The Lively Science: Remodeling Human Social Research, new sample chapter (184.4KB)
The book is finally going to the publisher. A sample chapter and table of contents.
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
ABM describing clinical team sensemaking and improvisation
Method to My Madness (144.0KB)
Chapter 1 of Culture: An Upgrade (575.2KB)
Preprint of article on Ethnographic/organizational research for Org Research Methods 13(2) 2010 (113.0KB)
Article on language learning and translation as models for linguistics in ethnography, in the Journal of Intercultural Communication
E:CO article on Rolling Complex Rocks Up Social Service Hills, deals with political issues of implementing complexity in social services (300.6KB)
E:CO article on complexity, narrative and the organization, wonders what ordinary language in a complex organization would look like from the perspective of linguistics (475.2KB)
Culture: Can You Take It Anywhere? Article on complications in using the culture concept in International Journal of Qualitative Methods.
An Ethnography by Any Other Name..., article in Qualitative Social Research that argues for a particular type of logic and key questions about context and meaning as diagnostic of an ethnographic approach.
Agents in Living Color article in JASSS, describes going from ethnography to an agent-based model that describes how narrative drives or brakes an illegal drug epidemic
My Kingdom for a Function article in JASSS, describes ways to convert ethnographic complexity to language a computer can understand
Web page tuneup, May 10, 2013
Right above these words is the cover image for my new book, The Lively Science: Remodeling Human Social Research. Comments on it so far are favorable, my favorite that itís like ď19th century sci-fi.Ē The book has its own web page now, link above, so I'm moving the previous rant about publishing to the blog page.
The reason I'm doing that is because an op-ed piece was published last weekend in the local paper, The Santa Fe New Mexican. It gives an idea of the complications in water governance in the state, the topic I'm working on now. Here it is:
Lessons from water ó never enough
Sun Apr 28, 2013.
By Mike Agar
Iím a student of water. Iíll never graduate because water teaches more than a lifetime can absorb. Iím trying to figure out New Mexico water ó the projects and compacts and acequias and districts and adjudications and Pueblos and diversions and groundwater, and Iím marveling at how water disputes take forever and cost a fortune in legal fees. Words like dysfunctional and maladaptive come to mind.
One thing is clear. There isnít enough water, and odds are there will be less of it as the years go by. Then what happens? How is not enough water shared? Here in the West, the first who used the water get theirs first, and so on down the line until the water runs out, and then the hell with the rest of us. As long as the earlier users have put the water to ďbeneficial use.Ē Whatís that? Pretty much anything except ignoring it completely.
As the drought continues, as the temperature slowly increases, is this really the best we can do? Do we just wait until itís water-sharing time and line up according to who dipped into the river first? Iím not the only one to notice the problem. The water pros want to make it easier to move the rights around. The investors lust after all that deep brackish stuff. Some species insist on a river they can live in. Here and there, humans even want to free the river from its ditches. But it all still rests on, when the water hits the fan, first in gets it first.
Have I learned it right? This is the bedrock of water-sharing? There is no thinking outside this box or thinking without any boxes at all. Is this really the best we can do in the face of probable shortages that will affect everyone? In a state with centuries of experience with water? With communities and institutes and faculty filled with expertise scattered across the state? With experienced managers who know the rivers well? Do we just stick our heads in the dry, sandy soil and wait for the day when there just isnít enough? Then line up by priority rights and let the lawsuits begin, courtrooms generously furnished with complimentary bottles of Evian?
As a student of water struggling to learn the twisted history we humans have wrapped it in, I mostly see denial. We need a plan, I think, for water-sharing and drought. Maybe there is one and I havenít learned it yet, in which case apologies for the needless words. But it looks to me like we avert our eyes and plunge on ahead, approving developments, flushing toilets with drinking water, sucking the aquifers dry, irrigating acres of alfalfa. Hell, why not throw in another golf course?
The whole thing makes me thirsty.
Michael Agar worked in substance abuse for many years and thinks water might fit the specialty. His new book, The Lively Science: Remodeling Human Social Research, is out in late May, suitable for birthdays and bar mitzvahs.