The power of a signature
this blog is about me and my life somewhere between bahia, chicago and helsinki
Now Social Darwinism can apparently even explain why the Industrial Revolution occurred in Britain instead of China: In Britain it was a game of the survival of the richest according to Gregory Clark, an economist at the University of California, Davis. As the poor died off, it was the entrepreneuring capitalists who sired the new generation (just like Montezuma who was "said to to have kept 4,000 concubines") that forged ahead and created the industrial revolution.
I keep receiving emails the NSF (the US National Science Foundation) about their methods courses for anthropologists. But on closer examination the methods they promise to be teaching seem quite far from what I understand as anthropological methods: instead of participant observation, interviewing techiques and gaining rapport, the NSF offers anthropologists SPSS and social network analysis. Now, I have no problem in incorporating quantitative methods into an anthropological study, but the fact that this is the only kind of methods training the NSF seems to be offering does have me wonder whether they hope anthropologists might still be coaxed into becoming more scientificcy and just pragmatically useful, instead of the at-first-glance clearly not particularly efficient and inherently vague hanging around our fieldwork tends to primarily constitute of. But then again they may just be worried about providing anthropologists skills that would help them find a job, also outside of academia. Not an easy task, as I am coming to realize after talking with friends I studied anthropology with in undergrad.
I was just reading the news on the Indymedia site, and found an interesting news article on it about how Aracruz, a multinational cellulose company, has resorted to different forms of media to get locals on their side against attempts to designate an 11 thousand area of land indigenous lands.
I'm back in Chicago again. Time to switch my mind back into English-language mode and move house. Acabaram as ferias e e hora de voltar a rotina... On Monday it's back to the grind again. I have a paper to write on my summer fieldwork by Sept. 15th already before classes start so Regenstein library, I'm back!
Today when I opened my email I found the following email. I've been receiving so many different variations of the nigerian scam emails in the past two months that maybe I'm starting to see them even in emails that are not part of the scheme. But I dont know, this one does seem suspicious. It could be a well-executed attempt to attract a completely different audience. Instead of being directed at people that can be lured in with promises of easy money and appearances of the stupidity of their African partners, this email seems to target a perhaps even more gullible audience young kids with a strong social consciousness wanting to make the world a better place. What do you think?
... or perhaps rather the zen of dealing with the pragmatics of airtravel, ie tickets and schedules, airlines etc.
This Monday President Lula signed a new law for the “Enfrentimento da Violência Doméstica”. The news papers here hail the law as a significant step forward in the fight against domestic violence directed at women. Before a man caught beating his wife could walk away from the situation with minimal repercussions. Typically he would only be required to provide her with the cesta básica, an amount of rice, beans and other basic food stuffs defined by the Brazilian government as the minimum for a family. But now with the new law the aggressor is suspect to penalties of up to three years in prison. Interestingly the impact of this new law is considered not take effect so much through the length of the prison sentences but rather the shame it will put the men in amongst their friends. Apparently the previous legislation allowed these men to get away with domestic violence without anybody in their communities finding out about it, whereas the new law in sentencing them to prison would make the situation public. As Jacqueline Leite from the Centro Humanitário de Apoio à Mulher (Center for assistance for women) explained to A Tarde reporters: “Até então, o homen condenado pagava uma cesta básica e ninguém ficava sabendo. Agora eles podem ser até ridiculadas em frente aos amigos por causa da sua violência” [Until now the mand condemned for domestic violence paid a cesta basica and no-one would come to know about it. Now they may be even ridiculed in front of their friends because of their violence].