Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Arizona wildflower: Selfhood, Community, Human Nature Remade in Virtual Harbin?, Why a Hippy-centric focus? Focus exclusively on interactive language?

Harbin ethnography:

... In terms of ethnographic method, vis-a-vis, for example, “The Making of Virtual Harbin Hot Springs as Ethnographic Field Site” (MacLeod 2009 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nhvcHw54GE), one important ethnographically-constructive question might become: How can we create – ('make,' or 'generate,' both in terms of experience, as well as programming tools) – as well as communicate (generatively share information about), more related connectednesses digitally, and how can we best to ethnographically communicate these, especially interactively?

How might an ethnographic critic, similarly, constructively question this actual / virtual Harbin ethnography? First, if selfhood, community, and even notions of human nature (Boelltorff 2008:63) are being remade in virtual worlds, vis-a-vis the actual world, an ethnographic critic might fairly ask how this refashioning distinguishes itself, how this differs, anthropologically, from similar reformulations brought about both with literacy and the printing press (e.g. since Gutenberg), as well as since electronic media (e.g. since radio, television, etc.) vis-a-vis actual and virtual Harbins. What's unique about digital, communication, information technologies and virtual worlds such as Open Simulator? Second, why a hippy-pool centric Harbin focus, both actually and virtually? Why not, for example, a Harbin workshop, or 'religious' (so many spiritual teachers have come through the Harbin gate to teach or lead workshops, in a hippy sense) or intimacy, or wildness, or Harbin as basically a hotel business model, in all its cultural, hippy richness, focus? Third, why not, theoretically, an extensive, and somewhat exclusive, focus on language and communication, methodologically, since virtual worlds potentially make accessible communication in new ways, and, for example, temporality and process as well emergence, as theoretical, anthropological investigations, are all formulated in and by language. Why not move the anthropological conversation, vis-a-vis actual and virtual Harbin, richly in the direction of language. While each of these three questions would, and may, help expand an ethnographic understanding of actual and virtual Harbin Hot Springs as counterculture, they may also overlook other key constructive criticisms of this project. Nevertheless, the ethnographic method of examining, actual and virtual Harbin, in their own terms, will hopefully begin to open fascinating conversations, connections and understandings, as well as Harbin warm pool experiences, articulating socialities both actual and virtual.

By highlighting the articulations in this ethnographic examination between virtual and actual Harbin, I would like potentially to generate an 'anthropological improvisational duet' between the two, in terms of 1960's informed freedom-seeking, as one further ethnographic methodological innovation. ...

(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/11/arizona-wildflower-selfhood-community.html- November 9, 2010)

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