Re: This used to be on disease and immunity

Eric Brunner (
15 Jul 1996 18:02:18 GMT

For some reason Philip is following up on a follow-up I made to one of
Sisal's posts. Oh well...

Philip Deitiker ( wrote:
: (Eric Brunner) wrote:
: >Feel free to post anything you want, now that you've established the value
: >you place on definitions of such key athropological terms as domesticatants,
: >cultigens and so forth.
: Example 1 (see below): BTW, As an 'anthropologist' Eric you should
: know that vocabulary is the property of those societies which choose
: to use those words to intercommunicate. While your language bashing

domesticatant and cultigen are hardly obscure terms in the literature(s)
of anthropology. Perhaps those so troubled by the cognitive dissonance
introduced by reliance upon such tacitly encumbered texts as dictionaries
when attempting to _think_ about culture should re-think the utility of
their attempts.

I recommend Dave Rindos' work for both, see Domingo's recent post with
that cite. If there is a serious discussion of the subject, I'll drop
him a line and he'll "drop by" for questions.

: why don't you go beat up on the french guianans and other creole
: speakers for their improper improvisations of language, I'm sure they
: appreciate it as much as we do.

As a francophone (non ille de france) I find the suggestion charming, but
rather naive. As a defense of unlearnedness, it is less than compelling.

: > I'm sure you'll find subscribers who, like yourself,
: >find a dictionary an acceptable substitute for the literature. I'm still
: >a giggle over paleolithic. All very Humpty Dumptyesque.

: OK Eric, this is for you:
: Hey everybody, I somehow during a discussion about immunity and intial
: contact events misused the word 'paleolithic' because after many years
: I've not managed to keep all these clichesh definition packed in my
: head. Happy.

No. Mistake is common to all. Resistance to learning is the special property
of some. Count your posts. You manage to avoid learning much that is evident
from myself, MB Williams, or Domingo. Even your acknoledgement of error is
packed with childishness and posture. This doesn't detract from your own
area of expertise, but it makes determining where you are out of your depth
something which you decline to gracefully disclose, in a timely fashion.

: Having said this (and pardon me for again not having the best chioce
: of words), this discussion has gotten to the point of being an anal
: retentive argumentation. See examples:

: >: I have tried to make it clear that I am not a professional anthropologist,

: >This was self-evident.

As you have offered various critiques (none I've personally thought to be very
compelling) of posts by anthropologists, taking note of your lack of abilities
is a kindness.

: Example 2


Is your point that
: Example 3


: Example 4. And BTW, who should we beleive in this, someone who
: admittedly takes a biased or 'Americanist' point of veiw. I find many

Apparently you are unaware that the discipline of anthropology is constructed
differently in Europe, than it is in the Anglo-Americas. Apparently you are
also unaware that anthropology in-and-of the Americas had from its origins an
agenda, a conscious purpose. On at least two grounds regional specialization
is reasonable to distinguish. A third, which I suspect will come as some
surprise to you in particular, is that archaeology in the Americas is a sub-
discipline of anthropology, and the label "americanist" attaches properly
therefore, when that regional specialization is ment.

: of your arguments although technically correct highly slanted in favor
: of some literatures over others and a half presentation of the data,
: why is that?

I would be interested (slightly) to know what of my arguments you found to
be "technically correct", and on what basis you reached that conclusion.
I'd also be interested (slightly) to know what "slant" you perceive, and
how you reached that perception, and so forth.

: >This could be extreamly tedious, since there are lots of rather loaded words
: >rattling about in dictionaries and a discourse on what is actually ment in
: >some context would have to incorporate a history of how that specialized
: >meaning came into being and what the theoretical issues behind each nuance
: >of meaning actually incorporates. Clearly, an attempt to use nomenclature
: >as commonly used within a field is less of an imposition upon participants
: >in that field than an insistance on the use of meanings provided by the
: >authors and publishers of dictionaries, who have their own cultural limits
: >and problems of ethnographic construction to compound the problem of any
: >useful collective understanding.

: Very good point, but don't bash the users, simply correct the
: inaccuracies by stating that the defintion used is inaccurate or no

This has already been attempted, see the length of this thread and the density
of off-point tangents, some technical, most behavorial (of posters), for the
utility of such a suggestion.

: longer accurate, if I forced everyone here to be up to snuff on even
: the more popular genetic or immunological terminologies I think it
: would be rather unfair, but truely since we are talking about immunity
: and the genetics of immunity I could qualify all my arguments in those

The import of such nomenclature does not exist by simple assertion. Few of
the casual mechanisms are relevant to the actual depopulative events, of
those I've noticed you mentioning when not attempting to pass yourself off
as understanding Domingo or MB.

: terms and make the discussion cryptic. Its very possible that during
: the quoting and requoting process which goes on during scientific
: discussions (reviews or reviewed literature that antiquated
: terminology creeps in).

That happens. Even the literature is not above critical deconstructions. See
phrenology, or closer to home, agency in criminal pre-disposition theoretical
frameworks posited by scientism-claimant social groups. Try Science, mid-95,
a HGP and crim-pre-disp conference for obvious dangers within banal scientism.

: Secondarily with respect to some precolumbian south american
: tribes and _possibly_ some north american, even according to what the
: contemporary usage is these groups might still be treated as
: functional paleoliths, although I must admit after refreshing my

Bzzt. Still trying? Check your batteries. That bunny got away.

: memory on the defintions the _great mass_ of pre-columbian
: populations were probably significantly more advanced than implyed by
: my inaccurate usage, your correction was well taken. I will try to
: get better lingo for this in the future, however, I have tried not to

Language is the representation of thought. It doesn't simply come in a can.

The rest of this post is simply too long to even read. Deleted.

Eric Brunner