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12 December 2011

Making Anthropology Visible

A new project by Jason Antrosio is attempting to make Anthropology more visible - to search engines, at least.  According to the Purpose Statement:
Every month over one million people search for anthropology and consult Google to ask “What is Anthropology?” And every month, anthropologists produce great anthropology blog entries, publish wonderful anthropology journal articles, and write editorials. Anthropologists appear in the news, teach great classes, and make a difference. Anthropology Report connects people searching for anthropology to real anthropology and real anthropologists.
There is currently an unfortunate disconnect between the top 10 search results for anthropology and What is anthropology? and the best material by real anthropologists. Too many of the top results are irrelevant or do not lead directly to the great material.
Anthropology Report aims to make that connection. It highlights the best and most recent updates from anthropology blogs, journals, books, and fresh news from real anthropologists. Google is now prioritizing freshness and frequent updates. Although anthropology bloggers and researchers typically work on a more thoughtful and slower time-cycle, a collective but edited selection can make a difference.
 To learn more click below.

09 December 2011

Another Double Meaning

Here's another word that I've just realized has an interesting double meaning - "compose." So something can be "composed of" something - like my bookshelf is composed of wood. Also, something can be "composed by" something - like the painting on the postcard attached to my bookcase was composed by Cezanne. The first has a passive connotation - the wood doesn't have to do anything to compose the bookcase - whereas the second has an active connotation - Cezanne had to actively compose the painting.


Wouldn't it be interesting if we took the word "compose" to always have the active connotation? In that sense, the wood could be said to actively compose the bookcase - to arrange it moment-by-moment in a particular way simply by being wood and by not giving in to the force of gravity.  Should the wood stop composing the bookcase, my books would fall to the ground in a mess and I'd be very unhappy.

It becomes even more relevant when talking about living organisms.  For example, I am "composed of" cells.  But that's not quite right.  My cells are most certainly active, and they work together to create me.  Thus, I am also "composed by" my cells.  I think this way of talking highlights the active vitality of the world around us.  So from now on, when I say "compose" - even when I say "composed of" - you can assume I mean it in the active sense of "composed by."

07 December 2011

Another Elinor Ostrom Video

This one goes into much greater detail on common pool resources, different regimes of management, and what can be done to address overuse.

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