Category archives for Anthropology

What is your comfort zone?

Today, I took out the trash. I may or may not have taken the trash out last week, but I can tell you that the last time I did take it out, whenever it was, I had to drag the trash barrel across ice. Yesterday I went to the gym without a coat or jacket.…

At TEDxDubai, longtime English teacher Patricia Ryan asks a provocative question: Is the world’s focus on English preventing the spread of great ideas in other languages? (For instance: what if Einstein had to pass the TOEFL?) It’s a passionate defense of translating and sharing ideas.

I did not have a chance to write about the Anthropology fracas that erupted several weeks ago, and I probably won’t for a while. But Jamie Jones did. When I met him Jamie was a grad student in the Anthro department at the small eastern college I got my PhD at. He and I taught…

How long is a human generation?

How long is a generation, you ask? Short Answer: 25 years, but a generation ago it was 20 years. Long answer: It depends on what you mean by generation. In US-biased Western culture there is a Biological Generation, the Dynamic Generation, the somewhat different Familial Generation, what is sometimes called a Cultural Generation but that…

Once you’ve killed the monkey, you need to carry it back to camp. Slit the tail, near the end, and poke the head through the slit, so the tail makes a handy strap. Here’s a detail:

How to kill a monkey

An Efe (Pygmy) man making poison arrows for use in killing monkeys. Ituri Forest, Zaire. Photograph Copyrighted 1986 Greg Laden

Falsehoods: Human Universals

There are human universals. There, I said it. Now give me about a half hour to explain why this is both correct and a Falsehood. But first, some background and definition.

I See Dead People Everywhere

And most of them are boys with their toys

Almost Diamonds has two interesting posts on the Julian Assange sexual assault/rape accusation/charges. I want to make a comment on part of the second post, but this may not make a lot of sense to you until you read both of them. They are concise and compelling so you will not regret the time you…

First, the video. Then, if you’re good, I’ll tell you an Alan Dershowitz story. It involves Stephen Jay Gould.