oops - typing before thinking

Holly Swyers (swyersh@INTERPORT.NET)
Tue, 16 Jul 1996 17:51:15 -0400

Hi all-

I want to apologize in part for my comment last night, blithely suggesting
that perhaps a Maori might find a tattoo uninteresting. I was blundering
around in something I know nothing about, and I should have "thought before
I typed."

I think my point, though, is worth talking about. At what point can we as
anthropologists feel comfortable making assertions about some culture or
another? What is the nature of an informant? Do all cultures have a
"silent majority"? How do we get past our own biases?

What is boring to Mike Shupp (and I daresay others on this list) is
fascinating to a rather vocal group here. And I would venture that every
piece of conversation on this list is so far removed from the daily
business of living for many people that they would (correctly, perhaps?)
view it as a horrible waste of time.

My choice of example was a poor one, and I apologize again.


"...for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
- William Shakespeare, _Hamlet_ (II, ii, 247-48)