AnthroCurrents – August 8, 2014
A biweekly look at recent stories on anthropology and practicing anthropologists in the popular media
The Usual Suspects
- Genevieve Bell is interviewed yet again by the New York Times and ranges over a number of topics while not being allowed to go deep. It’s unfortunate. It is refreshing to hear someone talk realistically about technological change—just because we haven’t developed social norms forbidding people from staring at their phones during business meetings doesn’t mean that we won’t (hopefully soon). TechFestNW is happening August 15-16, and Bell will be speaking on “The Prehistory of Robots and Why It Still Matters.”
- Anthropologist Robin Nagle is quoted in Motherboard’s examination of the history of New York City trash. It’s easy to forget that these huge systems exist when they run well. Note: according to this article Dubai does not have a sewer system. This doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
- You may have heard something about the latest encounter with an “uncontacted” Amazonian tribe in Brazil. There is even a video. Luckily for me, Savage Minds linked to the best article I’ve read about the encounter over at the BBC.
- Portland State University Anthropologist Cameron Smith estimates that between 20,000 – 40,000 people will be required to populate any colonies formed on other planets. The numbers are the result of calculating genetic diversity and adequate breeding population, but that figure is also suspiciously close to the student population of… Portland State University. Hollywood, you know where to contact me.
- Philippe Bourgois (Righteous Dopefiend) is an excellent person to talk to when one wants to understand the complexities around/drivers of heroin use. SFGate spoke to him when reporting on the increase in homelessness in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.
- Anthropologist Kate Browne has followed a family scattered by Katrina for the past nine years and is quoted in Next City’s piece looking at the ongoing Katrina recovery
- The Boston Globe reports (stick with them, it’s a good way into the article) on a new study in the British Journal of Psychiatry concluding that the voices heard in the minds of schizophrenics are shaped by their culture.