Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cuillin Mountains: Friends, Academics, Hippies, Loving Bliss

Here's a recent correspondence with a friend in Scotland:

Hello Be,

Long time ... You might find World University and School interesting - - Teach or take a class, - a Global, Virtual, Open, Free, Multilingual University and School, based on a ... Read MoreWikipedia model. All languages and subjects. Join the Facebook group for more updates - :)

And Happy New Year :)


Good to hear from you. World University looks extremly intresting!
It's a very exciting idea. Will have to look into it more.

Green shoots of recovery here to use a politicaly toxic phrase. Just recovering finaly from a post viral illness which started many years ago.
So not being doing very much apart from researching away on my own

Looking at the four humours as the methodology behind the monsters and wonders I was looking at during m.phil. I am also viewing the four humours as an important ethnological methodology in late 17th century Scotland and looking at relationships with oral culture and its roots from the 12th cen onwards in a range of texts. Focusing in particular on melancholia and lovesickness/greif from the 12th to 18th cen. With a sideline in Barnacle geese.

Just doing it independantly.

Just starting to get ideas into a wider world.

{sign up}

This is about the only major thing of any note I have done will hopefully start churning out some papers at a steady rate this year.

Its a vast subject not at all sure what to do with it. May do some joint work with a Celtic Academic who has better language skills than me with 12th cen. Irish material Ive examined.

Looking forward to obama's speech on Tuesday. It's such a changed world since we last spoke.



Nice to hear from you.

We have a new world, and a black president. There's hope and optimism in the air here, even as Bush seemed to ride the economy into the ground, but not innovating or thinking - and it seems to be getting worse, with unemployment jumping a lot quickly. Interesting to watch what 'cards' Obama will play and what software he'll run.

I teach college "Society and Information Technology" in the 3-D virtual island of Second Life. I'm writing an ethnography of Harbin Hot Springs - - in northern California, and plan to create a virtual Harbin in Second Life and Open Sim for ethnographic study. Last year I was in and out of Harbin for 10 months doing field work. I live near Berkeley. This fall, while teaching through Penn State from California, I was also taking 5 classes at Berkeley, as I taught a class, to focus the writing of some chapters, and going half of the time to Harbin. So I'm continuing to do research about anthropology and information technology. I'd like to shape a rigorous ethnography about the hippie trail {all over, but London to southern India}, with a virtual world component, as well as work on questions of loving bliss, naturally and neurophysiologically - my Friends' Dalton Letter - - and 4 related letters are about this.

I continue to do a little yoga, too. I enjoy Angela and Victor's unique and creative approach to it - - and enjoy teaching it sometimes. Yoga can have so many benefits.

I'm playing my bagpipes for weddings and things, as often as possible.

I'll like to realize 'World University and School' wiki richly ... it's a great idea, and it's time is here. To facilitate anyone posting a course, in conjunction with a wikipedia-like interface, and MIT Open Course Ware will make a lot possible. All languages, all subjects.

How are your daughters?

Happy New Year,


Kids are doing well Sens nearly 18 off to music school, Lacie seems to share my gift for drama and wants to go to the old vic like I did. Majies only 7 so no career plans yet.

Yoga, could never get into it but was perhaps down to the class I went too.

I was taught how to move by Rudi Shelley the "dancing master" at the old vic. Labin and Alexander were his major influences. An amazing man he fled Germany when the Nazis came to power (he was gay and jewish ballet dancer). Seemed to know everyone in 1930's Berlin. Just relized in the last few years how much of my own intelectual development owes to him. He always refered to actors training as a training for life. His textual analysis of Chekov, Ibsen etc. was something you don't forget.

Spent a few days in the garden cleaning up the dead leaves and getting it ready for new life. Hard work but rather relaxing and the nearst I get to being spiritual about anything.

Start looking at lovesickness next week, looking forward too it, looks like a rewarding subject.

Hippie trail sounds like a very good idea. I know a number of people who did it in the 60's and early 70's and still take the princples very seriously.
But a subject you can come at from a number of diffrent directions.



:) - The following is neither an ethnography - "Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India" -, - nor a virtual world, but it is good news that it just was published. I may explore the hippie trail after I write my harbin ethnography - - and create a virtual harbin as ethnographic representation, and for ethnographic comparison, as field site. Need to get money for this. Harbin is, to some degree, at first glance, a response to modernity - part of my argument {or did Modernity produce Harbin - what's the genaology here?}. (So is, I suppose, the School of Scottish and Celtic Studies at the Univ of Edinburgh - attempting to preserve 'tradition,' as it does). When in Edinburgh, I didn't read much about how Scots' or the British, view modernity - or the contemporary in a Foucauldian sense - from a 'social science' perspective. i suppose malinowski, firth, evans-pritchard, radcliffe-brown et al. were all 'practicing' 'forms; of modernity - but that's reifying modernity - by traveling to distant places for study. nevertheless, haven't read too many critical analyses of modernity. giddens? Gidden's "runaway world"?

I continue to be interested in eliciting the neurophysiology of loving bliss here: - learning how to do this is an fascinating question, and assumes the brain and bodymind are biological systems. Relaxation response is a helpful first step for me, and can be delicious.

Kids will come along with time - I've enjoyed a degree of freedom thus far. Would like to stay free even with having children, and dealing sensibly with the pragmatics of life ... i guess i'm on the bus :)

What's wild to me is that the 1960s and 70s transformed people's minds and practices dramaticaly. People fundamentally came to see things differently - away from norms and practices of modernity. Culture changing biology? How does that work? And where's it all gone? And how did it occur ... and it was pretty fun at the time (I was young:) ... Why not something as fun for the next 50 years?

Greetings from Canyon (Janis and Country Joe Fish both used to live in this community which is in the Oakland watershed in a redwood forest:), which like Harbin, Berkeley, Oakland, (but not SF) LA, San Diego is in the California sunbelt.



I must confess I am not sure what the School of Scottish Studies actualy is or what it's methodological basis is. It has yet to be written and will have some significant diffficulties when it comes to provide a definition of Ethnicity based on it's current practise.

Ive sort of ignored the mind body thing it's certainly crucial to understanding the humours but I am more intrested in the history of the subject it's use in the development of ethnology and cosmology.

I think one of the key experiances of my life was meeting Lindsey Kemp I was about 4 at the time he worked with my Father.

Was my first awarness that their were alternative lifestyles, something I have always been very attracted to I suppose thats when I decided to jump on the bus. I retired sort off when I had kids. I worked with alternative bands for years with the D.I.Y ethos of the hippie movement and Punk.

Institutions and Institutional forms of knowledge have never held much appeal. I never read Foucault as an undergrad but had clearly been drawn to what Foucault was drawn too as he simply reflected what i thought was my own original hard one approach. It would have made me far more confident if I had confronted him as an undergrad but would have made study even more problematic in such a conservative institution.

The relationship between biology and ethnology in the 17 th cen is something I find very fascinating indeed. I correspond on occasion with an Austrailian Philosopher of Science who has some shared intrests.

Biology is a subject I must take more of an intrest in.

Came across something rather exciting today by my old history teacher.

He seems to have moved on a subject of particular intrest to me significantly. Still chewing it over but it fits rather well.



Identity, and broader identity, for administrative and bureaucratic purposes (ah, modernity and Weber?) emerge again and again, linguistically and materially. What to do, except travel, study, love - which seems to rekindle identity issues? Oh, Be ... Must head to Harbin soon - in an hour or two - milieu can be transformative, so, to travel? and in-world (as in Second Life?) ... I've been getting into contact improv - there's a jam every night of the week in the Bay Area it seems. It's great. Maybe I'm a Bonobo wannabe, but except for hippie culture find the perceived costs too high, and hippie culture is small and shrinking. How to change milieu dramatically - the 60s and 70s transformed ways of thinking on a very widespread basis. There were protests in every major western capital against the wrongdoings of government ... Biology, except in the most general way (memes and evolutionary biology), is easily distinguishable from cultural processes, of which identity is an anchor, from which travel is liberating. Natural mdma (ecstasy) - what is it, how to access it, and through shifts in milieu (harbin) or minds (the 60s)? I think I'll head to harbin right now :) Are you dancing these days? All kinds of dance are fun, and the movement makes one feel well, and it's creative ... and you meet loves who are in their bodies .... sweet ....



caught youre message last thing will repond more fully tommorow.

I kept forgetting to say not read it yet but high on a long to do list
You may have already come across it.

This was the defining moment for my generation and the relisation of what was confronting us. A rather vast army deployed on far two many occasions over the next few years. Looking back it just seems crazy what they did in the name of order



I might complement Damasio, which I must look at more closely, with John Money's “Concepts of Determinism” (Money 1988: 114 ff.) - pairbondage, troopbondage, abidance, ycleptance, foredoomance, with these coping strategies: adhibition (engagement), inhibition & explication - where evolutionary biology and sex are partly central - available in parts on Google books - also some other sections per my Dalton Friends' letter ... Have to check out some of the places, people and activism in the video - more research needed ... sgip gnikcuf

Doris signing off ... :)



I know some people who were there fortunatly I was due to go to Stonehenge the day later and missed it but the battle of the beanfeild was an important event and has entered the releams of foklore.

My freind was their and was very involved with the peace convoy; rather a close knit group many live in Scotland these days. Their were some negative aspects to this culture as well, I always maintianed a distance from it, the older hippies were great but there was also a peculiar elitest attitude that existed amongst younger folk involved and a rather stupid and selfish side to it, drugs and booze playing a major role in the darker side of the culture. But their was certainly a lot of social pressure at the time, you did feel under attack and some younger people responded to the pressure in negative ways.

Alternative culture can demand a strict conformity and a code of it's own which is some what ironic given it's aims; often very close to what it claims to oppose with strict dress codes, customs and manners. Looking like you had slept in a hedge for a month without washing became a fashion statement amongst some and it demanded total cultural conformity; particularly from younger members. An utter air of snobbery about it. But it could also be a lot of fun.

I can get in touch with someone still in contact with many of the people involved. There is a festival each summer in Scotland The Green Man.

Its considered by many to be the only festival left which still has the spirit of the old ones from the 70's and 80's many people from this time still meet up at it.

I susect I may be able to track down the people in the vid for you if you would like or certainly get in touch with others very involved.

I would be more than happy to help with some groundwork and introductions, it's part of my own ethnology and history. Would be intresting to see some balanced research undertaken on the subject.


No comments: