Re: Hooks /Politics & perhaps science/humanism

Tue, 18 Oct 1994 01:01:25 +1200

In a flash skim of the various hooks and other murmers on the list I
felt the urge to "sytesize" the following:

Anthropology is about stumbling on potholes in the pavement

discussing the beauty of the abstract with

yet another friend to be

not very suprised to see the resulting fit of apoplexy,

amused INDEED RELIEVED to find the bloody toed anthropologist
shares a common language XX- !!#####- - - - - who left this!!# #4
The once again bipedal anthropologist asks
YET another important but dumb question, "Now what was I
a moment ago? - I know it was something abstract - ohh well, can't
have been too important!- How about a beer before you show me how
to opperate the gas station till?"

OR MORE succintly,
anthropology is the study of,
DISCOVERing COMMUNICATION and the redundancy
************* of the ABSTRACT out of CONTEXT.
Irelevant Aside:
Coffee Consumption: what are the implications of the
prescription of coffee rather than tea, cocaine, water as the drug
of choice to imbibe during "ten minute breaks" (assuming academics
take breaks, or are not engaged permananty on one).
~REgarding Jarvis & replies and Politics/

How can one omit Politics
from ANY ANTHROPOLOGICAL disccussion.
Aristotle divided the study of sciences into three areas: the science
of technology, epistemology and phronesis (Bird 1994). These were
seen by Aristotle as complimentary. Each providing the context in
which the others opperated. The last Bird** translates as prudence -
ie which explicitly implicates politics.

I would expect as a new commer to the world of the internet to find a
degree of clutter, redundancy and inappropriate material. That which
is relevant, amusing, inspirational or sufficiently offensive will
become part of the recognised discourse. All else is chaff, except
for the individuals concerned who choose to shout into the wind. In
words of the 6 year old Guatemalian I met in Antigua "En Todo es
Politica!" His words are perhaps cliche, but they speak volumes.

Human praxis is inherantly political: Some choose to see
life this way, others choose not to, & others yet have no choice. TO
communicate one must engage in politics because
effective communication results from the explicit exercise
and negotiation of power between individuals and their
companions. Anthropologists, in my opinion, specialise analysis or
the expression of power - either on behalf of our
informants.. (as advocates); "the authority of "Science.." (Homo
Acadamius) or as colonialists...(Project Camelot). Those who deny
this are inevitably more concerned about the expression of power than
analysis of it or its affects.

Those that prefer analysis will in social or cultural anthropology
need to incorporate

** Bird..: This is probably the correct reference. Can chech if an
are interested. TOo many potholes in the concrete this week.

John Waldmann
University of Auckland