Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Butterfly: Wine Culture, Field Sites around the World, the Hippie Trail Today and Virtual Worlds

N, M, and I saw a butterfly from the small sun deck at Harbin traveling up a poplar-like tree near the swimming pool today.

N asked what was going on in our minds, neurophysiologically, as we were watching the butterfly. I said something about how our vision process, movement neural cells, and neural cones for perceiving color, were creating this lovely imaging that gets transposed semantically - meaningfully - as beautiful (understood in a cultural context), and which becomes a kind of 'flow: the psychology of optimal experience' experience as we watch, that is ongoing as the butterfly floats up the tree. I had been asking her and Molly about their thoughts about eliciting loving bliss neurophysiologically. And N pointed out this beautiful butterfly in bright sunlight.

Lovely and present, N's daughter M is working in wine industry of northern California, and just moving from Berkeley to a town in northern California. As M and I talked, I became interested in the cultures of these wineries in northern California. She mentioned that there are biodynamic wineries here. I mentioned that someone at Harbin now was a biodynamic farmer in the Western USA for more than 2 decades.

I'd like to find the countercultural wineries in the Napa Valley and northern California if they exist, for example, and the ones in exquisite little valleys of northern California, where people are exploring 'authentic' traditions of wine-making. I mentioned the possibility of living in France to M to learn about the culture of wine there that goes back millennia. M is interested as am I in such a trip. We talked a little about the best ways to learn French, about some family friends who are French, and the role information technology might play in learning languages. Perhaps we'll learn French together digitally.

Counter Cultural Field Sites and the Hippie Trail

In addition to the field sites below which I wrote about in this blog a few weeks ago, I'm also interested in the following sites for an ongoing research project on the anthropology of information technology and counterculture: Paris, France, Amsterdam, Hawaii, Spain, Vietnam, and the hippie trail. So many of these places today have people and legacies from the late 1960s and 1970s that will be fascinating to talk with and write about vis-a-vis counterculture. I'd like to be a butterfly on the hippie trail for years. But, first Harbin . . .

Virtual Worlds

It will be fascinating to explore representing aspects of these places and counterculture there in 3-D virtual worlds, as a form of ethnographic representation.

I think virtuality is a form of culture, and culture is virtual - that it gives rise to understandings we shape with our minds within the fabric of a discourse - that can be far-reachingly explored, not only in words, but with digital technologies (virtual worlds), vis-a-vis counterculture itself, about 40 years after the 1960s.

"Field Sites

I'm interested in the anthropology of counterculture, information technology {cyberspace & TCP/IP}, in California and the west coast of the U.S., India (esp. Kerala and the Malayalam language), Switzerland (German, Italian, French and Romansh languages), Greece, Turkey, and Scotland (Scots' Gaelic), - as field sites."

Roots: Source Code, Anthropology and Counterculture - Saturday, July 19, 2008

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