Here, have one last thing and I am finally going home for the night.

If my colleague is to be believed (too tired to fact check, sorry), this is a thing: St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church.

We have, with no little success, sought to keep the world off balance; pulling out rugs, upsetting tea tables, setting off firecrackers. It has been the office of others to reassure; ours to unsettle. Australopithicenes, Tricksters, Clicks, Megaliths--we hawk the anomalous, peddle the strange. Merchants of astonishment."

Ibid., p. 275

I mean, how can you not love this.

"Looking into dragons, not domesticating or abominating them, nor drowning them in vats of theory, is what anthropology has been all about. At least, that is what it has been all about, as I, no nihilist, no subjectivist, and possessed, as you can see, of some strong views as to what is real and what is not, what is commendable and what is not, what is reasonable and what is not, understand it.

I was thinking of doing a thread on cultural relativism, because we'd covered that in class today, but then I fell down a Clifford-Geertz-shaped rabbit hole.

Geertz, C. (1984). Anti anti-relativism. American Anthropologist, 86(2), 263-278.

Anyone who has concerns about the damn thing should just read his article - if they can get through the rather beautiful prose, that is! No sarcasm - I am enjoying it thoroughly myself, but like all good prose, it takes effort.

Werekat boosted

Just re-upping this offer: because being comfortable with git is a barrier to entry to many FS/OSS projects, and because I care deeply about lowering those barriers, I will tutor anyone who asks for help with git, and/or connect them with any mentor(s) they might prefer.

I'll do this while I put energy and work into making the tool more approachable, and into making better tools and learning paths.

Boosts gratefully appreciated.


We live in a day and age when people give away freely much more information than we collect. But it still does not absolve us of being careful - especially when researching politically-charged topics such as religion.

mass murder 

mass murder 

My students asked me a few classes ago what "sensitive information" meant in regards to the study of religion, and what sort of ethical issues one needed to consider when doing fieldwork. I recalled the following story, taken from a lecture given on March 29. 2015, by prof. Dmitiry Funk. The translation of the quote is mine.

This gets dark, so the next toots are CW.

Werekat boosted

10 years ago I started using ad blockers because I thought ads were annoying. Now I think that's the _least_ important reason to use them.

I think we should call them "browser firewalls." That more accurately describes their purpose.

Yes, by all means: explore the culture, learn about us, listen to our stories, and we will do our best to do the same for you. This is essential so that when the time for joint action comes, the naive questions will have already been asked. But do your explorations with the same tactical quietness that you would have afforded your own fight.

Because the goal, in the end, isn't "fuck you, got mine." It's to win freedom, ours and yours both.

But if there are active hostilities going on, treat other people's fight as you would your own fight. This means keeping the exploratory play private, and should you by some chance need to go public with your ideas and perceptions of the topic, it means taking pains to learn and be very careful around what exactly you're saying and how it'll impact other people's struggle.

It also means that you probably shouldn't be using that particular narrative to further your own agenda.

If there's no active hostilities going on (i.e. what you're playing around with is ancient history that isn't being used as a political weapon right now): go nuts. Borrow. Reimagine. Play games with your kids (especially important to introduce them to other people's history) and with other adults (same!). Theater and movie productions where the only limit is the creators' imagination.

And yes, you can use that stuff in combination with your own present agenda. I don't see a reason why not.

For my own ethics, I think, the key question to check when doing an adaptation is: "are there active hostilities going on?"

What do I mean by "hostilities"? The examples are numerous. America and its ongoing struggle with a history of slavery, immigration, the reservations of Native Americans and so on. China and Hong Kong. And yes, the Russian-Ukrainian war, which is a colonial war.

And the reason I'm thinking of "for freedom, ours and yours" so early in the morning is because of the Chornobyl PoC tweets.

Now, I haven't seen Chornobyl the series: not a big series fan, really, and I just know that's gonna be a history rabbit hole when I get around to it. So my musings are entirely based on "how to etiquette when adapting a history that's not your own."

My favorite... Slogan? Rule? When it comes to social justice and similar things comes from Poland, but was later adopted by the dissident movement in Ukraine.

The more common rendition is "For our freedom and yours", but I am rather fond of my own translation:
"For freedom, ours and yours."

If there's one thing interesting about being a historian of magic is that it never gets dull.

Not every day you find out a favorite musician of yours was a changeling who, at one point, went back to the lands of faery, and the young boy taken there instead of her won his freedom from the fairy queen with a song and returned to take back his own life.

Can I write my thesis as a wiki?

I'm stuck on a piece in my background chapter which could go three different ways depending entirely on how I structure it. And I just want to write three separate tiny subchapters and hyperlink to them, so people could read them depending on what they actually don't know and need to find out!

Latest Existential Comics made me have a literal LOL moment. Because "once tried to merge minds with an illithid to better understand Underdark social structures" sounds like an absolutely incredible death, one that a few of my characters would probably die to!

D&D stuff.

Fabled hero of eld: Ah, your ragtag warband is beginning to look more and more like that army of legend I used to command...
My character: ...that isn't a compliment.
Him: No. No it's not.

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