be able to make effective use of European Union funds.
  • Language Hat notes that Western-style romance novels were popular samizdat in the Soviet Union.
  • Language Log’s Victor Mair argues that, between influence from foreign languages and technology, the Chinese language is evolving rapidly.
  • Marginal Revolution notes an argument that state-formation in Europe might have been driven by economics not military affairs.
  • Towleroad notes the recent progressive court ruling on gay sex in Lebanon.
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