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Justin Hall
4 march, 1996
Shamanism, Grant

time and the other

Johannes Fabian

how anthropologists use time to distance themselves from their subject

gave me a lot to think about - as a writer, amateur anthropologist

funny, the way that word is used (and the resulting signifigance imparted by this reading)

I askt Howard where he wanted to eat in New York, he said "someplace with good anthropology."

good people watching. Where they are weird?

and he shows up in a bright orange suit

so where there are people at all? cuz most all of them are fascinating - the chi chi poo poo places and the Mickey D's.

so my roommate Ben and his ex-girlfriend camped out in my room while I'm struggling through this dense theory stuff, and proceed to gossip. What tense of words were they using?

robin and amy hooked up.

past tense, it was the history of screw your roommate.

how can you talk about someone without placing them away from you? how can you talk about yourself without detachment or distance or alienation?

this book is dense but appreciable. slow but not tedious.

frustrating at times because it is good, but the lingo so thick.

I wonder about the dangers of distancing through time - as I have done with my writings of the people in my life?

as my web vision broadens, I seek a file structure metaphor; everything placed on a computer needs organizing means for both the author and the reader.

I have used primarily spatial metaphors,recounting spaces of personal phases, activity - San Francisco, Chicago, Wired, Swarthmore

within these I locate people and events

I could have adjusted temporally...

Johannes gave me a lot to think about there.

I thought,

or maybe his target is those who are not so explicitly autobiographical:
more insidious than individual moral failure is a collective failure to consider the intellectual effects of scientific conventions which, by censoring reflexions on the autobiographic conditions of anthropological knowledge, remove an important part of the knowledge process from the arena of criticism.
- page 95
so I have tried to breakdown "bullshit objectivity" through means of self-insertion in the narrative, while maintaining some thoughtful distance that comes both through not being fully committed to anyone outside myself, and by virtue of the exercise of writing ("one might posit that ... devices of temporal sequencing and distancing are simply inevitable aspects of literary expression" - page 72)

in terms of the net, audience, performance,

But, on the whole, the dominant communication model remains one in which objectivity is still tied to (temporal) distancing between the participants. At least, I believe this is implied in the widely accepted distinctions between sender, message, and reciever.
- page 31
When I think about the future of file structure, and digital storytelling, I realize this will be further diffused:

someday the net will be a big database
and it just won't matter.
each web page will be a search
dynamic individual truth persuit.

indeed, the "readers" will theoretically contribute as much as the "authors," when the taxonomy flexes to allow proliferation of voices.

and will not this proliferation damage priviledge? or at least once and for all locate it locally,
if we can show that our theories of their societies are our praxis - the way in which we produce and reproduce knowledge of thge Othger for our societies - we may ... put anthropology back on its feet.
- page 165
the object's reality is not relative, the subject-object relationship is. the idealized internetwork makes that apparent.

absolute truth is valid only for an individual.

after reading his critique of each of the anthropological structures, I realize that structure in and of itself is timely. the subject matter is timeless, but the forms into which we shove it for conveyance, those decay.

so when I think about making specific, web-page based media, I am a bit dismayed at the impermanence, and yet this is what I have to do to communicate beyond person-to-person time, albeit shoddily

perhaps this whole internet thing is a means by which we are trying to superceed, to replace or replicate the authenticty of that timeless time, the vocal time Fabian praises, only momentary, the universal sound.

the danger then of claims of heirachcical authenticity is both immediate available to masses, and immediately destructable by formless competition.

what is the difference between and ethnographer and an anthropologist? I didn't get a chance to look it up.

On page 58, he mentions time and space such that he reminded me of a graph we use in Quantum Physics class, exploring classical physics, showing every event plottable according to velocity (spatial direction) and time location. That's classical science for you!

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