... Ethnographic study of virtual Harbin will involve both description of the process as it continues to emerge, as well as forms of prescription, in the sense above, in characterizing what will be built, and perhaps what in-world signage to put up around the virtual pool area, for example, but all emerging from the milieu of actual Harbin.
[?Emerging as a response to modernity, hippies in the 1960s (this book's argument), questioned in a far-reaching way, and were resistant, to both the prescriptions and descriptions of main-stream culture. Harbin, too, … ?
While Harbin's, and Heart Consciousness Church's, financial success has made it possible to build the Harbin Conference Center in the early 1980s, and the Harbin Domes in the late 1990s?, as well as the Temple in 2004 and 2005, for example, residents and visitors have engaged in many kinds of gift exchange and barter, for example, especially in the context of the Harbin-families' tribe-like thinking, as well as its hippy-informed counterculture. As a kind of place for hippies, gift-exchange and barter are practices at actual Harbin, as an organization; Heart Consciousness Church (Harbin) as retreat center is run as a business, and Harbin residents and visitors barter and exchange things in relation to their housing and with each other. For example, people might meet in the kitchen and offer to exchange Watsus (water shiatsus). Barter and gift-exchange, too, have played a role in the building of virtual Harbin in Open Simulator, which got stolen, and in the Making of Virtual Harbin as Ethnographic Field Site in this machinima: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nhvcHw54GE, too. At New Age Harbin, 'giving it up' for Ganesh, and the free box in the Fern community kitchen, donations at one of the 3-times-a-day yoga classes, and service through generosity, all inform the gift-exchange and barter ethos at Harbin, as well. The relationship between actual Harbin as business and actual Harbin as community, from the renters' strike in around 1977 (Klages 1993) to the longevity of certain residents, is a theme that Harbin residents have reflexively explore; this was a key theme in Chloe Conger's Stanford undergraduate thesis, in 2000, as well. The relationship between gift-exchange at actual Harbin and in virtual Harbin will unfold in fascinating ways if Harbin residents come in-world and participate in building the virtual world, as well as in the community there. In terms of ethics, my ethnographic research focuses primarily on these kinds of cultural exchanges, or gift exchanges, at actual and virtual Harbin.]
In conducting my ethnographic research at actual Harbin, I never hid from Harbin residents that I was interested in writing an ethnography, even in 2005, when I was a Harbin candidate and resident, and, as I recall, did mention the idea of writing such an ethnography about Harbin occasionally. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2011/01/old-growth-doug-firs-while-harbins-and.html - January 18, 2011)