Re: This used to be on disease and immunity

Eric Brunner (
28 Jul 1996 16:00:09 GMT

Karl Kluge ( wrote:
: In article <4talke$> (Eric Brunner) writes:

Reordering issues a bit:

: No, the subject at hand here (as per the thread title "Re: This _used_ to
: be on disease and immunity") is in fact your creative evasions from
: confronting Deloria's crackpottery, a theme you continue true to form with
: this.

In <4rjbjc$> (Domingo
Martinez-Castilla) wrote, refering to the series of posts by Firl and
Deitiker on several issues he saw present in the "disease and immunity"
thread. Those issues were ethnic claims to ranking, progress, Andean cultures
and their misrepresentations, ethnocentricism, domestication, and the
historical and modern study of indigenous cultigens and their exploitation.

Until <4sjj28$>, some 20 posts later, Vine Deloria's
work, "Red Earth, White Lies" was not mentioned, being hardly on-point.
In <4sjj28$>, Firl responds to my question to Deitiker,
who had mentioned a "slant" to the data thus far offered. Deitiker responded

The slant is using 16th to 18th century data without first _fully_
qualifying the source and possible discrepancies in the presentation
and descrepancies of the reports.

I responded to Deitiker that deconstruction of the ethnographic record is
part and parcel of doing any Contact Period demographic work. Where Firl is
comming from with his interest in Vine's latest publication, which is not
"about" Contact Period demographic issues, but rather about surviving pre-
Contact oral texts, their interpretation, and the relationship of all
indigenous peoples in contact with Conquest Cultures, nationalistic pseudo
scienticism included, is inobvious.

In any event, this is just a detour of Firl's construction from the real
subject of the thread, which, being about real measurables such as the
data from forensic anthro work on pre- and post-Contact Period human
remains, is less plastic than simplistic reductions of what is poorly, if
at all understood in the area of critical text studies, where the personal
appears a working substitute for some, displacing data.

: Forgive me if I don't read the rest of your 47K of
: text, if Firl (and you) have a point to make, it is specific to a very
: specific text, either somewhere in RE/WL, or in the cite by Ted Holden
: Firl relies upon.

: It's hard to forgive what can only be a deliberate attempt to either remain
: in ignorance of or deliberately evade discussion of Deloria's real agenda
: and the depths of crackpottery of his beliefs. That isn't to suggest that
: *everything* he says is BS -- after all, even a broken clock tells the
: correct time twice a day.

What is odd here is the narrow, even perverse focus on a rather minor part
of Vine's work. When the Aluminum Chappeaued Contingent cite the rather
apocraphal "endorsement" of another brand of catastrophism (entirely Euro
in its social construction) by Albert Einstein in his dottage, there is no
derision of his opus, or election of catastrophism to received wisdom. Why
is Vine different? "God is Red" is one of the four seminal Native works of
intellect of the past half-century, yet only Natives appear to even attempt
to read it. RE/WL is no where near as good a work, yet the carefully
abstracted "bits" manage to substitute themselves for the entirety of all
of the author's lifetime of scholarship, as a Native Intellectual.

: As for posting 47k of text, I didn't want to leave you the out of falsely
: claiming that I was quoting Deloria out of context. I was more than happy
: to include the entire transcript of his talk and allow his views to speak
: for themselves.

Sigh. I don't suppose that it is too much to ask whether or not anyone is
ever going to read Vine's "Red Earth, White Lies", when alternatives to
doing the work are so easily available. Thank goodness the subject isn't
"God is Red"! Please stick to the subject, either it is a work I know, or
it is a work I don't, and frankly have little interest in, even if it is

: In any event, this is rather a detour from the subject at hand, being one
: of Firl's frequent creative evasions from TB forensics, and Contact Period
: problems in ethnographers, the historical record of Contact and the Post
: Contact period regionally, and the interpretation of the archaeological
: record.

: Feel free however, to join in Firl's scholarship Karl, and do keep in mind
: that real processualists do have some awareness of the limitations of the
: popular conception of science, and of scienticisms.

: Having no real interest in post-Contact epidemiology, I think I'll pass,
: thank you. You, on your part, should feel free to join in Deloria's
: pseudo-scientific bullshit, a project you have already indicated an
: enthusiasm for with your prior remark that

So your issue here is what? What is your point? It isn't epidemiology, is
it just more of what Firl has to offer? Why bother?

: > From: (Eric Brunner)
: > Subject: Re: This used to be on disease and immunity
: > Newsgroups: sci.anthropology
: > Date: 17 Jul 1996 22:00:56 GMT
: >
: > Not quite. I've spoken with Professor Deloria and have in progress some
: > work which I know he will consider when undertaking the second and third
: > parts of his projected three-part work.

: and do keep in mind that most real scholars dislike having their work
: sullied by association with the kind of bullshit Deloria is slinging.

This would be an issue if there were a substantial number of non-Native (US)
scholars who associated with Native academics. Since this isn't the general
case, exactly what is it again that needs to be kept in mind?

: Deletions. I don't think a "Freudian process" is germane, and I really
: don't care what work of Vine's is being posted if it isn't the one under
: discussion.

: By all means, Eric, do stick your head in the sand. It's what most of us
: expect from you by now.

Let me know when you get around to reading "Red Earth, White Lies", or "God
is Red", there are better things to do than tease catastrophists for their
weaknesses. There are also more productive things to do than ask if people
have actually read Kuhn for that matter.

If you can help Firl (<4t0pc5$>)out and actually pin down
this Ted Holden item of scholarship:

Deloria claimed to have identified amerindian myths and oral
tradition which described the "red, shaggy fur" of the stegosaurus;

I personally would appreciate it. Note that the very best minds in the two
areas mentioned below have no problem with identifying errors of theory and
method in their respective disciplines, and the phrase "all wrong" may be
Vine's rhetoric, and it may also be Ted Holden's, and it may even be Gerold's
"best effort" at summary of a position he views with something less than
genetic predisposed enthusiasm.

evidence that biological evolution and scientific archeology were
all wrong.

I trust your summer research is going well, but if you have copious time
to spend I can recommend several processualists with whom you can task for
why even they view scienticism very carefully.

I have little free time at present, between getting several scripting
proposals finnished (Tsalagi, Unified Canadian Aboriginal, both syllabic,
an ISO 8859-x extention for romanized with diacriticals), developing a low
latency/high bandwidth ATM reliable interconnect fabric, ditto for shared
memory and SCI, plus keeping current-or-better on MPI and PVM, and having
a baby (and being a parent and spouse), I'm one rather busy skin. Ciel! I
forgot getting the release out! That is something amenable to Freudian

Feel as free as the air when posting to USENET Karl, and reach any conclusions
you feel are the best ones for you.

Eric Brunner