Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wild Cattle: Modernity, Kant, Locke and Harbin

Modernity, Kant, Locke and Harbin ...

Locke (who was responding to Scholastics about certain forms of gaining knowledge) developed ideas that led to conceptions of the modern subject and modern subjectivity. Textuality was the enemy for Locke.

For Kant, we can only know things through ideas about the material world.

Locke, in a way, subscribed to the Doctrine of Arbitrariness (preceding Saussure) and was fundamentally wary of the ideological construction of materiality, especially to attachment to the notions of materiality that you've constructed.


For Locke, knowledge is placed within your body, - and also through which knowledge is placed within your body. He offers a material encounter in the world.



In terms of aesthetics, Kant was asking where does the category of the aesthetic emerge from and where does it get knowledge?

And Kant was mediating between empiricism and rationalism.


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Harbin Hot Springs is about the body. In its engagement with the 'now,' as well as the centralness of the pools, it significantly underemphasizes thinking {beginning from a very different starting place of ideas - New Age}, the rational, or philosophies that privilege ideas.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Chinquapin: Hippies' Ideas of Culture?, Culture, Critique, Harbin

Hippies' ideas of culture? Counterculture? Protest? Envisioning anew? Communitarianism? New society?

In an anthropological sense? Victor Turner's communitas and liminality? In terms of practice? In the 1960s and early 70s, there was a return to folk practices, a return to the land, and while hippies were 'all over the map' in terms of reasoning (in the context of modernity), aspects of hippie '{counter} ~ culture' were very analytical, - for example, in systems' thinking (Norbert Wiener), Laurel Robertson's "Laurel's Kitchen" with its nutrition tables and information, as well as recipes, and Stewart Brand's "The Whole Earth Catalog," for example. And hippies and counterculture also, significantly, gave rise to (what's the best language here when writing about culture?) the personal computer, and contributed significantly, also, to the scientific discipline of ecology, for example.

Perhaps Jim Clifford expresses current anthropological conceptions of 'culture' best in his books "The Predicament of Culture" and "Writing Culture," in my view. But while these books could be viewed as possibly 'dated' in anthropology, even at only around 20 years old, they do highlight key challenges with the word 'culture,' as well as point to a variety of epistemological questions that anthropology will continue to address.

I think anthropologists, counterculturally, shy away now from the idea of 'ethnic group' as a key concept informing the notion of culture, as well as any connotations of this, partly due to challenges (historically, too) of thinking about race, even though this has been an ongoing focus throughout anthropological history, in one way or another. And anthropologists and anthropology graduate students still choose a field site ('place') as key to their work, which in turn relates to seeking to understand people who live 'there' in not yet examined ways.

But the role of critique was fundamental to counterculture, which articulated uniquely with academic thinking and critical thinking, as a millennial old practice {e.g. since the ancient Greeks}. Anthropological critiques (e.g. Marcus and Fischer's "Anthropology as Cultural Critique") have a century-old body of literature informing them; and anthropologists and anthropological literature have played a dissenting role in academia, especially by making central on--the-ground approaches to knowledge-generation in research.


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Harbin Hot Springs and 'culture?' The pools, the clothing-optionalness, its freedom-mindedness, the fabric of life in the Harbin valley, the residents, the people who live there, Harbin visitors, - all emerging from the 1960s and early 70s ... MMmmm ... & the relaxation response ...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Manzanita: Movement, Contact Improv, Contentment, World University

Movement, like contact improv dance jams, after a day of working at my computer, mostly shaping World University and School, helps create contentment neurophysiology.

worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/World_University

Dancing with interesting partners helps this, ~ contact improv is an exploration.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indian Paintbrush: Wiki~Poetry, Loving Bliss, Countercultural Thinking

Wiki-poetry? I think we'll have to begin a Wiki to see how this might develop.

And then with wordle - wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/580557/Friends%27_Dalton_Letter - ?

scottmacleod.com/daltonletter.htm

*

How to access loving bliss, as well as shape milieus that give rise to it, in the context of evolutionary history, and the pragmatics of life? Bringing my bodymind to thinking about these qualities of experience, and talking with others who are interested, seems to be important for eliciting it in an ongoing way. But people lead busy lives, and making a living in modernity is an involved process. Countercultural thinking can go in many, many directions, including thinking about and eliciting loving bliss, but different hippies, for example, might explore this in different ways.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hippie Kids: Kids' and Music Sections

I added kids' and music sections to World University and School - http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/World_University - today. I think people will engage it when it's helpful to them, and that will happen by aggregating a lot of material which is already on the web. Check out MIT's Open Course Ware, - http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm - in the meantime. Someone asked me recently for a course on autobiography, and here's a course: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Writing-and-Humanistic-Studies/21W-730-3Spring2001/CourseHome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Starfish: The Rains are Here, Contact Improv Freedom, World University

The rains are here in northern California, and everything is wet. It feels like we're raining our way away from drought.


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People at the contact improv jam in Fairfax are pretty free, and having a lot of fun jamming intimately.


**

World University and School is developing, with the following sections currently: 'courses,' 'subjects,' 'languages,' 'nation states,' 'you at world university,' 'educational software,' and 'hardware resource possibilities.'

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fallen Tree: A Tree Fell Across the Harbin Road

A tree fell across the Harbin road today in a storm, cutting off electricity, and bringing people together in new ways. And the warm waters kept flowing out of the earth, as people went in and out of pools, in the dark and the rain.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Natural Bridges: Day at Harbin, Relaxation Response, "Thinking by Cases"

I arrived at Harbin last night around 10 pm, giving a friend a ride from the SF Bay area. A cold was coming on, so I decided not to head to the pools, but instead to find a platform to sleep out under the night sky on. I used two sleeping bags, a thermarest and a ground cloth, with no tent, and sleep very well outside at Harbin, almost always.

In the morning, with dew on my top sleeping bag, having slept out across the road from Mainside, and not too far from the new restroom, I put my sleeping bags in the my vehicle, because the sky had clouded over, and it seemed like it might rain, and headed to the pools. I enjoy walking along the village path for about 1/3 of mile, and coming into the pool area, after being away for only a few days was, again, lovely. The dressing room was still being cleaned, and the weather was good, so I put my bags on a bench under the grape arbor, and near the new L-shaped cold pool - like we most people do when the weather is good - took off my clothes, took a shower, and went into the warm pool.

There were two women and one man there, all naked, at a little after 6:30 in the morning. Everything eases when you enter the pool. I often elicit the relaxation response in the morning when I first enter the warm pool, sitting in padmasana. I started exploring the relaxation response like this in the warm pool a year or two ago, I think - maybe longer - and I find this salutary and great. The warm water is so easing, and is slightly buoyant, so that relaxing this and relaxing this, happens freely ....

went to the heart shaped pool, saw a friend,

went to breakfast in the restaurant

talked with people I knew and new friends, especially about open source technologies and freeware

went upstairs through the library, and had an espresso, talked with missy, about the benefits of flax seed oil - omega-3s

read anthropology "Thinking by cases, or: how to put social sciences back the right way up" about case studies ... which was in my browser window on my computer

http://www.espacestemps.net/document1395.html


Singlove stopped by with a computer part in the Blue Room, so I went to help him install it at his place ...


He dropped me off, and I went into town to work on the internet, where I edited some of these blog entries ...

Now I'm heading back to town (around 1:45 pm, Middletown, California, on February 21, 2009)...


And loving bliss, naturally, when and as we want it ....:) How?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Naked Gardeners: Hippie Trail, Multimedia Wiki-projects, Wildness and Freedom


I just communicated with Rory MacLean, author of "Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India" (2009), who wants to create an online map so that lots of folks who went along the hippie trail can post multimedia and connect it to this map.

So he started a hippie trail Facebook page, where people can post multimedia:
facebook.com/group.php?gid=52146563316&ref=ts

And here's his book:
amazon.com/Magic-Bus-Hippie-Trail-Istanbul/dp/0978843193

The hippie trail as map to which one can then link photographs, videos, art, and other media, is a fascinating project, and anthropologically as well. But like World University and School, and ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy, Wikis and such projects probably all need head gardeners, or pilots, to tend them into flourishing, or navigate them safely on their journeys, as well as a bunch of folks to 'garden' and 'sail' together, ~ to be gathering at these sites again and again. From this creative production, the hippie trail, for example, will probably carry on, now via cyberspace and information technology.

So it looks like Rory will be a main driver of one hippie trail multimedia bus, and I'll continue to be a head gardener of World University and School.

All of these projects would work well with a Wiki (editable web pages, like Wikipedia), such as MediaWiki - mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Starting_a_new_page. To add a map, people might use something like Google Earth. Here's a starting point - earth.google.com/userguide/v4/ug_mapfeatures.html. And here's one example - bmanearth.burningman.com. Going back and forth between a Wiki {editable web pages} and Google Earth, if possible, seems to get at what we might want to create here. And WikiMedia Commons is one approach to indexing photos and media - commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page. This makes these materials part of the public domain, under Creative Commons' law.

(Simply to create a map and add photos to it, you can make an image map using html [hyper text markup language], the basic 'language' of web pages, that people's browser can then read. Here's the basic html code for an image map: http://www.htmlcodetutorial.com/images/images_famsupp_220.html. Can someone mention easier ways on the web, and add them to the comment section on this blog entry?)

For many multimedia projects ahead, you probably need at least one gigabyte of RAM (random access memory - computer (electric) memory), and 2 gigs are better. But the photo web sites Picasa (which is Google) and Flickr, with their respective maps, may also be sensible, easy, and good starting technologies for this kind of project, too.

When we develop exactly what we're looking for ~ a simple map which allows us to easily link multimedia to ~ let's add the steps to webnographers.org.



http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/05_04/NakedGardenEPA_800x765.jpg




http://en.ce.cn/entertainment/fashion/trend/200706/06/W020070606553451707862.jpg


Into the radical beauty of the Harbin pools ~~~ :)




.



Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cliffs: To All Who Teach and Learn ~ Newly Added Languages & Countries in World University and School

To all who teach and learn, worlduniversity.wikia.com

~ A Wiki (editable web pages) for sharing knowledge and innovation, with newly added languages, countries, subjects, and 'You at World University' pages.


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Heading to a contact improv jam ...




Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marsh Cattails: Creating Software which Discovers and Invents: Ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy

How to create software which discovers and invents, especially analytically, and which explicitly displays the relationships (as pathways, apart from words' connotations and denotations?) between conceptual elements that make up these discoveries and inventions?

I wonder how ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy might shape virtual spaces in which human discourse, in type-chat, voice, and avatar-gesture (in the contemporary), might lead to new discoveries and inventions, both linguistically, and in what people shape in these virtual worlds, and be used to characterize concurrently in Wikis.

Here's an example of how this might work with virtual Haight-Ashbury - webnographers.org/index.php?title=Ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy - a kind of hippy-wiki-virtual-world-graphy.

Wild Cotton: Radical Nonviolence, Loving Bliss, Internet & Off the Grid

Dreaming Bear at Harbin mentioned radical nonviolence in a poem the other evening in the Harbin Temple.

Radical nonviolence is a practice which has been around for a long time. Mahatma Gandhi represents one fascinating, relatively recent example of what it can do. The Society of Friends {Quakers} have engaged this discourse over centuries, too. And radical nonviolence emerged again dramatically in the 1960s on a widespread basis, and secularly, poetically, spiritually, and irreverently. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and civil rights' marches in the U.S. south are two remarkable examples. Is Obama's presidency in this tradition of practices? Where might this lead?

I wonder if one example of exploring radical nonviolence might be eliciting loving bliss, naturally. Here are some practices ~ scottmacleod.com/LovingBlissPractices.htm
~ for beginning an exploration.


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Harbin has provided access to the Internet slowly. Visitors can get limited ($1.00 for 7 minutes), dial-up speed internet access in the Blue Room cafe in Stonefront Lodge. I think this partly reflects Harbin's view that it's a hot springs' retreat center, and visitors come as a kind of retreat, as well as a kind of hippy vision of living off the grid. It is possible to go into town (Middletown, California) and get access, too.

But I think places around the world in the future without the internet will also be very fascinating anthropologically, because they won't have been as influenced by new media as people with internet. And Harbin continues to be unique in this sense, in the context of the 'wired' world.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ocher Rose Yellow Beauty: "What's new in your world," Harbin Language, Harbin as 'Happening'

In the rich fabric of life which emerged starting in the 1960s ~ 'counterculture' ~ "What's new in your world?" was one alternative expression of "Hi, how are you?" While I haven't heard this recently, until a friend greeted me this way this morning in the Harbin dressing room, it seems a little 'old-fashioned' these days, even in its asking about newness about your experience in your life.

But I'm curious to articulate 'lexicons' of Harbin language since around 1972, with lexicons of hippie language.

Here are a few hippie lexicons I found in a brief search on the web:

http://www.4starbiz.com/missdeal/lingo.html

http://www.mc.cc.md.us/Departments/hpolscrv/lingo.html


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Harbin Hot Springs ~ anthropology ~ identity ~ language {Saussure: > semiology of parole?} ~ culture {counterculture - 'oneness'} ~ something new {cultural innovation ~ experimentation} ~ ethnography ~ virtual ethnography ~ is one trajectory I'm continuing to explore vis-a-vis Harbin.


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Hippie hot pool retreat centers in every state in the U.S. (at least two in each state, to start?), and in every country around the world, in a loose network and in very beautiful locations, clothing-optional with the camping and youth hostel-like kitchen possibilities, an hour or two away from urban areas? Yes ... How could Harbin facilitate this? How could the internet help facilitate this? Ishvara would like to expand.


***

The 'happening' aspect of hippies, where gatherings just spontaneously emerged, at Harbin, for example, and which can almost 'magically' lead to encounters that can be transformative, ~ politically, socially, creatively, therapeutically, spiritually, opening-wise, etc., is less 'happening' these days. {Although the web and social networking sites make possible the formation of groups immediately, in a way that probably draws on the 1960s and 1970s, and politically-mindedly, too}. But gatherings like these were fleeting 'back in the day,' both at Harbin and especially during the 1960s and in the early 1970s. Now Harbin has workshops ~ harbin.org/workshops.htm, which are also gatherings, but slightly more planned. The Harbin pools, however, are still fluid, and create unique, ongoing gathering, twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year.

But Harbin is also 'happening,' as a gathering, in an ongoing way. It has taken form (as a 'hippie' organization) and lasted, and become an one-of-a-kind hippie commune. It's also kind of a hippie 'church' {two, actually ~ Heart Consciousness Church, and New Age Church of Being}, although you wouldn't know it while there {Harbin is pretty alternative vis-a-vis any familiar kinds of 'religion'}, in my experience. Yet, those things which go on in churches - community, intimacy, meaning-generation, marriages and funerals, beliefs - all occur at Harbin, in Harbin's own unique way, and influenced by counterculture.


****

In recent days at Harbin, over the past month, I went with Heartsong to see her place, and help her set up her computer. Heartsong and I have talked a lot recently. She's fascinating in the variety of things she knows - ecology, science, math, physics, science fiction, New Age, meditation traditions, and how she uses her knowledge as malleable codes to facilitate understanding ~ she speaks a lot of 'metaphorical' languages, and understands much ~ and to bond as friends. She befriends and connects, and has a fascinating mind ...


I also saw the films, the Reduced Shakespeare Cos.' "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," "Mama Mia," and "The Visitor," and went to dances with great music played by DJ Firefly, as well as spent a lot of time in the pools. (Harbin shows about 2 films every day and 4 on the weekend, in addition to a Satsang {translated as something like 'talks about truth'} film on the weekends), in a nice, warm theater with cushions. The flow of life makes sense at Harbin, ~ influenced a lot by going in and out of the pools, and life in this valley. Harbin is.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Water Underground: Woman Under Umbrella in the Pool, Fig Tree Buds, Rain, Men, Women and Watsu

A woman with dreadlocks brought a black umbrella into the warm pool today under which to soak. I was amused, having never seen this before at Harbin Hot Springs. She kept her dreads dry while soaking at one side of the pool. {Most people are naked in the Harbin pools}. Then she went to the front corner of the pool, away from the stairs, and the umbrella rested comfortably in the corner on the two sides of the pool, and she soaked underneath, as if under the roof of a little house. :)


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The fig tree over the warm pool which lost its leaves in November is showing green, pointy buds now.


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Harbin is verdant and there are a lot of people there in the middle of winter. The winter rains have finally come, but it isn't that cold, - just wet, gray and dreary. And the pools are warm. It seems the California sunbelt has had about 11 months of dryness, with around 21 days of rain (some very light), only. The plants have adapted over generations, but the very little rain this past year raises significant fire risks for the summer.


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Watsu {water shiatsu} has emerged at Harbin as a kind of nurturing, healing and softening practice, ~ as a way for people to connect and reconnect. Harbin continues to seem to me to originate from the freedom-seeking movements of the 1960s and early 1970s, where, to generalize grossly, men grew their hair long, and many women seemed to aspire to become kinds of earth mothers. Counterculture seemed to explore, as an ideal, the changing of male gender roles, especially, but also has seemed to continue, on the whole, to perpetuate 'familiar' gender roles, although there was and has been wide-spread experimentation and exploration of life possibilities vis-a-vis gender since. (And ...)

But men and women at Harbin seem to become more masculine and more feminine, in fascinating ways, accentuated by Harbin's clothing-optionalness, where some sexuality is 'in the air,' - from the pretty calm space which the pool area and Harbin (and the 'relaxation response,' I think) give rise to. Harbin's openness and milieu can give rise to deep, freedom-oriented energies in people, in novel ways. And even though Harbin seems to me still somewhat 'traditional' in its countercultural, masculine and feminine roles, Watsu, as practice, and as an unique, social constellation, which began at Harbin about 27 years ago, harmonizes and softens everything, especially ways of being together in the pools, and especially between men and women. And people dance together in the water ... :)

Watsu {water shiatsu} emerged partly by people playing around in the warm pool, mostly naked. Men would float women, women would float women, men would float men, and women would float men, and from that Watsu developed into a form, with its own school, and with a variety of developments since. So, while gender roles can be familiar at Harbin, Watsu brings people together, harmonizes them, and is also a way many Harbin residents also make their living. And creates, as a dance between people, a kind of ease and oneness, in the moment.

Oh, Harbin ...

Watsu is such a beautiful practice, ~ made possible and given form by the hot water flowing from deep underground filling into the Harbin pools, and by a bunch of hippies over the past 40 years exploring movement and being together.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Twister: Wild, Beautiful Love Poetry, 'Fabric of Life,' Opening to Loving Bliss

"Mama Mia" ~ Wild, beautiful, love poetry spoken by heart in the Harbin Temple yesterday evening by Dreaming-Bear {from his book "Wild Love: ~Kissed into Consciousness~" [http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Love-~Kissed-into-Consciousness~/dp/0595426131]}. Dreaming Bear is clear, and his poetry is opening. His oral recitation of his poetry is dreamy, even trippy. :) And the Harbin 'experience' is in this poetry, intimately so. His poetry is therapeutic, loving, visionary and more, ~ all in one.

people.tribe.net/dreaming-bear


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Harbin's 'fabric of life' opens fascinating possibilities, ... and is mind-expanding in unusual ways ...


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The Harbin waters come from about 4 miles underground. Is this Harbin Hot Springs as 'place,' in an ethnographic sense?


***

Opening to Harbin and finding loving bliss together can be ... What's the language which sings? ....


Harbin pools ... now

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Land Contours: 'Consumption of Ideas,' "Always Coming Home," Agrarian Lifestyle to Reverse Global Climate Change

How to substitute the consumption of ideas for the consumption of pollution producing human action (such as driving fossil fuel burning cars that produce CO2) in the context of potentially a kind of decade-long orientation to move toward a more agrarian society, while not throwing away the material benefits of the industrial and information technology revolutions? And how might we do this as expressions of developments in ideals of the Enlightenment, the 1960s and 1970s, {as well as Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu's thinking}?

I'm thinking here of Ursula Le Guin's book "Always Coming Home," (1985) where people live basically a very comfortable and beautiful, agrarian lifestyle {as well as a rich, cultural~symbolic life}, in northern California, 400 years in the future (this is ethnographic, science fiction), while still accessing and sharing information via the internet. The most 'advanced' technology these people have, besides computing, is a lovely, wooden steam engine.

How will World University and School contribute to making consumption of ideas and an agrarian lifestyle much more desirable, enjoyable and fascinating than consumption of material, polluting processes?


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How can each of us reduce our carbon output by 80% (see climatologist Jim Hansen ~ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen), to slow and possibly reverse global climate change? He suggests that the tipping point will be 2016, if we don't change soon. Toyota Priuses reduce drivers' output of carbon 50%, from 1990s' levels. How to reduce carbon output by another 30%?

Here's the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's web site ~ ipcc.ch. They won the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore in 2007, and develop policy and make accessible the science about global climate change. (I rode a bicycle exclusively - no autos - for around 22 years out of a Quakerly-led concern about global climate change).

And here's a MIT Open Course Ware online class on global climate change: ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Sloan-School-of-Management/15-023JSpring-2008/CourseHome.


**

Sometimes Harbin Hot Springs reminds me of the life in the valley, without hot springs, which Ursula Le Guin describes so lyrically and luminously in "Always Coming Home" {California fiction}.

Into the Harbin pools soon ...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lignum Vitae: Learning "Free to All," Enlightenment Ideals, Free Loving Bliss For All ~ Naturally

It was an Enlightenment ideal to make learning "free to all" {Harvard professor and head of Harvard's library system Robert Darnton's "Google and the Future of Books": nybooks.com/articles/22281?email}. The Enlightenment influenced this country's founding in very far-reaching ways.

World University and School's orientation to open, free education dovetails with this way of thinking.

worlduniversity.wikia.com

How will the developing world engage World University and School's Wiki?


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Free loving bliss for all ~ scottmacleod.com/#LovingBlissLetters ~ as an ongoing expression of Enlightenment ideals? Yes.

In places like Harbin Hot Springs? ~ Especially.

And at home? Yes
.
And in virtual worlds?

... MMmmm ... :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Salmon-Grizzly: Design, Regenerating Multimedia Generation, Harbin

Design ahead for the discipline of anthropology? See Paul Rabinow's, George Marcus' and Tobias Rees' "Designs for an Anthropology of the Contemporary."

One conceptual, digital approach to design in the academic discipline of anthropology is "regenerating multimedia generation, " (a term Paul, a teacher of mine, suggested I trademark the other day).


Wiki technologies are one example, where the regeneration comes from ongoing developing edits, that make possible a group knowledge generation process.


Regenerating:
Active wikis are always changing, forming, constructing, and creating anew, especially in an improved state.


Multimedia:
brings media elements, including words and text together. Here are some characteristics of it:

Integration, Interactivity, Hypermedia, Immersion and Narrativity

Packer and Jordan (see Randall Packer and Ken Jordan's "Multimedia" 2001: xxx) argue that integration, interactivity, hypermedia, immersion and narrativity characterize novel communication processes resulting from the development of information technologies.

Integration refers to “the combining of artistic forms and technology into a hybrid form of expression” (Packer and Jordan 2001: xxx).

Interactivity refers to “the ability of the user to manipulate and affect [his and] her experience of media directly, and to communicate with others through media” (Packer and Jordan 2001: xxx).

Hypermedia refers to “the linking of separate media elements to one another to create a trail of personal association” (Packer and Jordan 2001: xxx).

Immersion refers to “the experience of entering into the simulation of a three-dimensional environment” (Packer and Jordan 2001: xxxi).

Narrativity refers to “aesthetic and formal strategies that derive from the above concepts, and which result in nonlinear story forms and media presentation” (Packer and Jordan 2001: xxxi).

These technologies shape narratives, incorporating the above processes, which have the effect of creating hypertextual (nonlinear) story lines and multimedia shows.



Generativity:
Openness ~ this process gives rise to ongoing idea production, and information technology production, where innovation is continues.

The ability to create new wikis freely for any area of inquiry is an example. Programming languages creating programming languages are like this, too. See MIT Professor and Director of the Center for Bits and Atoms Neil Gershenfeld in this Library of Congress video: http://www.c-span.org/congress/digitalfuture.asp {March 28, 2005}.


{Paul Rabinow's "Anthropos Today: Reflections on Modern Equipment" (Princeton 2003) and Bruno Latour's "We Have Never Been Modern," (Harvard 1993: 76-77), are particularly relevant here anthropologically, but digital technologies are new}.


Ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy {I trademark this name, too:} is one, good example which these authors have not yet explored, {because I'm creating and developing this method}.

Webnographers.org is another.

What are others?


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To the Harbin pools soon, in the rain, as a guest ... :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bonobos Together: Apes, Jokes, Interspecies-Wiki-Virtual-World-Graphy

I was wondering today about Bonobo chimpanzee jokes. What are some? Please write them in the comment section below if you know any.


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Here's primatologist and Bonobo-researcher Sue Savage-Rumbaugh in a TED Talk entitled "Apes that write, start fires and play Pac-Man" - ted.com/index.php/talks/susan_savage_rumbaugh_on_apes_that_write.html. She does joke here that Bonobo are much like humans in their great interest in sex. This talk is funny, inspiring, balanced, edifying and compassionate.


**

I'd like to examine how Bonobo chimpanzees in the Congo might engage in forms of INTERSPECIES-WIKI-VIRTUAL-WORLD-GRAPHY. {Here are thoughts about ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy ~ http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2009/01/eliciting-resting-neurochemistry.html}. Just as Koko, the mountain gorilla in Woodside, California, has learned more than 1,000 signs and can understand more than 2,000 words in English, might Bonobo begin to wiki {edit web pages of (ape-graph to?) [practice apography?] a Congo-Bonobo-Wiki-Virtual-World}, using a similar logographic-sign-language approach to Koko's, as well as wiki-virtual-world-build the world they live in, in a virtual world?

I would also like to find people interested in co-creating specific Bonobo habitat, as place, in a virtual world, with Bonobo.

Interspecies wiki-ing will open fascinating new avenues in ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Breath: Releasing Open Around the Touch of Your Breath

To release open around your breath, start by lying on your back, and begin to elicit the relaxation response for 5 or 10 minutes. :)

After some time easing, begin to feel and observe where your breath touches in your nostrils. With each inhale, release your nostril skin away wherever it touches, as if to create more space and freedom for your breath to flow throw your nostrils and into your body.

As you begin to do this, again and again, follow your breath deeper into your body, across your back throat ~ and release your skin open around your breath, wherever it touches. As your breathing deepens and your nostril skin and back throat skin ease away from the touch of your breath, your relaxation response will deepen, as well. Release into this. As you observe your breath flowing deeper through your throat, release away your windpipe from the touch of your breath.

With this opening process - in your nostrils, you throat, your windpipe - continue to create space, by releasing away from the touch of your breath, wherever it touches.

Still on your back {perhaps someone is talking you through this, or reading this to you}, observe your breath's movement deeper into your body. Begin to allow your breath to pour into your back, upper, inner chest cavity, like a river flowing into the ocean. Feel your breath pour and seep into the your inner, upper back rib cage, and receive your breath's movement here.

Let this process of easing and opening around the touch of your breath guide your explorations sometimes, ~ of movement, of coming inside, of releasing and easing.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Rhododendron: Harbin, Countercultural Healing Center, Patterns

Harbin is a countercultural healing center, with hot springs. And it's pretty alternative, ~ and healing occurs there. They're experienced and have created and observed patterns whereby healing occurs, having to do with freedom ...

Air: [Air-L] Virtual ethnography and online fieldwork

Here's Tom Boellstorff's carefully crafted, recent posting to the Association of Internet Researchers (AOIR) email list. He's the author of "Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human" (Princeton 2007), the first anthropology of a virtual world, and a professor at the University of California, Irvine:



This is my first post to this list, so hopefully I won’t mess it up!

As an utter newbie to this list, it’s interesting to see so many discussions of “virtual ethnography,” “cyber anthropology,” whatever you want to call it. I share Christine’s sense of being snowed under (I am enjoying very much being Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist, but the workload is quite extraordinary, particularly when teaching three courses, as I am at the present!). However, I did want to take a couple minutes to respond to the postings about “virtual ethnography and online fieldwork,” particularly the recent posting from Don Slater. As is the case with Christine, I’ve never yet had the honor of meeting Don, though his work has influenced mine greatly and I teach with it often. Don’s impassioned posting is, as always, insightful, but there’s a bit of the baby getting thrown out with the bathwater so to speak, and I want to make a case for not closing the door on certain kinds of ethnographic research topics and methods.

Don is absolutely right when stating that:

> 'virtuality', like the off-line/online distinction, is the variable social
> accomplishments of particular actors, which might be performed differently in
> different settings, or be largely absent and irrelevant (as in the Miller and Slater
> Trinidad book).

Online we encounter a range of social formations that vary in the ways they are linked up to actual-world contexts. Sometimes the link is quite direct, as in the case examined in the Trinidad book, or in my colleague Victoria Bernal’s work on Eritreans online, and so on. One of my graduate students, Robert Phillips, has just completed a fascinating dissertation on gay Singaporeans’ use of the Internet that fits into this rough genre of work as well. There are all kinds of social formations “in between” (though it’s too multidimensional for “in between” to really make sense).

And then another genre or type of social formation that we can study ethnographically is online games or virtual worlds whose connection to the actual world is much more indirect in terms of reference or community. The majority of persons who participate in Eritrean diasporic websites are themselves Eritrean (though we don’t know 100% for sure of course, and there are migrants, children of migrants, etc., that complexify designations like “Eritrean”). In a virtual world like Second Life, where I’ve conducted a lot of ethnographic fieldwork, the connection to the actual world is more indirect. There are things like avatars with humanlike bodies, grass and water, social norms of facing someone you talk to, and a thousand other examples of indirect linkage, and some cases of residents who know each other in the actual world prior to involvement in Second Life (siblings, friends, spouses, etc.) or who meet in the actual world after becoming close in Second Life. But the majority of social interaction and meaning-making that takes place “inworld” is not directly predicated on actual-world sociality. If I and my friend Joe in Sydney have a conversation in Second Life one day, that conversation is predicated on us both having physical bodies, Internet access, and so on, but it’s not true that the content and meaning of the conversation (and our social actions inworld, etc.) is only comprehensible to a researcher if that researcher books flights to Los Angeles and Sydney so as to talk to us in the physical world.

This has really interesting and I think significant implications for method as well as theory. As I discuss in Coming of Age in Second Life, having written two books on gay Indonesians I’ve been fascinated to see both similarities and differences in how I’ve had to conduct ethnographic research in physical-world and online contexts. The political dimensions to all of this are important, but I do think they are more complex than Don presents them (although we are basically in agreement):

>I'd only add a political dimension to this: the northern academic presumption that
>virtuality is an intrinsic property of some new machines acts to frame all research
>within this analytic so that we are incited to study virtuality, or within the agenda
>of virtuality, rather than to ethnographically discover how actors frame and
>perform their use of these new machines (and rejecting the notion of virtuality is
>just as ethnographically and analytically senseless). Having worked over the last
>ten years in non-northern settings, and in development contexts, it became very
>clear to me how politically important - and potentially neo-colonial - are the
>framings and concerns that we might impose on other people and the technologies
>we export to them: virtuality, and cognates such as cyberculture, are so clearly a
>projection of internal northern debates about identity, community, connection,
>reality, etc, articulated through specficially northern intellectual traditions such as >poststructuralism and performativity. Time to stop projecting our dramas onto
>everyone else and start looking at what they are doing and saying. And we need to
>do this not only in order to do better research but also in order to ensure that
>alternative uses and understandings of new technologies are actually allowed to
>emerge and be valorized. There are clearly issues of power involved here.

There are absolutely issues of power here, but they are multivalent and complex. Having worked in non-northern settings for 17 years, I can state quite emphatically that virtuality and cognates like cyberculture are not so clearly a projection of internal northern debates. The potential for neo-colonial thinking runs both ways here. In fact, historically colonial thought worked in essence to preserve “virtuality” as the prerogative of the colonizer, through what Mamdani terms “the spatial containerization of the native.” In particular, a notion of “virtuality” was a threat to colonial power because it could lead to the “imagined community” (in Anderson’s classic phrasing) of nationalism that directly challenged colonial rule. (In this quick example the notion of “virtuality” isn’t the same as in “virtual world,” but there is a shared history, and additionally I could talk about the fascinating ways persons in non-northern settings use online spaces, including creating their own virtual worlds!)

So projecting of dramas can take multiple forms, and Don is certainly right we should be vigilant, but part of that vigilance is to not assume a single form of that “drama,” or that the category of “internal northern” is clearly definable -- particularly if it presumes an analogous “internal non-northern.” I’ve certainly had many conversations over the years where gay Indonesians (that is, Indonesians using what at first glance appears to be the English term “gay”) find it interesting to discuss where the “internal”-ness of their sexual subjectivities begins and ends!

To me the key thing is to keep the theoretical and methodological doors open as we research this broad, broad range of new ethnographic domains. Don’s entirely right that “Asserting 'virtuality' as a methodological or substantive presumption is not only daft and obscurantist, it also misses precisely what is interesting” – so the point is to explore the forms virtuality takes and follow that moving target. Don’t assume it, but also don’t assume it’s fake, a projection of northern academic fashion, etc. Don hits on precisely this point when stating that:

>In my recollection, the only real difference between Christine's book and Danny
>Miller and my book was that she constructively focused on fashioning the tools
>needed if one does follow the actors into more online/bounded spaces; whereas
>our book was more concerned to contest the universal applicability of virtuality as
>a methodological framing, and we therefore (possibly) overstated continuities with
>classical ethnography, as if the online settings (which we also looked at extensively
>- Trinidadian websites and chat) made no difference methodologically. These are
>merely differences of polemical intention and research pragmatics.

In fact, I don’t think Don and Danny overstated continuities with classical ethnography at all: I think their book is very well crafted theoretically and methodologically to respond to what they were looking at. It’s that kind of sensitivity and flexibility that to my mind characterizes the best ethnographic work, whether I encounter it as Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist, among the work of my colleagues working in Indonesia studies, or among my colleagues working in the ethnography of virtual worlds or other aspects of Internet culture.

What seems clear to me is that there are many contexts in which researchers must explore various direct interfaces and interchanges between online and offline culture, which in some cases will demand meeting people in the physical world in addition to meeting them online. But it is also clear that there now are (and will continue to be in the future) contexts in which forms of society and culture appear online, in online games, virtual worlds, and other things too. These forms of society and culture are obviously shaped by physical-world societies and cultures in many ways, but the persons interacting within the online societies and cultures in question will in most cases meet few (or even none) of each other offline, and it does an ethnographic injustice to that situation to assume that all ethnographic research on online culture must include meeting one’s interlocutor’s in the physical world. In some cases (and for some research questions) it will make sense, but in other cases it will not. Any approach can be done well or badly, and all have something important to contribute.

All the best, Tom Boellstorff

February 8, 2009
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*

I'll engage his work directly in my actual and virtual Harbin Hot Springs' ethnographic project.

In making his case for virtuality, I wonder how one might include the neural activity which goes on in our minds symbolically, and particularly, in Harbin's case, vis-a-vis counterculture, especially in-world. I'm particularly interested in examining ways in which the shaping of a virtual world, for example a virtual Harbin in Second Life, and ethnographically, in text, as well, may give rise to, and may complement Tom's examination of virtuality.

Amazon River: Internetworking Practices, Networks, Culture

Philosopher Colin Koopman contrasts his reading of the significance of the internet - partly by problematizing 'internetworking practices' - with Manuel Castells':

cwkoopman.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/castells-seeing-networks-everywhere-he-looks

I think Castells successfully characterizes the emergence of the information technology revolution vis-à-vis previous industrial revolutions, and then extrapolates about the significance of these new developments, and concludes that networks emerge and are very significant to reading socioeconomic processes that are pervasive today.


For Castells, a paradigm shift occurs vis-a-vis the Information Technology Revolution which affects every aspect of socioeconomic life. There are 5 key aspects that give rise to the paradigm shift Castells characterizes:

These include:

1 INFORMATION GENERATION and PROCESSING is what this revolution is about.

2 It's PERVASIVE - it invades and influences every domain of socioeconomic activity.

3 It's characterized by NETWORKING - mentalities, companies, people - all network - and create synergies, based on these IT-related knowledge generation processes.

4 FLEXIBILITY is a key - the system is such that it reorganizes, and reprograms its components without disintegration.

5 It's INTEGRATING - The technological convergence that has occurred is an integrating system, and it's an open system, not closing, and it's bounded only by technological developments and innovations in ...


Here's an example of how a specific internetworking practice emerged:

Tim Berners-Lee almost single-handedly started the World Wide Web. Berners-Lee wrote the protocols for HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), HTML (hyptertext markup language), URL (Uniform Resource Locator) and posted these to a BBS (bulletin board system) in 1989, which graduate students then disseminated these through various networks. Tim Berners-Lee wrote these protocols partly with Robert Cailliau's help.

Berners-Lee is British, and was living in Geneva, Switzerland at the time. With these protocols and markup language, people could then begin to post information on the web. And HTTP, HTML, and URL then made possible the development of graphical user interface browsers (in the early 1990s).



For Castells, the significant developments giving rise to the internet, in general, occurred in microelectronics, telecommunications, computing, and also in the genetic engineering revolution - which is also about information - the code of life.



To characterize the differences between his and Castells' readings of the internet, Colin writes:

"I see networking as one element of a broader problematization and reconstruction of the existing conditions of possibility of our culture. Castells sees networks as a blueprint for our culture. I see networks as a set of practices which renders problematic our existing blueprints at the same time that it enables new blueprints which we are as yet unprepared to assess. Castells sees in networks the logic of our present such that the networking form already contains all the problems and solutions constitutive of our present. I see these problems and solutions as in need of rigorous inquiry insofar as the network form itself does not fully disclose our situation. Castells seems to see networks everywhere he looks. I am only looking at, or rather into, internetworking.


Concluding Observation: It seems that nearly every time I read a sociologist who is writing about whatever I aim to write about I detect sizable gaps. By contrast when I read historians, anthropologists, and philosophers on my objects of inquiry, I always detect more resonances. In any event, I am perfectly well aware that perhaps I am misinterpreting Castells (and so misrepresenting him here). That, in short, is why I wanted to post this. Corrections welcome and in due time before I entrench my attitude toward the network society thesis."



In my reading of Castells, he doesn't so much focus on questions of culture in his socio-historical characterizations of what were largely a series of technologically-oriented accidents giving rise to the internet. Castells is not examining 'cultural questions,' but rather, starting from a Marxian perspective decades ago, asking what 'structural conditions' the internet give rise to, and observing that networks are very significant in today's world, especially for global information capitalism. Castells doesn't reify ('thingify') networks, but rather explains "The Rise of the Network Society," while not de-emphasizing "The Power of Identity," (a different reading of 'culture' from Colin's), at "The End of the Millenium" (the three titles of Castells' "Rise of the Network Society" trilogy). Now Professor Castells co-edits "The International Journal of Communication" (annenberg.usc.edu/Faculty/Communication/CastellsM.aspx).

To complement Colin's reading of Castells, such conclusions about the internet articulate well with ways in which we might further problematize internetworking practices in terms of culture, as they develop ahead. And like Colin Koopman, I agree that networking allows for "a broader problematization and reconstruction of the existing conditions of possibility of our culture," perhaps encompassing and superseding those that readings of modernity and postmodernity seek to explain (see Scott MacLeod's Gazing at the Box: Tourism in the Context of the Internet and Globalization).

Blue-ish: Harbin Hot Springs

Harbin is real, wonderful, with a lot of naked people around, especially in the pool area {like scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2009/02/harbin.html}.

Here's an image of virtual nudity, which will, I think, become natural and familiar in virtual Harbin Hot Springs.

Columbine Star

Columbine star ...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Iris & Columbine: Contact Improv as Complement to Modernity, Harbin, Counterculture

I think contact improv dance jams are remarkable complements to modernity. (Modernity, for anthropologist James Clifford in "The Predicament of Culture" {Harvard 1988: 3-4}, is characterized by rootlessness, mobility, alienation, scattered traditions, craziness, and disorder, and entails historical uncertainty and undermines concepts of cultural ‘essence.’ See also scottmacleod.com/2003Feb03PolyphonyClifford.htm).

The physical touch, movement, interaction, community and friendships that develop can balance these 'modernity' processes which may significantly influence our daily lives, in a variety of ways.


Here are some great contact videos:

Making Contact: Atlanta Contact Improv Jam 2006
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUNfM-n_Soo

Contact Improvisation in performance
www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p2Tof2y1yQ


Creative Contact:

Pilobolus: A performance merging dance and biology
www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOZ6KnVPvIU

(also posted here: scottmacleod.com/contact.htm)



*

... just returned from Harbin, which is also a wonderful complement to modernity...


**

Both contact improv and Harbin emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, out of counterculture, in so many ways.

I see counterculture and the freedom-seeking movements of those years, as they take form in the present, also as responses to modernity.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Macaws: Children Bring Me Home

Children Bring Me Home


Little Sophie stopped me
in the Canyon valley,
as I walked to the
breakfast in the school.

The older kids there
are going on
a trip to Costa Rica.

Sophie asked me what
the big dog's name was,
which was near us.
Would I read its collar?
Julio was its name.
Sophie's little sister
came over,
littler Katie,
and we talked, too.

Their mother was fixing up,
in the nearby,
hippie-ish garden,
her old sculpture,
a gnarly, clay,
tree-stump piece,
to which someone
wanted to add mosaic.

I asked if I might add
to this sculpture,
too, at a later date,
and she said yes.

I walked on
to the breakfast
in the school.
Someone there,
not from Canyon,
said the Canyon School
had been heaven
for her kids.

Sharing sincere
*reality* with kids
~ seeing the
world together ~
brings me
heart-warmingly
home.












(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2009/02/macaws-children-bring-me-home.html - February 7, 2009)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wilderness Water: World University and School, Online Universities, World Wide Web

I received an email recently from a freelance writer named Holly McCarthy in Britain wanting to write about my blog and post it to this blog. I've posted my {edited} reply and her email here:


Hi Holly,

Thanks for your email. Yes, you're welcome to write a guest post for my blog, which I would then post. And I would be happy to link to your web site. I think characterizing what's unique about this nascent World University and School Wiki vis-a-vis the other Universities you've written about might interest both you and I, and from which we both might learn. But I'm open to what you would like to write about.

Also, please post interesting courses you find to World University and School's Wiki, itself: worlduniversity.wikia.com

My web site, scottmacleod.com/papers.htm, and the Facebook page facebook.com/group.php?gid=48753608141&ref=ts offer more information, especially the folders to the right here - globaluniversity.pbwiki.com - in the first Global University Wiki. The transcripts from teaching my course "Society and Information Technology" on Berkman Island (Harvard's virtual island, but I'm not on Harvard's faculty) here - socinfotech.pbwiki.com/ - have the first avatar-mediated conversations about this global University idea. My avatar's name is Aphilo Aarde in Second Life.

World University and School is a Global, Virtual, Open, Free-to-Students, Multilingual University. The current Wiki has been up for almost a year. What's emerging is a Wikipedia-MIT OCW approach, potentially at all levels, and in all subjects and languages. In the envisioning and realizing process of this Wiki University and School, degree- and credit-granting are still only potentials. As you might see from this Wiki, part of my project is to focus on great Universities around the world vis-a-vis open courses, and also to see how the web facilitates a de facto digital standard for online academic courses (especially vis-a-vis MIT OCW), as well as a new orientation to university and school education online. I also see WUaS as being for the developing world and everyone, that is, people with video-capable handheld devices will be able to access and post video to this Wiki for teaching and learning in all languages. This might also facilitate teaching and learning among people who can neither read nor write. In addition, this should become a great archive, which might span thousands of years. I've read that Wikipedia now has more than 2.5 million entries, in more than 70 languages.

I also especially welcome healing arts' courses such as Watsu {water shiatsu} taught in Second Life, and for example, yoga and acupuncture, as well as all of the arts. I also envision a medical school, music school, Ph.D. programs, International Baccalaureate, and much more. Openness and excellence are two of my orientations. And while openness is important to me, I'm also interested in instructional courses that are really helpful - somehow the best - for people. These will also include school age courses, as well as, for example, home improvement instruction.

I hope World University and School's openness will encourage creativity and innovation in teaching and learning, through its openness. There are a lot of smart and knowledgeable people in the world, who, with their web cameras, will be able to post what they want to teach, - in quite specialized ways. And class interactivity can occur in virtual worlds like Second Life, which is developing. I'm looking for moderators in all 3,000-8,000 languages, and in many subjects, to facilitate the aggregating process of what's 'out there' on the web already.

Like Wikipedia, I think this will develop organically and gradually.

I hope this is helpful to you. (Click on the global university tag on this page to see other thoughts about WUaS).

Sincerely,
Scott

scottmacleod.com
scott-macleod.blogspot.com






----- Original Message -----
From: hollymccarthy12
To: scott@scottmacleod.com
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2009 8:33 PM
Subject: Scott MacLeod's Anthropology of Information Technology & Counterculture blog article

Hi Scott,


I came across your blog (Scott MacLeod's Anthropology of Information Technology & Counterculture) and am wondering if you would consider letting me submit a guest post on your site. I am new to freelancing, and I am trying to build my online portfolio. I don't know if you have a formal procedure or are willing to accept a guest writer, but please let me know if this is possible. I would appreciate you getting back with me with and I can send over an article for your consideration.


In terms of the topic for the article, I'm thinking about writing something that relates to the general theme of your blog, but if there is something specific you would like me to write about, just let me know. The only thing I would ask is that I can put my by-line with a link back to my writing (onlineuniversities.com) at the bottom of the article.


Please let me know if you are interested. Here are a couple of sample feature articles that I have recently written:


onlineuniversities.com/blog/2009/01/advantages-of-biotechnology-in-human-life


onlineuniversities.com/blog/2008/12/top-100-anthropology-blogs


Thank you for your time and I am looking forward to hearing from you.


Thanks,
Holly McCarthy

Common Kingfisher: Webnographers.org, Contact Improv, Realizing {Loving Bliss} Ideas

Here's an exciting new Wiki {editable web pages} - webnographers.org - where people who are studying the web ethnographically can add and share resources. It has amazing potential.

Webnographers: Resources for Virtual Ethnography

The Gist:

Cyberanthropology is but a fetal field, far from defined. This website was developed in the interest of providing a central hub for those interested in ethnographies of the internet. Created by and for webnographers, its success in contingent on your participation.

Ethnography is not constrained solely to anthropologists, and indeed the barriers that divide the various social sciences are at once arbitrary and collapsible. Any individual interested in the complex social, cultural, and psychological facets of humans relating with and through the internet is encouraged to join in this nascent community. Webnographers unite!

~ Jenny Ryan


*

Contact Improv jams embody and make possible those flexible {somewhat like the World Wide Web}, fluid, touch, movement and creative possibilities that life offers in wonderful ways.


**

Contentment and the neurophysiology of loving bliss, when and as one wants them, are appealing ... scottmacleod.com/#LovingBlissLetters

What's the 'chamber music' of understanding vis-a-vis loving bliss, and how might we develop these richly in conjunction with the pragmatics of daily life?

How to realize some of these ideas?

Heading soon to the Harbin pools ....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yellow Iris: West Coast, Harbin, Ways of Worldmaking

I'm looking for a 'free' academic position. I'd like to continue my Harbin Hot Springs' research with funding. (I'm still waiting to hear about a competition I entered for World University and School).

Fortunately I can return to my 5 letters here at scottmacleod.com/#LovingBlissLetters to explore eliciting loving bliss, in a variety of ways. I still haven't found my 'on/off bodymind switch' {MDMA-like, but naturally} for this yet, but I continue to think about how this might work. The relaxation response does help, as well as facilitates contentment; I'm curious to think through how. It also seems to provide openings for 'accessing' loving bliss neurophysiology. Memory works sometimes, but not that passionately. Breathing can help explore loving bliss.

California has a great, Mediterranean climate, and Harbin is nearby.

A teacher of mine just suggested a book which seems very germane to my research, writing, and world-making: "Ways of Worldmaking," (Indiana University Press, 1978) by Harvard philosopher Nelson Goodman.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spider Web: Internet's 'Pipes,' Meditation, Restraint

The Internet's 'backbone' is a number of major pipelines between continents on the ocean floor.

Rodica Buzescu characterizes this here, with a helpful map:

morphingthrough.blogspot.com/2009/02/internet-is-series-of-tubes.html


In the future, I hope these 'pipes' will include much greater data transfer through satellite, radio and other frequencies, and via nodes like ships, towers, islands, airplanes, etc., and become much more distributed, too, just as the Internet is a distributed system of nodes.

I wonder whether bandwidth demand will continue to concentrate data-transfer in key mega-pipes, which will, in turn, continue to make the Internet vulnerable, because these tubes aren't distributed enough?

I suspect we need many more, distributed 'pipelines' for data transfer, compared with what we have now to meet, for example, video streaming bandwidth 'needs' in the future, especially for the developing world. (I'm looking for a web site that summarizes this).


*

The 'relaxation response' ~ relaxationresponse.org/steps ~ which I enjoy eliciting, characterized secularly, emerged out of Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson MD's research on meditation.

I wonder how meditation, or the relaxation response, works, and why it has the effects it may have socially. A little wary of the word 'meditation,' because of its 'other worldly' connotations, its association with 'cults,' {we're all invovled with group ideas, however}, etc., I've nevertheless found meditating - eliciting the relaxation response - to have benefits, in creating contentment and ease. It can be one of the best, and most enjoyable, experiences in life.

What other effects does it have?


**

Restraint is an interesting concept and practice. Sometimes I think that 'restraint,' which carries restrictive connotations for me, and thus somehow goes against my freedom-minded orientation, and thus also has negative connotations for me, can give rise to great benefits. How would, or does, this work? Simply holding back a little can open new possibilities that we might not have found had we 'engaged' ~ acted, spoken, interacted, etc. ~ earlier. These can somehow be beneficial.

And especially vis-a-vis eliciting 'loving bliss,' for example?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Deep River: Omega-3s, Playing Music and Flow, Contact Improv

Here's information about how Omega-3s work, and what they help, with no side effects. In my experience they have a harmonizing effect, and have many health benefits. I like 1000 mg of flax seed oil, 3-4 times a day.

Understanding Omega-3s
washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17258-2004Mar23?language=printer


*

I'm curious to explore how playing a musical instrument can generate very focused and self-generated 'flow: the psychology of opt exp' experiences {Csikszentmihalyi} . There's a lot of possibility for creativity here, potentially in 'flow' ~ absorbed mind ~ ways, where the playing 'feeds back' to your brain/bodymind, and influences how you play further. So, as you're playing, you hear, and then adjust. You can potentially move in very rich, and even wild directions {Bach, Jimi Hendrix} while playing. Regeneration ...


**

Heading to a Contact Improv Jam in SF soon ...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ridge: Anthropology, Hippy-ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy, Creation

New anthropological approaches:

Hippy-ethno-wiki-virtual-world-graphy ~

for countercultural places around the world, especially.


Here's free Wiki (editable web pages) software: http://wikia.com Everybody can post or create art, ideas, videos, and photos from counterculture, and as it develops.

And here's free virtual world software: http://secondlife.com, (but it costs to have an island on which you can build).


Let's share this with countercultural places around the world {India has long been fairly freedom-minded in this sense ~ spiritually ~ for eons, it seems} to facilitate creating a network, to explore creating new worlds, and to change the world for the better.



*

I just returned from Harbin last night. Its quietnesss, its "nowness," its clothing-optionalness, its milieu, its ... , are wonderful.

The hot water just flows out of the ground, and the pool area and Harbin's valley are beautiful, attracting freedom-minded folks.




.






Blue: Harbin

Harbin is real, wonderful, with a lot of naked people around, especially in the pool area.