Mr. postman

Mike Lieber (U28550@UICVM.BITNET)
Mon, 25 Jul 1994 18:07:42 CDT

Although I agree with everything Dwight Read has to say about the Postman
exerpts, I'm surprised that Dwight even bothered. Postman's drivel reflects
the level of thought of his protege, Seeker1, who seems at his brightest and
best when dealing with charicatures, either of his own invention or those of
his heroes. Anyone who has done serious ethnographic research quickly learns
the difference between anecdotes and patterned responses. Postman charicatures
ethnographic data as so many anecdotes. Not that anecdotes aren't important,
particularly in pointing up the unexpected, the contradictory, and the
enigmatic--the events that shake an ethnographer out of the complacent delusion
that he has it figured out. But they are at best tokens of patterning, events
that lead one to rethink his or her data to infer one or more patterns that
might generate the enigmatic anecdote. From the inference comes the hypothesis
and from the hypothesis comes the tests, and from these come the discarding
and /or modifications of the hypotheses and further testing. I may have this
wrong, but I have always thought of this procedure as scienctific, not that I
give a damn what you call it. I don't feel particularly left out or rejected
when I don't get to eat lunch with a physicist.

Next thread.
Mike Lieber