Chapter 1 through 7 draft for Culture: How to Make It Work In A World Of Hybrids (1.2MB)
How did language and culture emerge in the ancestral condition, and what does that story teach us about how to better solve diversity problems now?
A blog for EPIC
The difference between a bottom line and a budget and how it affects practice with social services
A review of Pahl-Wostl’s book, "Water governance in the face of global change”
In Water Alternatives
Rewind and Fast-Forward, Parts 1 though 5 (242.3KB)
What "is" anthropology, looking back over decades of academic, applied and practitioner life. Original done for Savage Minds, savageminds.org
AWRA IMPACT article Who Owns Puebla Water? (280.5KB)
Rise of Asamblea Social del Agua, water anti-privatization movement in Puebla Mexico
Betwixt and Between: geological phase transition, adaptive co-management, and anthropology
Article for Anthropologies on Savage Minds
Op-Ed piece My Infrastructure Runneth Over
Santa Fe New Mexican on water in Eldorado
Review of Water Co-Management (83.0KB)
Forthcoming book review for Water Alternatives
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
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.
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
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
April Fools update
More revisions in a final approach of the culture book, top of the column to your left. Lot to say about writing the thing but it´s time for the final four, so later.
St. Patrick's Day update.
Top of the morning to you. The one and only time I said that to an Irish audience in Dublin, all eyes rolled upwards and heads subtely shook. Apparently it's something that only Americans say when they want to appear authentic. Irish authenticity had already taken several hits. Nothing was really said about the Irish until the 60s when my father decided he wanted his ethnic identity. Nothing changed much. My mother discovered she had been adopted so she wasn't really a Fitzgerald. Then I went to County Carlow and learned that the ancestors were Church of Ireland and probably Cromwelians. Recently I took a DNA test and learned that I'm 1/4 Jewish. Post structural life is a bitch. Still, though, the thought of all those Protestants drinking their green dyed pale ale makes me want to stay at home and sip my Catholic Jameson's in peace.
I'll leave the previous blogs intact so you can see the history if you want to. I finished the draft of the book. References are still a mess. But the whole thing can be downloaded now, still needs some sanding and polishing, but it’s readable. I'm so sick of the damn thing that I don't want to write anymore about it. I will later though, since part of this exercise was to show younger people what writing a book was like.
Until later. In the meantime, slainte.
Valentine's Day update
in case anyone is following the development of a draft for the book on culture, I have now uploaded revised chapters 1 and 2 and new drafts of 3 and 4. I'll leave the previous two blogs about this exercise intact beneath this addition.
I'm still worried that this is like trying to put 50 pounds of concepts into a Ziploc bag. Some readers might like to substitute a different word for "concepts." A scholarly book it ain't. On the other hand, my years of work outside the University have confronted me with too many projects to count where the "culture" concept is used in ways that distort or misrepresent a problem, never mind the ignorance of context, much of it made up of language, that people don't think of at all. On the other hand, the effort might be timely, as a couple of colleagues have recently started in on work to figure out why anthropology and intercultural communication have almost nothing to do with each other. I published in Sietar's journal and met a few times with the Washington group. They asked me a question that I also saw in a couple of their historical pieces, namely, how come Edward T Hall was a founder of the field and since then anthropology has all but disappeared.
The hardest part so far is I have to deal separately in chapters 1 and 2 with both culture and language as both human universals and historical particulars. I have to do that because my imagined reader is going to approach the concepts with that mindset. When I want to get to is languaculture which combines the two and the fact that any understanding by one human of another will be a mix of human universals and historical and biographical particulars. Writing a book that features concepts in the beginning there will be completely overhauled when the reader masters them is probably not a good idea.
Well I'll keep on keeping on. I'm enjoying the work. Good thing I didn't have to get money from someone else to work on it.
Martin Luther King day update
At the end of November, I put a new draft chapter on the culture concept on this webpage. I am adding the second chapter now, on language. The citations aren't done right but then I never finish them until the very end. What worries me is that I have hit the boundary of what you can do in a book for a general audience, given the range of what I'm trying to cover. But I'll keep slogging along for a while – couple of more chapters in the works – and see how it looks.
What follows is the original description of what I'm up to that I put up on this homepage last time:
I'm going to try something different here. ("Oh oh," sounds the warning alarm in the mind of the experienced reader). I wrote some time ago about how my recent water career in the Southwest was starting to feel like my past career in the drug field, namely, intellectually fascinating and politically useless. You can see that history in the left-hand column with a long list of popular articles for the Santa Fe New Mexican, more so for the New Mexico Mercury, now unfortunately out of business. Even though I'm old enough to know better, I had decided an anthropological perspective and popular writing could influence public policy. Sometimes it can – I know from the work of other colleagues – but in the case of the more general problem of climate change in US politics, the more I learned, the more futile it seemed, especially considering the many knowledgeable and progressive water scientists already at work. And with our new pendejo – in – chief, climate policy doesn't look like a promising place to be useful. I'm too old now to start up an awesome ambitious research plan (AARP for short).
So I read and thought and stared at the sun for a while and contemplated my checkered past and came up with a project. In graduate school I became a linguistic anthropologist. In part it was because I'd already had two second-language experiences, one with Kannarese and the other with German. In part it was because the linguistic anthropology faculty were friendly with each other and treated students like interesting people rather than pond scum. Besides, they worked in a place called the Language Behavior Research Laboratory with faculty from many different departments. It was an early version of what became cognitive science. So I became a language oriented ethnographer.
Of the many threads in my surreal life the one involving culture and the other involving language have usually been part of the pattern of things I've worked on. And my applied research and practical work have taught me how most of the real world applications of those concepts have been dysfunctional rather than helpful. Why is that? Answering the question and coming up with an alternative way to use the concepts sounded like a Nobel prize-winning project.
But, answering that question required understanding where language and culture came from in the first place. Back in the day we were still in the "bow wow, dingdong, etc." schools of language origin. Surely, I thought, we have better ideas of culture and language origins by now. We sure do. It's a little overwhelming and scary to write about it given the amount of material now available. But it's extremely interesting and suggests a preliminary answer, that the solution to cultural differences lies in culture as a defining characteristic of humanity, a universal base for translating differences. This tied in with some recent work I've done on rethinking the emic/etic distinction, trying to restore the relationship between two rather than a way to sort one kind of research from another.
So I started reading and writing and I still am. Then I thought why not draft the book on my webpage? I'm old. I could drop from a Geritol overdose any day. Besides, maybe someone will read it and give me some useful comments or references. Or, given how much activity there is today, maybe someone will steal it and use it as the "before" picture in a course on dual inheritance theory. Worth a try. Even if it doesn't work, I'm finding that the workflow is helping me write.
The book is tentatively called, “Culture: How to Make It Work In a World of Hybrids.” It is written for a general audience. It is most definitely a draft circulated to learn where I am on and where I am off. At the top of the left-hand column is Chapter 1, called "Culture." The next chapter, almost ready to go as a draft, will be about language.
Have a look if it sounds interesting. If the look continues and the urge strikes, please send me any comments that occur to you. I'll acknowledge any that I use. There's a button to send email at the lower right hand corner of the homepage.
Life is interesting.