Tag Archives: SM Authors

Oh the places you’ll go…

Way back in 2001, when blogging was a new thing, and I was crawling around the web to figure out if there were any other anthropologists using this new medium, one man stood out. Oneman actually, or as he is known around here: Dustin. Dustin hasn’t been blogging much lately, but I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate him on his latest career move. When people ask about graduate school in anthropology I usually tell them that while you might not get an academic job, anthropologists usually find interesting work outside of academia.

Well, I’m happy to announce that Dustin has just been appointed the Executive Director of The Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, NV. It may seem a bit of a jump from editing a volume on Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War to running a museum of burlesque, but in between he’s been working at the UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum.

Dustin has written some of our most popular posts on issues of gender and body image. Since he still seems to pop up for about one post a year here on Savage Minds, maybe one day he’ll find the time to write about the anthropology of the burlesque…

Congrats Dustin!

Welcome Ryan (and Future Guest Bloggers)

Just a quick note to announce that Ryan Anderson, who recently guest blogged on Savage Minds, will be joining us full-time.

Welcome Ryan!

We will also be making some other changes here with regard to how we handle guest bloggers, hopefully making it easier to have more guest bloggers. Ryan will be the last one who gets a special introduction. Instead, you will see short bios at the bottom of all posts on the blog. (If you are looking at an individual post rather than the front page of the site you should see this below.) We also hope to have more former guest bloggers stick around like Zoë, popping in to do an occasional post now and then when the mood strikes them. Expect to see these changes rolled out over the summer. Of course, even as we open up to new voices, we intend to keep the same high standards. Know someone you’d like to see blogging on Savage Minds? Feel free to contact us, or leave a suggestion in the comments.

Thanks Julian and a Note on Guestbloggers

Thanks to Julian, our recent guest-bloggger for a lovely series of thought-provoking posts!

We have two kinds of guest bloggers at Savage Minds, regular guest bloggers who are given their own accounts to do a series of posts on a “theme” over a two week period. Julian’s posts can be all be found here. A full list of all past and future Savage Minds authors can be found in the footer.

We also have “occasional contributors” who write single posts now and then, but who don’t have their own accounts. These posts are posted under the accounts of whomever on Savage Minds invited that person to post. (Like this recent entry by Jenny Cool, posted under Adam’s account.) These posts are all in the “occasional contributions” category. Sometimes we forget to add the category, so don’t hesitate to remind us!

Finally, the list of “full-time” Savage Minds authors is on our “authors” page, including links to their home pages. Many of us are also on Twitter, and you can see the full list by looking at who is being “followed” by the official Savage Minds Twitter feed.

Have a suggestion for a guest blogger? Let us know in the comments!

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!

Welcome Matthew Thompson

Three cheers for Matthew, who will be joining us next week as SM’s new assistant editor, writing the “Savage Minds Around the Web” column and just being an all-around great human being.   Maybe all of that is a tall order, but I think Matthew can handle it.  He describes himself thus:

I completed my PhD in the anthropology department of UNC-Chapel Hill December 2009 and currently live in Newport News, VA.My interests in anthropology include American Indian studies, art and display, how people relate to the past, and issues of power. I am very active in SANA, the Society for the Anthropology of North America, where I sat on the executive board as a graduate student. I’m also involved in the American Studies Association.  I am a Chicano, born and raised in Texas. I went to a gradeless hippie school called New College for undergrad but came home to marry my high school sweetheart. Outside of academics I spend most of my time with my three daughters. I enjoy smoking Texas barbeque, reading comic books, and concocting elaborate rum drinks.

In a few minutes, I’ll publish Matthew’s first post.  And for those of you who are celebrating, don’t think you’ve shaken me off quite yet.  I’ll be popping up with a post now and then.

Welcome Adam Fish and New Interview Project

We here at Savage Minds are happy to announce that Adam Fish has gone savage and become a full-member of the team. Originally brought on as a guest-blogger during a 2009 film fieldtrip to Palestine, Adam has been an enthusiastic contributor to the site and we look forward to more of his thought provoking contributions. He is a PhD student at UCLA investigating new media social entrepreneurs and other technolibertarians. He is also a documentary filmmaker. Find out more about his research and film projects here, see a list of his posts here.

Adam will initiate an untitled monthly interview project where he will talk each month with someone doing provocative ethnographic research. An example would be this fascinating interview Adam did for the Archaeology Channel with Mercedes Doretti, a forensic archaeologist who worked at every known location of genocide and mass murder in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Welcome Adam! If readers have any suggestions for potential interviewees please contact him directly at rawbird@gmail.com

Two Bits smackdown: Author vs. Lazyweb

Duke University Press wrote to say:

Two Bits has sold 1142 paperback copies (which doesn’t include publicity or review copies) since its release last June, and we are now preparing to reprint it. At this point we can correct any typos or mistakes that may have made their way into the final book. We cannot make any substantial or editorial changes. However, if you have noticed any misspellings or small factual errors, please let me know. You can send me a list with the corrections, and I will pass them along to our production department.

The production department plans to send the book back to the printer as soon as possible. If you could get any corrections to me by February 9th, that would be great. If you don’t think you would be able to get corrections to us by then, please let me know and we can talk to production about either delaying the order slightly, or putting the corrections on file for the next reprinting.

Since I’m all about open source, and since, given enough eyeballs all bugs are shallow… if anyone has noticed a typo or factual error, I’d love to hear about it, so I can take advantage of this little moment!

Two Bits at Six Months

Last June I announced that I had published my book, Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. It was released both as a book by Duke University Press and as an open access publication via a website that I created and maintain. For scholars in my fields—anthropology, history, science studies, media studies—this is one of the first experiments, if not the first, of this kind. As such, I’ve been doing my best to keep some notes on the process, with a mind towards reporting on the results of going open access with a first book.

Herewith, therefore, are two reports generated by Google Analytics, which is hands-down the most un-evil thing Google has ever done (General Report | Traffic Source Report). These reports are chock full of information, beautifully organized and fascinating to explore. Unfortunately, they are also pretty hard to interpret. I’m posting them now, because I think they show a few things pretty clearly, such as the initial spike of interest, the fact that 4 times as many of my readers use Firefox as do Internet explorer, the role of small communities in creating attention (savage minds, hastac, and a handful of close friends account for a significant portion of the traffic to the site).
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Two Bits in Interview Form

For those of you who’d like to know more about my book, but want it presented in a more convenient question and answer form, the media theorist and activist Geert Lovink just posted an email interview he did with me. It has some of the best questions I’ve been asked, and it means I’m in good company amongst the other interviewees. The original is on Geert’s site, Networked Cultures. I will also be making a few changes to my profile page, which the attentive reader might glean from this interview, also re-posted at twobits.net

It’s a book! Two Bits

So I have an announcement: I have written, and published, A Book. I know that Savage Minds readers harbor the suspicion that we are all just doing this gig until someone pulls the curtain back and we have to dust off our barista aprons and work for a living, but I am actually in this for the long haul… The book is called Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software, and it is produced by the punkrockingest press ever, Duke University Press. It is now available for purchase, for download and for derivation and remixing. Two Bits Cover

I am extremely happy to finally be able to announce its arrival. I’m also happy to announce that it is part of a series edited by Michael M.J. Fischer and Joe Dumit called “Experimental Futures” of which Jeff Juris’ excellent book Networking Futures: The Movements against Corporate Globalization is also a part. And as well to thank HASTAC for helping out in its publication and in marketing it as well.

Two Bits has taken a long time, and it’s a better book for that. In some ways, it is untimely: the moment of Free Software is over– both the media and many of the scholars who focused so much attention on it starting in about 2000 seem to have moved on to some other next big thing. This is a shame, but predictable given the drive for novelty and for being first in academia. But I think (and I will throw modesty to the wind here) that anthropology has a tack on such things that is slower, more coherent, and more concerned with a certain precision in charting historical changes. I like to think that the book isn’t only about free software, but an anthropology of knowledge circulation more generally, and I hope that it interests even those who are too cool for old school.

Obviously I hope that others think the same thing, and I expect people to read it in light of the current peak of interest in web 2.0, social networking and internet celebrities, or whatever, which might be usefully re-thought through the lens of Free Software. And maybe it might just convince a few people, scholars especially, that the moment of Free Software is definitely not over, and that there is some really incredible scholarship out there by people like Gabriella Coleman, Matt Ratto, Shay David, Casey O’Donell, Jelena Karanovic, Anita Chan, Samir Chopra and Scott Dexter, Jenny Cool, Allison Fish, David Hakken and Karl Hakken, Jeff Juris (my labelmate!), Bernhard Krieger, Karim Lakhani, James Leach, Siobhan O’Mahoney, Greg Vetter and many others on these topics. Like the scholarship emerging on gaming (with Rex representing), that on Free Software constitutes a major locus of scholarly concern and questioning that should be the basis for understanding much of the recent past and near future.

Having been through the process of publishing a book, like oneman, I wish we could publish our books faster, and try to merge some of the timely but ill-considered insight of the blog-form with the deliberate and peer-reviewed caution of the book-form… but I’m nonetheless a committed modernist in that I think the book-form has a quality that no other form of communication has, and it has taken centuries for that quality to develop. Nonetheless, nothing lasts forever, and since this is a book about software, there are a few special things that I want readers to know about this book:
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