... In explicitly focusing on novelty of place, as well as on novelty of method vis-a-vis the actual and virtual, actual and virtual Harbin, and ethnography itself, this anthropological book articulates a long, intellectual tradition of ethnographic, participant observation in novel ways.
To explicate ways in which talking with a Harbin resident can help shed light on Harbin's counterculture, compare and contrast an actual face-to-face interview and interaction, with a digital interview and interaction in the virtual Harbin pool area in Second Life. In 2008, I interviewed Harbin's founder, Ishvara, in his home at actual Harbin. And he bumped in to me in the warm pool on November 30, 2010. I saw him only occasionally in passing, possibly 3 - 5 times in the intervening 2 ½ years, with barely a word spoken between us, whatsoever. Harbin's Mainside area, where the pool area, the 3 guest buildings, the 3 cottages, the main Stonefront Lodge with its restaurant, market and Blue Room Cafe, the Harbin theater, and the Harbin main office are located, are not large. Here's an excerpt from our interview, which I transcribed:
… more intelligent than I am, and I don't place much faith in any predictions. ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/12/chrysis-ignita-to-explicate-ways-in.html - December 10, 2010)