Op-Ed piece My Infrastructure Runneth Over
Santa Fe New Mexican on water in Eldorado
AWRA IMPACT article Who Owns Puebla Water? (280.5KB)
Rise of Asamblea Social del Agua, water anti-privatization movement in Puebla Mexico
Draft of Betwixt and Between: Geological Phase Transition, Adaptive Co-Management, and Anthropology
Article for Anthropologies, under revision, coming soon
Review of Water Co-Management (83.0KB)
Forthcoming book review for Water Alternatives
Ode (Owed?) to Baltimore
Blog about past research in Baltimore while thinking about recent killing and riots that followed, with thanks to Dick Powls for sponsoring it.
Review of The Social Life of Water
Book review for Water Alternatives on an edited book of anthropological studies of water crises across numerous different kinds of sites
What Kind of Plant is Santolina?
New Mexico Mecury article about hearing to decide fate of a proposed suburban development near Albuquerque.
New Mexico Mercury article about lack of empathy and grounded understanding of human social issues in NM proposed legislation
Water Is For Talkin' Over
In the New Mexico Mercury: A report back from the 21st annual statewide New Mexico Water Dialogue meeting and thoughts on an inclusive governance strategy for our water's future.
Turbulence Real and Imagined: Water Governance in New Mexico
Abstract for a talk given at the Santa Fe Institute in January
Looking For Culture In All The Right Places (59.8KB)
Article on culture training through language for the journal Cultus, forthcoming
Why Human Social Science Needs to Be Used to Get "Stakeholders" and "Community" into Water Policy
NM Mercury article about a public meeting on changes in the use of the Gila River Basin
Forward to Torres book, a collection of his Growing Up Spanglish newspaper columns (102.9KB)
Introductory comments based in linguistic anthro to a collection of stories written in Northern New Mexican "Spanglish"
Lecture at School for American Research in Santa Fe 8/17
"A Game of Scientific Clue: It was the Human in the Anthropocene with Water." Talk on role of anthropology in water governance reform.
The Lively Science sample chapter (185.4KB)
A readable book about how an alternative social science that doesn't try to pretend it's a chemistry lab can do a better job. Available in print and e-versions on most internet bookstores
Review of The Lively Science (177.4KB)
Another Review of The Lively Science (129.4KB)
Putting water into aquifers instead of sucking it out
NM Mercury article story of a meeting where I live about water shortage and climate change and what to do about them.
Traditional irrigation in New Mexico
NM Mercury article on museum exhibit about traditional acequia irrigation in Nuevomexicano communities
Article on how the war on drugs corrupted public health epidemiology
Blog invited by Rachelle Annechino for the Ethnography Matters group
A version of translation as basis for ethnography with an AI influence (259.4KB)
Academic article, "Making sense of one for another: Ethnography as translation," for Language and Communication
Human Eddies and Flows, an article in Journal of Water History (1.3MB)
Academic article about a dynamic model that explains a case of water conflict in Albuquerque in the 1950s/60s
How water governance needs some "creative destruction."
NM Mercury article about a panel of experts talked about the need for water policy reform in the state.
Ethnography as essential part of the organizational development mix (180.8KB)
Academic article in Organizational Research Methods
An Outsider's Ethnographic Thoughts About Design (112.7KB)
Academic article in Arts and Humanities based on an interview about ethnography and design
Models for sharing water instead of going to court in times of drought
NM Mercury article about the "Water Dialogue" meeting, many different kinds of water users talking about how to get together and adapt to drought.
The state plans for a new water policy that looks like the one they planned for and never implemented
NM Mercury article about the kickoff meeting for a new water plan to base policy on.
Academic article on early days of ethnography in the drug field (97.0KB)
In press in a special issue of Advances in Criminological Theory on qualitative research in criminology.
The dream of drinking all that deep brackish water under the desert
NM Mercury article about a visit to the national research center on desalination in Alamogordo
Ethnography as a nonlinear dynamic system in process and outcome (104.5KB)
Academic article in Complexity
"Knowledge transfer" has to move in several directions in an organization, not just top down (175.7KB)
Article in Practicing Anthropology with several examples of how power squelches innovation
Chapter 1 of Culture: An Upgrade (575.2KB)
Preprint of article on Ethnographic/organizational research for Org Research Methods 13(2) 2010 (113.0KB)
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)
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
Tuneup end of October 2015
Here is a preview of a five part blog that Savage Minds invited me to do (savageminds.org). It ran over the first two weeks in November.
A couple of months ago I was having dinner with an old friend in Seattle. He stopped his fork in mid-flight and looked at me, astonished. “Microsoft hires anthropologists?” “Yes,” I answered, “They fire them too.” He’d just complained about the over-techification of his hometown, worried that the rumors of AliBaba adding to the existing digital mob were true. I had just said that “even anthropologists” were part of the new tech world. He still thought of us as collectors of quaint and curious customs of exotic people. Interesting and entertaining perhaps, but hardly relevant to the brave new digital world.
It made me wonder, again, how to explain what anthropology “is.” Why did my old friend still see it only in terms of the “savage slot,” Trouillot’s phrase that describes anthropology’s traditional academic assignment.
I do know that anthropology “is” something. It exists. It’s certainly the most self-conscious discipline that I know of, sometimes embarrassingly so at gatherings of diverse professions. It definitely tends to be more tied to the personal identity of its bearer than most professional labels that people use when you ask “what do you do?” Whatever it is, it has strong personal and social force. What is that force?
End of preview. Lot of fun to work on over the last couple of months, lot of work as well. I took the weird transition I went through from traditional academic ethnography in South India to Public Health Service anthropologist in a treatment center for heroin addicts as the plot device. This unexpected career shift, courtesy of the Vietnam War, threw me into what in those days was an odd setting for an American anthropologist. But I discovered that I was doing some of the "same" things. The five blogs explore that "sameness" under the label of an "anthropological perspective" and make immodest claim that the perspective eliminates the usual boundaries around academic, applied and practice as well as the usual "four fields." I can't tell any more whether it's off the "du-uh" scale or very very deep, and possibly therefore boring. I do hope it's useful to some. I know I enjoyed putting it together.
In other news, I keep trying to connect with water governance in Puebla, Mexico. The article in the American Water Resources Association general magazine called Impact was published. I sent it to a few Mexican colleagues who liked it, and the group tweeted it, but I'm not sure where to take it from here. That same organization, AWRA, accepted a paper proposal for their annual meeting, though this one is on agent based modeling of river basin stakeholders in the Middle Rio Grande. Another alien--for me--group, the American Association of Geographers, invited me onto a panel on water in the Southwest at their national meetings next spring. And out of the blue a department of informatics at Indiana invited me to give a talk based on The Lively Science, which they use in courses. It's all a little disorienting, but it beats the hell out of bingo in the senior center.
Here's the report on some recent publications from the previous blog page posted at the end of August.
Lately, at last, I seem to be finding my water groove, or maybe I should say standing wave. I’m not sure why, except that as I learn more about Elinor Ostrom I’m learning what a pioneer she was—the nerve of her, dying like that just when I wanted to meet her. She was figuring out how the world really worked and how it had the potential of organizing in a way that would recast the relationship between humans and their environment so that the current divorce hearings would modulate into at least a peaceful coexistence and possibly even into the accepting if not happy ending of a French New Wave film.
The latest piece was an op-ed in my local paper. I went to a “community” meeting—in scare quotes because never was there such an overused word that on critical analysis means conflicting interests in the same place—on raising water prices. That fact upset no one, but the thing that bothered me was that thinking marches along in the same obsolete grooves. I put the Santa Fe New Mexican URL on top of the column to your left.
Shortly before that I learned that Impact, the general magazine of the American Water Resource Association, took my piece on the rise of a grassroots movement in the city of Puebla, Mexico. I’ve visited several times and during the last visit in June had a chance to sit with two members of the group, the Asamblea Social del Agua de Puebla, to discuss their protests against privatization of the water utility in the city. It’s a great story with implications for the water governance, and it’s right under the op-ed piece in the left hand column.
Then the third item is courtesy of the anthropological group who developed the web page known as Savage Minds. One of their co-conspirators, Ryan Anderson, runs a periodic e-journal called “Anthropologies.” He was kind enough to take a brief piece from me for the next issue. It reads like a book proposal, says my sig other editor, in that it lays out an argument that Anthropocene implies complexity phase transition implies uncertainty implies management models that are very compatible with an anthropological perspective. That item is number three on the list to your left.
Finally, I’ve found an editor of an e-journal, Water Alternatives, who likes my writing. So I’ve done some book reviews for them. The recent one, not yet out, has to do with the concept of “co-management” of water. It, as the preceding paragraph suggests, maps pretty well onto whatever it was that they hammered into our heads in anthropology courses and I’m pleased that some local water colleagues have found it interesting. It’s number four on the list to your left.
Feels like I’ve found the trail. Now where does it lead? At the moment the agenda item is, how do I develop this work?
I added a new poem on the bio page and need to update the home page now to catch up with everything that's happened in November. Meantime, give thanks, whatever you think of the real story.
Life is interesting.