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Welcome, Michael G. Powell

In the spirit of self-serving, nepotistic favoritism which is my trademark, I’m pleased to welcome Michael Powell, graduate of Rice University Anthropology. Actually, the other Minds here all agreed that Michael would be an excellent choice for a guest blogger without my intervention, and it’s no surprise. Michael did his dissertation in Poland (and the global ecumene) studying the formation of anti-corruption laws and information access laws (like FOIA). He’s an expert in bureaucracies, paranoia, conspiracy and people who have information about UFOs. He recently published a fantastic article about Sharpie markers and redaction in the McSweeny rag The Believer (which is sadly in print only, cf. all my other posts).

More recently, Michael has been working in the so-called Real World, as an anthropologist employed at an architecture firm whose business is creating consumer environments, a subject on which I hope he will enlighten us here. Please warmly welcome and appropriately respond to…. Michael G. Powell!


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Christopher M. Kelty is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has a joint appointment in the Institute for Society and Genetics, the department of Information Studies and the Department of Anthropology. His research focuses on the cultural significance of information technology, especially in science and engineering. He is the author most recently of Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software (Duke University Press, 2008), as well as numerous articles on open source and free software, including its impact on education, nanotechnology, the life sciences, and issues of peer review and research process in the sciences and in the humanities.