Savage Minds Around the Web

Update Chris Knight: As Tim linked to in the comments of last week’s post, (BBC article here), University of East London professor of anthropology Chris Knight has been suspended, ostensibly from comments he made around comments made on BBC radio. Here are some more news updates. Herald Sun Australia. Plus the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph on the larger anti-G20 protests.

The Sentimentality of Gordon Brown’s Morals: More on the G20. hatfield girl at angels in marble muses on the upcoming speech that Gordon Brown will make in St. Paul’s Cathedral during the G20 summit. The topic will be morality, and hatfield girl writes on the UK prime minister’s “obsession” with rescuing Adam Smith from the political right.

Simply Put…Arnold Zwicky at Language Log reflects on the 50th anniversary celebration of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. It’s no surprise that a blog on language and social life should be wary of the small volume that imposes “bald assertion[s]” on proper language use. But more interesting is the entry’s brief history on the increasing value of plain-written American English. Zwicky suggests that Strunk may be one of the first to promote “vigor”, “strength”, “directness”, “boldness”, “forcefulness”, “liveliness” as normative values in American writing.

Merits of Creativity: Material World posted a summary of Tomohiro Morisawa’s research on anime. Morisawa’s work uses a discussion of creativity to explore the disjunct between the meticulous process and socially-recognized prestige of production of anime and the imagined uncritical and lazy consumption of it.

New Student Journal: The folks at the new online (and possibly print) “journal/zine” Imponderabilia wrote in to announce their official launch. The first edition has a great collection of short articles and think pieces, and the editors invite future contributions by anyone interested in analyzing culture and society and discussions through the comments section. But see for yourself. Like the Malinowski quote that inspires the journal’s title, Imponderabilia can only be observed in its full actuality.

No Easy Answers: David Isenberg of the U.S. Peace Institute wrote this article assessing the role HTS and cultural expertise more generally played in improving the situation in Iraq. While he accedes that culturally sensitive military engagement is preferable to a lack of sensitivity, Isenberg notes that embedding anthropologists makes a short-term solution permanent and forestalls a more worthy goal of training all (or at least more) military personnel in cross-cultural awareness.

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