list anthropology II

i’ve been citing ross williams’ 2002 unpublished conference paper on shaming in email in a couple of my own papers – there’s not much in my area on this topic, so it looks as if i’m going to have to look into journals of psychology in order to get reports of any studies done in the area of group solidarity, and interpersonal alignment and positioning in the context of online groups.

i’ve asked ross whether i can post it here as a link for any others to follow up. whereas i’d have placed it in the list anthro resources page previously, it looks as if this has been moved down a rank to post-only status – hence i am announcing the link here: “The dynamics of shaming in an email discussion group”.
it’s in PDF form and is quite short so will download onto your desktop fairly quickly. members of netdynam in february 2002 will no doubt recall the discussion that the paper engendered at that time.

a short excerpt follows:

‘We are deeply sensitised to the occasions of shame, for ourselves and others, and the rules of etiquette and face-saving work to preserve our social systems against the disruptive effects of shame when the gap between embodied and ideal selves threatens to be revealed inadvertently. Conversely, the threat to reveal this gap and subject the other to shame is a powerful tool in expert hands; and we are all experts.

Threats to the public face can arise so swiftly and be handled so automatically that they pass in a moment, almost unnoticed, and only a careful record of gestures, glances, phrasing and vocal inflections allows us to interpret an interaction as an instance of social control based on shaming. In this paper I will analyse a shaming
interaction in an e-mail group, partly because it is inherently interesting to discover familiar group processes in a novel setting, and partly because the text medium of the email group is so congenial to the hermeneutic endeavour; generating an interpretable text from a face-to-face group is intensely laborious and subject to serious error and omissions, even when one has the best audio-visual equipment available. With email, the work is done for you.’

here’s a link to the previous list anthropology post for further context on netdynam the list.


The google search method I employ regularly to wander around sources for (mostly) academic research has two components.

1. [filetype] filetype:pdf finds acrobat files
2. [parentheses]

For example:

filetype:pdf “theory of mind” “folk psychology” controversy

uncovers academic papers that contain the extremely common wedding of folk psychology, with, theory of mind. And, by adding controversy to the search terms, papers about controversies rise to the top.

After decades of reading refereed papers, the heuristic options have been narrowed down to familiar (to me) kinds of markers. So, controversy is a superior search term to, for example, disagreement.

(Interestingly, the filetype:pdf search proves valuable because Acrobat is the file type that lends itself to researcher’s posting papers on their web sites in a format that can’t easily be messed with; is, in many respects, a facsimile. In contrast to this, filetype:doc for Word files, doesn’t bring up as high quality results.)

If a correspondent or colleague presents an assertion in absolutist terms, it is safe to say that my first knee jerk reaction, irrespective of whether or not I can instantly frame this type of assertion, is to venture via search to learn if, in fact, the assertion is controversial.

I added David Chalmer’s portal of research, Mind Papers, to the Sites of Interest sidebar.

It’s folk psychology, I mean Folk Psychology, section has the following TOC:
Read the rest of this entry »

intertextual mine #3

Robion Hood: here is a clip from the original tv series – at least, the first part of an episode from the 3rd series i think.

apparently made in the 50s, i used to watch this in the afternoon after school, almost every day. we all knew the theme song, at least the refrain, and bows and arrows were in fashion with my friends, as well as staffs and swords – when we weren’t chucking star knives inspired by ‘the samurai’ ninjas.

there is no clip i could find with the themse song, unfortunately, but there was a youtube recording with a blank screen which i’ve also embedded should anyone need to listen (as well as one clip recorded over some excerpts from the latest bbc tv series (which i cannot watch btw – too clean and self-conscious – but i guess young people might like it these days as it is similar in flavour to the 50s version merely updated…).)

theme song —

Generational Musing II.

Extending Frank’s comments on the previous post.

1st- a poll:

Pew Internet & American Life Project: What Kind of Tech user Are You?

(Me: You are an Digital Collaborator. If you are a Digital Collaborator, you use information technology to work with and share your creations with others. You are enthusiastic about how ICTs help you connect with others and confident in how to manage digital devices and information. For you, the digital commons can be a camp, a lab, or a theater group – places to gather with others to develop something new.)

PIALP Report May 6, 2007A Typology of Information and Communication Technology Users

Summary of Findings
Americans sort into 10 distinct groups of users of information and communication technology.

Omnivores: 8% of American adults constitute the most active participants in the information society, consuming information goods and services at a high rate and using them as a platform for participation and self-expression.

The Connectors: 7% of the adult population surround themselves with technology and use it to connect with people and digital content. They get a lot out of their mobile devices and participate actively in online life.

Lackluster Veterans: 8% of American adults make up a group who are not at all passionate about their abundance of modern ICTs. Few like the intrusiveness their gadgets add to their lives and not many see ICTs adding to their personal productivity.

Productivity Enhancers: 8% of American adults happily get a lot of things done with information technology, both at home and at work.

Mobile Centrics: 10% of the general population are strongly attached to their cell phones and take advantage of a range of mobile applications.

Connected but Hassled: 9% of American adults fit into this group. They have invested in a lot of technology, but the connectivity is a hassle for them.

Inexperienced Experimenters: 8% of adults have less ICT on hand than others. They feel competent in dealing with technology, and might do more with it if they had more.

Light but Satisfied: 15% of adults have the basics of information technology, use it infrequently and it does not register as an important part of their lives.

Indifferents: 11% of adults have a fair amount of technology on hand, but it does not play a central role in their daily lives.

Off the Net: 15% of the population, mainly older Americans, is off the modern information network.

Internet Typology: The Mobile Difference Full Report

Wireless Connectivity Has Drawn Many Users More Deeply into Digital Life

by John B. Horrigan, Associate Director, Pew Internet & American Life Project
March 25, 2009

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Self-administered tests, etc.

I’ve created a new RESOURCES parent page. Its first child is a page of self-administered assessments oriented to the personality and includes short versions of the MBTI, Big Five, and several others.

My results seem fairly valid for me, and, for example, the short MBTI does pick up my type in accordance with the long form that I have taken several times.

For example, my results tell me that ‘I am’ a XNXP (ENFP), thus bi-valent in E/I and F/T; a mildly expressed extrovert and low neurotic, very low on conscientiousness, middling high on agreeability, and very high on openness to experience. Learning style test can go from 3 factor to 7 and more factors. In the 7 factor test, I’m highest in Verbal, lowest in Logical.

In the Thinking Styles test I flat-line and pin Linear Logic to “0” on the X axis, and bulge out below, pregnant with Abstract Random and Concrete Random style.

Enneagram 7.

It occurred to me in taking these assessments that I could restrict their field of view to my behavior on email alone. Because I am much more aggressive, much more extroverted, in the email modality, some of my self-assessment struck me after the fact as being biased toward face-to-face life. This is partly explained by the fact that the brief introspective forays such tests demand were taken in the territory of f2f life.

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