Savage Minds’ own patented high-tech webpage filtering software combs teh interwebs for interesting, urgent, and provacative links that usually have something to do with anthropology.
Extractive Colonialism or Globalization?
- The Independent reports that a long, drawn out battle between the people of the east Indian state of Orissa and the mining company Vedanta has spilled over into street protest in London. Vedanta wants to mine bauxite from the mountain Nyamgiri, which “is regarded as a god by the Dongria Kondh tribe that lives on it.” Anthropologist Felix Padel documents the conflict in his new book, Out of this Earth.
- Elsewhere on the subcontinent, Bangladeshi garment workers have taken to the streets demanding better hours, wages, and conditions.
Culture and American Politics
- Maxine Udall, one of the best written blogs on my RSS feed, provides some compelling supporting arguments to why well paved roads are an economic necessity, and why letting them go to gravel to keep taxes low is a bad idea. Salon commentator Glenn Greenwald comes to the same conclusion for different reasons, but without the nostalgia for Eisenhower. They’re both talking about this WSJ article.
- Where do angry Tea Partiers go on vacation? Colonial Williamsburg, of course.
Illegal drugs and new research
- Two big wins for MAPS, the Multidiciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a health research nonprofit. First are encouraging results in the use of Ecstasy to treat PTSD, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Second is a green light to test the hallucinogen ibogaine to break opiate addiction.
- Can smoking pot make you smarter? If you are schizophrenic and psychotic, the answer is yes. Maybe.
- The US Senate has voted to toughen the penalties for pot brownies, ala Joe Camel, to protect the children who would be otherwise drawn to them. Shhh! Don’t tell them about the mom who feeds pot to her 9-year old autistic son: read parts I, II, and III.
Anthropology on the interweb
- I just got turned on to Somatosphere, a really excellent anthropology blog. Recent posts have included video of the plenary talks by Judith Farquhar and Donna Haraway at the 2010 Society for Cultural Anthropology conference in Santa Fe. And links to an archive of video interviews with prominent anthropologists including: Geertz, Leach, Douglas, Mintz, Rabinow, and the Comaroffs.
- Zero Anthropology has an interesting piece on the culture concept and the many permutations of the Luftwaffe quote, “Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun.”
- Kudos to the blog Anthropology in Practice for making it to the big board over at Boingboing for their three part series on coffee! Readers, just to let you know, you can submit Savage Minds to Boingboing anytime. Illustrated Man was pretty good, right? I really want one of these nerd merit badges!
Reports from “the Field”
- Archaeologists investigate Timbuctoo, New Jersey, an early nineteenth century community of freed blacks.
- A feel-good story about a transgender summer camp for kids. “It’s a free country!” Yes, it is.
- An anthropologist visits Linyi, China, a “not that important” town of ten million people: “Indeed, there were at least 100 thirty story buildings under construction, and expansive hopes that China’s… rural poor will soon fill them.”
Meat eating and human evolution
- NPR ran a story on the relationship between meat eating and evolutionary trends away from a large gut in support of a big brain as part of a series on human evolution, The Human Edge.
- The Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition has an appreciation for the story.
- John Hawks has some criticism of it and other stories in the series.
Issues in Academia
- Articles like, “Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don’t Go” and its sequels (here and here) put English majors on notice that the job market was terrible and their participation in grad programs exploitative. The market has gotten rough for the social sciences too, as many underemployed Ph.D’s can attest. But the hard sciences? Yup, its officially bad for them too.
- Dean Dad notices an unusual pattern at his community college this season. Applications are up — makes sense, its a recession — but registration is down. A little legwork revealed that even at the c.c. level, students who have been unemployed for too long are getting priced out of higher education.
Seen something around the web that you’d like to share with the Savage Minds community? Yes you have! Shoot me an email, mdthomps AT odu.edu.