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Word of the Year “Because X”

January 4, 2014 / 1 comment

The American Dialect Society voted yesterday on their latest word of the year. It is: Because X, as in “Why? Because Linguistics.” 20 years ago the  word(s) of the year (a tie) were: cyber and morph. 1994 Word of the Year: (tie) cyber, pertaining to computers and electronic communication, and morph, to change form. Most…

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Image of plant sprout on the International Space Station, with seed attached. Growing out of container.

The Social Life of Plants, In Space

December 23, 2013 / 3 comments

With almost 39,000 followers, NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins has an active social community on Twitter. He posts photos from the International Space Station, where he currently lives. The images in his tweets share his unique view from space looking over deserts, city lights at night, the thin layer of atmosphere; events like spacewalks; and other…

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Looq Image

Cyber-Techniques of the Body & the “Looq”

November 24, 2013 / 3 comments

At the American Anthropological Association (AAA) meeting in Chicago, I presented a paper in the panel “Bridging Digital and Physical Publics: Digital Anthropologist’s current engagements with 21st Century Publics.” I spoke about my fieldwork with the online Occupy movement in Indonesia – and about how, as anthropologists working online, we are especially well positioned to…

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Challenging the Idea that Space and Time are Fundamental Constituents of Nature

September 21, 2013 / 0 comments

A recent article in Quanta Magazine, which has been circulating around the internet through social media, reviews recent challenges to the idea that space and time are “fundamental components of reality.” A few sections of the article stand out to me as especially interesting when considered in light of spiritual and religious traditions across human…

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I worker TPAM2011-3 (c) Tsukasa Aoki

Android Theater & The Uncanny Valley

February 10, 2013 / 0 comments

Last night, during the ‘blizzard,’ I went to the Japan Society to see the first play featuring an android actor. The Seinendan Theater Company and Osaka University Robot Theater Project are currently touring with two one act plays: “Sayonara” and “I, Worker.” Both written and directed by Oriza Hirata expressly for the android and robots featured in…

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cropped enterprise

Anthropology in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

October 4, 2012 / 0 comments

Anthropologists who like Sci-Fi often list Stargate and Star Trek as among their favorite television series. In my view some of the finest Anthropology focused episodes can be found in the seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I’ve previously looked online for a list of them, and hadn’t found one so I thought I…

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ProjectWestWind: Hacktivist Statement on Education

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Hacktivists Team Ghost Shell have accessed over fity university servers and released data on pastebin.com. The data release was not a pure invasion of privacy or act of data mining for identity theft, it was a political act, a cyber-equivalent of sabotage. The purpose? To get out a message about problems in education today. It’s also…

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Google vs Apple

Maps in iOS 6 vs. Android: Where IS the Washington Monument?

September 30, 2012 / 0 comments

On Apple tech blogs, tumblr, and now in a recent article in the New York times, iPhone users are bemoaning the failure of Apple’s new maps application that replaced Google Maps in the iOS 6 update (and also comes pre-installed on the new iPhone 5). I keep coming across a popular example of the new map…

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Untie Our Hands: An Alien Tort Claims Act Campaign

September 26, 2012 / 2 comments

A web site has appeared at untieourhands.com lobbying on behalf of Shell Oil Company in the Kiobel V. Royal Dutch Petrolium (Shell) case. The site uses the slogan “Untie Our Hands” as a rallying cry to free corporations from responsibility for the harm they cause overseas while they engage in resource extraction.

Flying Toasters Screen Saver

After Dark: Where have the screensavers gone?

September 23, 2012 / 1 comment

I got my first personal computer in 1994. I had just started as a freshman at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon (Steve Jobs’ alma mater) and the school was an all Mac campus as part of the Apple Consortium. My roommate and everyone else I knew in our dorm had purchased new Macs to start our tenure…

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OWS Meditation Circle

Images and Metaphors of Occupy: On the Year Anniversary

September 17, 2012 / 0 comments

Reading the online news today, I found mainstream media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) anniversary using images and metaphors to frame Occupy as unstable and barely intact. Media reporting alone might lead some readers to believe that Occupy has “returned” (from where? when did it leave?) resulting in “chaos” in the Financial District….

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CQ OWS

Indonesian cyberactivists and Occupy Wall Street

September 15, 2012 / 1 comment

An article about my initial research on the Indonesian Occupy movement has been published in Critical Quarterly. The abstract (and article for those with access) is available here: Oman-Reagan, Michael P.  2012  Occupying cyberspace: Indonesian cyberactivists and Occupy Wall Street. Critical Quarterly, 54: 39–45. Please contact me if you are a colleague without access who would…

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Facebook map

Occupying Facebook

November 8, 2011 / 0 comments

In “Occupy Online: Facebook and the Spread of Occupy Wall Street,” Caren & Gaby (2011) propose that “Facebook is potentially less relevant to the Occupy movement than to other movements, and is likely to become less relevant as the movement develops.” Although Caren & Gaby call members of Facebook groups online “occupiers” and refer to…

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We are the Indonesian 99%

Indonesian Cyberactivists and #OccupyWallStreet

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On October 17th, 2011 Anita Rachman of the Jakarta Globe published an article with the headline “Occupy Jakarta? We Might if We Knew We Were Being Invited.” In the article, Rachman suggests that the lack of events organized by a Facebook group called “Occupy Jakarta” demonstrates there is no “real” Occupy movement in Jakarta. Writing…

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bantar gebang, bekasi, jakarta

Religion at Bantar Gebang

September 28, 2011 / 0 comments

2,000 families are estimated to live at Bantar Gebang, Indonesia’s largest trash dump. In this photo, women who live in this community are praying at the end of Ramadan. Photograph: Javaz Tizmaghz, the Guardian Share this: