Wednesday Round Up #76

This week it’s the good stuff, then mind and anthro, and finally gaming.

Top of the List

Fresh Air, Journalist Reports On ‘Life, Death And The Taliban’
Really impressive interview with Charles Sennott, the executive editor of GlobalPost, which is running a series on the complex history and present role of the Taliban in Afghanistan. A lot of things he says sound grounded in anthropology. Here’s the link to GlobalPost’s Taliban series, which includes video and reporting.

Lorenz Khazaleh, Five Years Antropologi.Info
A great summary of what five years have meant for that blog, as well as how anthropology blogging has grown over that time.

Charukesi, Who Is a Foodie? Not Me…
No indeed. But a food voyeur. Most certainly. Some scrumptious photographs!

Michael Dove, Dreams from His Mother
The Yale anthropologist reflects on the work done by Obama’s mother, the anthropologist Ann Dunham Soetoro. For more on Ann Dunham and how Obama is actually a neuroanthropologist in disguise, see our long round up just after Obama’s inauguration.

The Economist, Amartya Sen on Justice: How to Do It Better
A review of Sen’s important new book The Idea of Justice. “In his study on how to create justice in a globalised world, Amartya Sen expounds on human aspiration and deprivation—and takes a swipe at John Rawls”

The Neurocritic
Just a lot of great material recently – from the clitoral homunculus to psychoanalytic explorations, serial killer movies, and zombie cupcakes

Mind & Brain

Kraeplin’s Grandchild, The Biopsychosocial Model Is Dead! Long Live to… to What?
Un analisis muy interesante, y si, en español

Tom Heneghan, Beware Brain Scientists Bearing Gifts (gee-whiz journalists too…)
A report on the Neuroscience Bootcamp at UPenn

Anthony Gottlieb, Young Philosophers
A review of the new book The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik

Benedict Carey, After Injury, Fighting to Regain a Sense of Self
The neurological sources of identity, explored through its loss due to brain injury and accidents

Jeanna Bryner, Dogs as Smart as 2-year-old Kids
And that’s just an average dog at that… For a good critical take on this work and its portrayal in the media, head over to Language Log’s Stupid Canine Lexical Acquistion Claims.

National Science Foundation, Professor Michael Gazzaniga Discusses the Impact of Neuroscience and the Legal System
The video is not quite as long as the title – about 15 minutes

Elizabeth Gudrais, When Words Hurt: How Depression Lingers
Reactions to criticism and brain scans meet in this report on research on patients recovering from depression


Joshua Homan, The Drama of the Defeated – Indigenous peoples after the Battle of Bagua
A moving video of a speech by an indigenous woman during the Peru violence back in June. An indictment of President Alan Garcia and protest poetry wrapped into one.

Catherine Bolton, I Did It To Save My Life: Morality and Survival in Sierra Leone
The winning proposal for UC’s public anthropology 2008 book competition. Wow, Catherine can write.

Bourdieu – Twitter
A consistent stream of wide-ranging quality links. Definitely a good one to follow, including multiple languages and theoretical perspectives. As just one example of something Bourdieu tweeted, here’s a rather neuroanthropological paper (pdf) by Philip Gerans, Tacit Knowledge, Rule Following and Pierre Bourdieu’s Philosophy of Social Science

Barbara Kiviat, An Anthropologist on What’s Wrong with Wall Street
Time article on the work by Karen Ho

Eugene Raikhel, The Foucault Audio Archive
Hear the lectures by the great French intellectual

Jennifer Ochstein, Share and Share Alike: Why Students Plagiarize
A profile of Susan Blum and her recent book, My Word! Plagiarism and College Culture

Science Daily, Human Population Expanded During Late Stone Age, Genetic Evidence Shows
Population growth well before the turn to agriculture. Or go directly to the PLoS article, Autosomal Resequence Data Reveal Late Stone Age Signals of Population Expansion in Sub-Saharan African Foraging and Farming Populations

Sharon Begley, What’s in a Word?
Newsweek piece with the tag, “Language may shape our thoughts.”

Tanya Strivers et al., Universals and Cultural Variation in Turn-taking in Conversation
Abstract for a recent PNAS article

Lorenz Khazaleh, Nancy Scheper-Hughes: Public Anthropology through Collaboration with Journalists
Good summary of Scheper-Hughes’ recent editorial in Anthropology Today


AnthroGuy, Serious Play at Dogpatch Studios
A report from the Innovation, Design and Serious Games Exchange

Ben Kuchera, Why We Quit: The Moments That Push Us Away from Gaming
Wait, I thought it was compulsive… Nice look at how frustration, failure and more add up to stopping

Michael Abbott, Cute Ain’t Pretty
A review of the new Wii game Little King’s Story. Convinced me to get it! “Each of the rulers your diminutive king must confront represents a different take on society and its priorities. The citizens in these countries suffer from the same blindness as their kings because they’ve mindlessly accepted these despots’ self-indulgent delusions… In its own charming little way, this game takes no prisoners.”

Christian Nutt, Vital Game Narrative: A Conversation With Rhianna Pratchett
The writer behind the humor and narrative of the Overlord series reflects on writers’ role in the gaming industry

Laura Parker, Once Upon a Time: Narrative in Video Games
GameSpot covers the effectiveness and purposes of storytelling in gaming

Claire Caine Miller, A Virtual Game to Teach Children Languages
Wiz World Online – a virtual world to teach English to Chinese children, with global plans

Laura Sydell, Gamers Can Experience Battle Of Fallujah
NPR covers the controversy over a forthcoming game that recreates the battle. For more, see Kotaku.

Erik Hanson, Week in Review: August 2-8, 2009
The Video Games and Human Values Initiative provides much more with its weekly roundup

Gwen/Sociological Images, “Disabled Girls” Video Game
See the image, read the commentary.

Heather Chaplin, On ‘The Path,’ Everything a Big Bad Wolf Could Want
“The game is nothing so much as a rumination on the vulnerabilities of girlhood.”

Gene Koo, Gaming and Open Governance
“The Obama administration is looking seriously into how games and virtual technologies can advance national policy priorities.”

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