... What's so fascinating about actual Harbin is how separate a kind of hippie world it is, and can be, due to its geography – a valley at the end of a road, with hot springs.
How might a constructive, scientifically-minded critic question an ethnography, and related methods, of virtual Harbin in Open Simulator, as a separate world, in its own terms? The following questions What is this ethnography 'about' - knowledge-wise? How do actual and virtual Harbin Hot Springs' 'work' in the sense of the 'whole'? (Foucault? - vis-a-vis knowledge biopower and the contemporary / 'now'). In what ways might we begin to approach questions of anthropological group think vis-a-vis actual Harbin, and now in virtual Harbin vis-a-vis avatar mediated communication? Is it fair to posit a kind of Harbin consciousness ('culturally,' and especially counterculturally), and how might we address these questions of consciousness? And asking “What is consciousness, especially vis-a-vis counterculture and 'New Age' thinking, now virtually mediated?” - with a scientific bias - brings us to number of philosophical approaches to thinking about consciousness and the bodymind, which have emerged in an western, analytical, philosophical trajectory of thinking (see, for example, David Chalmers' far-reaching bibliography on papers about the 'mind' - http://consc.net/mindpapers). All of these questions seem important and valid as constructive approaches to thinking about actual and virtual Harbin, as culture / counterculture. And participant observation, as method, at a place like Harbin with what I'm calling here its 'group think' – as somewhat hippy, countercultural, and even anarchic, as it is – is an aspect of the sociocultural processes I'm exploring in this ethnography, to begin to explore, perhaps tangentially only, some of the above scientifically-oriented ethnographic questions. In its own terms, then, a virtual Harbin in Open Simulator, opens possibilities not only to learn how a group of people may construct ethnographically virtual Harbin, but also observe in particular shared language via group voice communication and group text chat, thus privileging language and interactive communication mediated by multimedia.
A constructive, scientifically minded critic might also ask what might be measured at actual and virtual Harbin to understand some of their uniquenesses and singularities. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/11/saturn-how-might-constructive-critic.html - November 2, 2010)