... In the context of Harbin as Heart Consciousness Church, interpreting both 1960s language, as well, as New Age processes significantly given form by hippies, in some ways may involve developing relatively unexplored, anthropological connectednesses – in the pools.
To study a virtual Harbin, or virtual Harbins, in relation to an ethnographic interpretation of actual Harbin vis-a-vis its pools, as well as its emergence from the 1960s, involves relatively new approaches to ethnography vis-a-vis cyberspace, and comparison. Building on, and coming into conversation with, Boellstorff's “Coming of Age in Second Life” (2008) and his argument for Techne (craft or making), I engage questions of communication (exchange of information), especially in relation to the Harbin pools, Watsu, and the language of Harbin, vis-a-vis participant observation and 'pool work,' or 'water work,' but not, here, 'water dance' (in Harbin's development of a new form of water movement vis-a-vis Watsu). Methodologically and ethnographically, 'Techne' and communication come together here vis-a-vis virtual Harbin in the form of questions about ways that digitally making things creates new kinds of human communication, and, where both human communication, and computer languages, give form to generative ways of making things virtually, all vis-a-vis, here for example, the experience of release, and intimacy, in the clothing-optional, warm pool at actual Harbin Hot Springs. Here, communication allows us to understand both processes further, as well as how they articulate, in ongoing, generative ways (both with language, as well as with crafting things digitally). While participant-observation is key here – being there, and watching, as it were - especially in the Harbin pools, what's novel methodologically in this ethnographic 'water work,' includes the clothing-optionalness, and the amount of ease, and qualities of intimacy and connectedness, explored and experienced in the pools.
To understand actual and virtual Harbin Hot Springs in their own terms, however, involves both similar and different forms of participant observation, as ethnographic method. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/10/yukon-studying-virtual-harbin-or.html - October 26, 2010)