Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reminder: Anthropology in Practice Has Moved


Why are you still hanging around here? Come join me at the new Scientific American blog network!

blogs.scientificamerican.com/anthropology-in-practice

(Note: If you were subscribed through the old RSS feed, you should not be affected.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Communicating Meaning Online: A Digital Expression of Theory of Mind

© Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Note: This post originally appeared on Scientific American.


The growth of email, instant messaging, texting, and various other digitally-mediated communicative tools (DMC) has been rapid and pervasive. The majority of people today are comfortable enough to use these communicative tools on a daily basis, particularly among younger generations. DMC appears to be a preferred means of communication. But the popularity of DMC forces us to deal with its main problem: How do these users clarify their meaning, intent, and desires?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Details About the Move to Scientific American (and More)


If you're wondering why things here at Anthropology in Practice have been uncharacteristically quiet this past week, it's because AiP has a new home on the just launched Scientific American blog network! For details about the launch (and if you have the time), you can read community manager Bora Zivkovic's thorough introduction to the new network and its fantastic line-up of writers.

So what does this mean for www.anthropologyinpractice.com? I'll be re-posting my SciAm material (with a 48-hour delay) mainly for archival purposes but also to hold onto this space. However, there are a slew of new links that you may want to take note of:
Note: Existing subscribers, particularly those who get AiP updates via email, should not experience an interruption in feed delivery. However, existing subscribers who do not rely on email updates, are encouraged to update to the new feed.

In case you missed it, AiP's first post went up on Thursday at high-noon (cue the O.K. Corral music) titled, "Shifting Stigmas: The Act of Crying in Public":
The City That Never Sleeps is also a City That Cries On-the-Go When Necessary: on the subway or the commuter rail, in a park, or while walking down the street, do these private moments become a part of the public experience in part because there aren’t enough private spaces? If this is the case, then why does public crying still feel, well, private?
You can read the rest here.


It was an exceptionally busy week, and Bora has a nice round up on network activities. As Bora notes, the new bloggers are on a posting schedule for the first two-weeks. You can expect AiP to resume business-as-usual after July 15th.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

AiP in the Press


The launch of the Scientific American blog network has attracted a lot of attention—understandably as Bora Zivkovic has done an amazing job assembling a very diverse group of writers. Thanks very much to the following outlets for their recognition of AiP during this move:
This is definitely an exciting time, and I look forward to seeing AiP grow in this new venue.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Shifting Stigmas: The Act of Crying in Public

Jimmy Dugan firmly established that there’s no crying in baseball. But what about in public? In New York City, at some point or another you’re going to encounter a crying person—in fact, you could even be the crier. A few weeks ago, I boarded the subway for a short trip uptown. It was the middle of the day and the car was relatively empty, so I grabbed a seat, put my Metrocard away, and quickly found myself absorbed in detangling my headphones from the mess in my bag. After a few minutes, I felt the distinct sensation of being watched. Looking up, I met the eyes of man who was clearly distraught. It took me a second to realize that he had been crying. His cheeks were red and blotchy and the still wet splotches on his blue t-shirt suggested that I had interrupted some private grief. His hand was pressed tightly over his mouth, and as we regarded one another, his eyes began to fill with tears once more. What do I do? I asked myself. Apparently, nothing—the other passengers in the car did their best to avoid looking at him, busying themselves with eReaders, Angry Birds, and even a good old-fashioned newspaper. But it was too late for me to pretend I hadn’t seen. He knew. And as he roughly brushed away his tears and ran his hands through his hair to feign some sort of normalcy, I was struck by how quickly the moment changed. He went from being vulnerable to utterly guarded in a matter of seconds, adopting the aloofness that New York City commuters wear so expertly. There was no embarrassment or trace of shame in his face, however he may have felt inside. And he nodded to me slightly as stood to exit at his stop, his cheeks still flushed and his shirt still marked by damp spots. The City That Never Sleeps is also a City That Cries On-the-Go When Necessary: on the subway or the commuter rail, in a park, or while walking down the street, do these private moments become a part of the public experience in part because there aren’t enough private spaces? If this is the case, then why does public crying still feel, well, private?