... new forms of counterculture emerging from the 1960s in virtual Harbin, in new ways, is something ethnography can uniquely represent.
While both actual and virtual Harbin may articulate in new ways, as countercultural 'places,' in my interpretation, in the context of the Network Society (Castells 2000), I want to suggest that Harbin is also singular (Kopytoff) in a variety of ways, vis-a-vis the 'virtual.' There have been times since 1972 when the Harbin valley has created/has been its own 'world,' akin to a nation state, or a city-state, as a separate hippie, tribal entity (an institutional, land-based polity?) – i.e. 'Harbin' (also Heart Consciousness Church, sort of) - independent from the State of California, Lake County and the U.S.A, etc. (Harbin is pretty loose/watery). Since I first visited Harbin in 1993 or 1994 to the present, and despite the theft of my laptop computer with 14 Harbin chapters and the beginnings of virtual Harbin in Open Simulator, I've come to understand Harbin in multiple ways. Its remoteness, its emergence from the 1960s in California, its independence-mindedness, and particularly its pools all give form to multiple ways in which Harbin residents and visitors think of Harbin as its own world and as unique, a key aspect of its culture. It's this singularity that I hope to observe and interpret as Harbin's milieu emerges in virtual Harbin.
Vis-a-vis Harbin's singularity (Kopytoff), commodification and its (counter-)culture, while Harbin is a successful Hot Springs' Retreat Center business ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/07/hippocampus-kuda-both-actual-and.html - July 4, 2010)