Re: what exactly do anthropologists do?

Todd Michel McComb (
10 Jul 1995 15:26:30 -0700

In article <>,
Gerold Firl <> wrote:
>Lets see, what exactly were my grand generalizations?

I believe we left off one of the more inane ones with your assertion
that all animals "minimize energy" or some such thing.

Is there anybody out there who buys that one?

>I was examining the last few centuries of world history using a
>long-view perspective, a global view, as opposed to the local,
>tribal view.

There's a laugh. You were substituting your view for another.

>I was describing the effects of cultural blending, as travel and
>communications technology brings all the cultures of earth into
>simulataneous contact, with western culture acting as focus and
>mediator of the interchange.

And you were implying (correct me if I'm wrong) that western
culture had some kind of moral imperative to that position.

But that's only of secondary importance to the factual errors I
wanted to point out.

>And third, we have you. You take the post-modern approach, which
>has the advantage of plausible deniability; the vagueness of your
>terms allows you to backtrack from anything you say.

What about my "approach" is post-modernist?

As for the things I say, I am saying this: your posts are full of
(at best) rampant speculation, and (at worse) counter-factual
statements. You don't see me backtracking from that, now do you?

And I wouldn't feel compelled to post a long alternative theory
if someone were to post that "Jupiter has a core of green cheese"

>I'm simply saying that your negativity is entirely subjective, and
>is not based on an objective analysis of history or current events.

Another laugher. Any negativity I might have is directed at what
you say. Every time you use the term "objective analysis" I quite
literally laugh.

>But you refuse to accept that the hazards of the market economy
>are more benign than the traditional expediant of massacre and
>slavery for the losers in human competition.

You want me to say I'd rather be unemployed than dead? OK. What
kind of absurd house of cards are you going to pile on that one?

>You deny that modern science has largely conquered disease.

Yes I do. And I do not deny that some diseases have been conquered.

A few salient points: did you know that the State of California
recently instituted tuberculosis testing for teachers, due to an
order of magnitude increase in the disease? How about the spread
of hepatitis? Or maybe this: that Vietnam is now trying to
"innoculate" all children for tuberculosis (by giving them the
disease in small doses; it's not a benign strain, as no such thing
exists), with very limited success? And, of course, everyone knows
about the high profile diseases that have appeared in our lifetime.

Or maybe you use "largely conquered" in some creative way.

>You employ an imagry of victimization to characterize the cause
>of poverty.

And you know the cause of everything, I'm sure. You're the one
who is always proclaiming why people do what they do, based on a
grand stack of miniscule evidence, your personal view of the world,
wild speculation, pervasive category errors, general ignorance of
the literature (I see you cited a "pop mythology" book in another
thread; cute), and mostly your own smug feeling of superiority.

You don't have the slightest idea what my views on these issues
are, because you've never seen them. What use is this forum for
such things, pervaded as it is by all manner of drivel?

I've tried posting constructive things in the past, but I simply
do not have the energy to wade through the same assertions day
after day.

>What this all adds-up to is a philosophy of negation and defeat,
>in which everything looks bleak.

Nothing looks bleak to me, Mr. Firl, except the attitudes of people
like you.

>neither is it forward-looking.

Damn right. I live in the present, thank you very much. I also
try to get my facts straight.

That's it. I'm done with this thread and with you. If you want
to present any evidence to support your assertions (the two mentioned
above would do for a start), then I might consider discussing them
with you. But don't count on it.

Todd Michel McComb