Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
In celebration of the anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education
grateful for gratefulness
Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
Grateful to Gratefulness.org
“Anthropology will survive in a changing world by allowing itself to perish in order to be born again under a new guise.”–Claude Lévi-Strauss, quoted in Lewis (1973: 586).
Thanks to the very rad openanthropology project for the quote.
Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. – Rachel Carson
grateful to grateful.org
Analytic Induction is the hallmark of great ethnography.
Leonardo da Vinci, the great “pre-Principia natural philosopher” (if you will allow such an figurative appellation) that he was, was well aware of this fact, many years before it existed. Here are some choice quotations I found that illustrate my point.
Common Sense is that which judges the things given to it by other senses.
Experience does not err. Only your judgments err by expecting from her what is not in her power.
He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.
Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination when awake?
Some time ago, John Norvell posted this quote on his blog at anthroblogs.
A Jesuit theologian, Edward T. Oakes, reviewing Gary Wills’ latest book on the Catholic Church, chides him with this little gem:
As he should know from his own position as a Catholic professor at a secular university, the two great institutional legacies of the Middle Ages to modern civilization are the Catholic Church and the contemporary university, of which the latter is surely the more rigidly hierarchical: With its politically correct orthodoxies, its hegemonically imposed anti-hegemonic discourse, its salary-mongering, its freedom from taxation (how Constantinian!), its speech codes, its teacher evaluations conducted sub secreto pontificio, its heated debate over the minutest matters, its hair-splitting fights over teaching loads and research assistants (tenure as benefice!), the contemporary university makes the Catholic Church look like a Quaker meeting house.
I would like to take this a bit further by pointing out that although there were two great institutional legacies of the Middle Ages (the university and the church), there were actually two competing models of university (represented by the Universities of Paris and Bologna): Paris was run by faculty and Bologna was run by students (e.g., grad students had the power and responsibility to fire boring faculty). Imagine if the Bologna model had taken root in stead of the Paris model?
Trying to keep my thoughts tame
There is a deep anthropological joke here: Can anybody guess it?
For us, ANT was simply another way at being faithful to the insight of
ethnomethodology: actors know what they do and we have to learn from
them not only what they do, but how and why they do it. It is us, the
social scientists, who lack the knowledge of what they do, and not they
who are missing the explanation of why they are unwittingly manipulated
by forces exterior to themselves and known to the social scientist’s
powerful gaze and methods. (Latour, p. 19)
Far from being a theory of the social or even worse an explanation of
what makes society exert pressure on actors, it always was, and this
from its inception, a crude method to learn from the actors without
imposing on them an /a priori/ definition of their world-building
capacities. (p. 20)
Latour, B. (1999). On Recalling ANT./ /In J. Law & J. Hassard (Eds.),
/Actor Network Theory and After/ (pp. 14-25). Malden, MA: Blackwell.