Savage Minds Around the Web

Whatever the Future Brings: Check out Wired’s post on Michael Wesch‘s presentation at the Personal Democracy Forum (a social networking media conference). According to the oracles of all things electronic, Wesch’s talk on how to get people’s attention in an age of mass distraction got a standing ovation at the conference.

The Forest Has Eyes (and Possibly Land Claims): Rory Carrol at the Guardian wrote a provocative article at the Guardian UK about the Peruvian government’s claims that there are no ‘uncontacted’ tribes in their section of the Amazon, the indigenous groups and activists who are claiming that there are, and the anthropologists who are hedging their bets.

A Reductionist’s Guide To Life Choices: For those of you who don’t listen to the NPR podcast called “Planet Money,” here’s some advice. Do listen. The hosts often have non-traditional perspectives on the U.S. economy, society and the current fiscal crisis. This Friday was an amusing exception. The podcast invited Tim Harford, an economist who offered humorous rational choice models to help his blog readers figure out if their spouse is cheating or whether a couple should enter an open relationship. All in all a comical point of entry into how economists think. But if you’re thinking about following his advice, don’t.

In Memoriam: I ran across two very well-done obituaries this week. The first was an article in the Boston Globe recalling the career Helen Codere, an ethnographer of the U.S. Pacific Northwest who elaborated on the potlach and edited a selection of Boas’s work called simply Kwakiutl Ethnography. On her experience as a female ethnographer in the 1940s-1960s, the Boston Globe wrote:

Dr. Codere, who never married, pointed out that in the field, “Single women lack some of the freedom and mobility of single men; they are objects of even greater curiosity and scrutiny in a world in which going two by two is projected.’’

The Guardian UK wrote also wrote an obituary of medical anthropologist Cecil Helman.  A brief exerpt:

Cecil’s work with traditional healers, especially in Brazil and South Africa, allied to 27 years’ experience as a GP in the NHS and a period as a ship’s doctor, helped him to develop an original and illuminating approach to the complexities of healthcare provision in multicultural populations.