mckenna,david abrahms,ethnologies

Xochi Zen (
10 Feb 1995 21:07:32 GMT

Firstly, I've been reading Marvin Harris' _Our Kind_ and think it's
wonderful. Though it could be more wonderful. Then again, it looks like it
was writen for a popular audience. What recent books (1989+) has Harris
written? Could someone provide a summary of these?

Secondly, I'm looking for a responsible book on the rise of written
language and its effects on human culture. Last year, I heard a talk given
by David Abrahms (an up-and-coming hot religious studies/deep ecology guy)
about this, and while I found the subject matter fascinating, Abrahms didn't
seem too swift in the logic department. It was a talk given to members of
the faculty of my philosophy dept. at the time, and I remember one of the
profs raising an objection that seemed to demolish abrahms' argument. I don't
recall the specifics, but he definitely hadn't thought-out other possible
scenarios relating to his argument. Anyhow, this leads me to believe that
there may be a lot of sloppy scholars in the field of anthropology... which
draws upon so many different fields... and wanted to learn of some scholars
I might trust. Harris seems pretty forward about suggesting alternative
explanations that might crush his hypotheses. Abrahms sure seemed
embarrassed by the way. Anthropology fascinates me, but I don't want to get
so sucked in by the wonder that my brain falls out.

Who are some big names today in anthropology and cultural studies?
What books in these subjects (in the past 5 years or so) have been

Thirdly, a writer who really tickles my fancy these days is
Terence Mckenna. Erudite and engaging, but I'm not so sure how solid his
anthropoligical musings are. Have any anthropologists here read Mckenna
(apparently Mckenna considers himself an ethnobotanist)? If so, what do
you think of him? Again, not being an anthropologist, and possibly having
been seduced by the eloquence of his prose, I don't know if I can trust him.
That being said, I'd like to read more about the ideas he discusses. Could
anyone suggest some books to the effect of ,"If you like Mckenna, you'll
love these?" (preferably books by solid scholars - I think even Mckenna
prefaces a lot of his musings with "the following is pure speculation."
At least the man is honest.

I would like some introductory texts on linguistics. Somehow, I've
managed to go through 4 years of college without really learning anything
about chomsky et al. Preferably a text that is engaging rather than overly
dry and theoretical. I want solid theory, but I also want to be tittilated.

Lastly, have any ethnographies been written about the following

Occultists (other than _Persuasions of the Witches Craft_) ?

Thanks in advance.

- Xochi

| Xochi Zen | "There's a seeker born every minute" |
| | - Robert Anton Wilson on the "Hour |
| WWW Home page: DIY Mind Machines | of Slack" radio program. |
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