Igor Alcyon
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Igor Alcyon's Page

Hi everyone.

While this page is still here, I have already left this network for reasons of politics, ethics and (non)-affinity. - Well I haven't left totally, but will soon ; ) -

My page remains here because if I delete my account, all my writings will be deleted, and I want people interested in the story to be able to know what happened.

Btw, I have been called "an agent provocateur" by Keith Hart, creator of this network.

I can be joined here : igoralcyon AT gmail . com (but I do not open that mailbox very often).

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About the photo on the left : the little text under the title "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" says :
"She knows a sucker when she sees one".

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I am an anthro student. I remained anonymous here for many reasons, mainly linked to my fieldwork. And, by the way, I encourage students who whould like to speak frankly, but who hesitate to do so because of the risks entailed, I encourage them to be anonymous instead of remaining silent. Of course it would be better to let others know one's name, but anonymous free speech seems to me a lot better than silence.

I recently wrote the following in a discussion here, because I think it would be a very good thing for this Ning network to change his name :


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« Of course the admins are not the network, but they have the power to change the name, don't they ? The present situation is confusing. There is no good reason for this confusion to last.
If the problem is not solved, it may appear to people as a sign of bad faith on the part of admins. And a lot of people do not like bad faith, They don't trust organization which they know are associated with bad faith. That is why I think credibility could decline.

And even if I am wrong on that point (the PR question), the ethical problem remains in its entirety.

But, once more, the problem can easily be solved. »

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Now, a little historical account to present the issue. It was written by an anonymous academic (Donald S.) on Max Forte's blog (Open Anthropology) :


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« Might I suggest the following for clarification? Please correct whatever you think may be my failing to follow the thread of discussion.

1. One site began to use “open anthropology”, and not just as a name, but also as its feature concept. [NB : Donald S. is here speaking about Max's blog and his other sites]
2. Much later, a second site appeared, that also used the name, and went further in claiming some intellectual relationship with the first site, used its concept which the first site turned from a name into a concept. [NB : Donald S. is here speaking about the present Ning network]
3. At least some people began to confuse the two sites. Some people, meaning Google as well, if it could count as “people.”
4. That since the two sites are separate, and obviously opposed to one another, the confusion can only be harmful to the reputation of the first site that originated the concept as a concept.
5. That if the discussion is a petty one, then that other site, which came to the name and concept much later, should have no problem in dropping a mere name.
6. That to the extent that some were keen to take the name and concept of “open anthropology,” but without due diligence as to the history of the concept and the person whose work originated it, that we have established a primary source of harm and that we see the perils of allowing the situation to continue as such.
7. That members of the very same OAC are in agreement with the first site, so that we read above that one of its groups, “Open Anthropology,” has been deleted by its own creator within the OAC, out of respect for the first site.
8. That there is no unanimity among the very administrators of the OAC, so much that they contradict each other in an open forum, and even moreso that one of them has resigned because of this dispute.
9. That the simplest remedy would be for OAC to change its name and perhaps also its URL. Both can be done.
10. That any refusal on their part to do so, establishes their intent to clash with this site.
Thank you. »

(Source : http://openanthropology.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/there-can-be-only-one/#comment-6742)
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Do not hesitate to criticize my position on anonymity down here in the comment section, or to show your agreement with me if so is the case.

Comment Wall (7 comments)

You need to be a member of Open Anthropology Cooperative to add comments!

At 7:20pm on December 11, 2010, HENOK ABDULSEMED ASFAW said…

I LOVE YOUR WORD

At 3:03pm on August 30, 2009, Giovanni Orlando said…
Hi Igor, sorry for the late reply.
No, I don't think you abused or insulted anyone. That's way too extreme. Part of the reason I am unhappy about the way this conversation has gone is that there has been a tendency to exagerate (including accusations of being unethical). Maybe you sounded a little angry and confrontational (unnecessarily?)? Like when you said to that guy 'you should listen, but I think you won't'...
At 1:00pm on August 30, 2009, Philip Carl SALZMAN said…
If you want to continue exchanges with me, don't send any more abusive messages.
At 2:03am on August 30, 2009, Philip Carl SALZMAN said…
Igor, I don't know why you think that these are all non-academics. Several are, and their affiliations are listed at the bottom of the articles. Barry Rubin is a professor, and so is Milani. Other posts are from "informants," Iranians involved from near or from far in events.

Our groups and topics are open for all contributions. I would be happy for more participation by all members, both of their own direct knowledge and research, or from other pertinent sources.
At 12:28am on August 30, 2009, Philip Carl SALZMAN said…
What is true is often contested. One way of avoiding tests of truth is labelling. Better to challenge the substance than to call names.
At 12:06am on August 30, 2009, Philip Carl SALZMAN said…
Nice legs.
At 7:54pm on August 29, 2009, Giovanni Orlando said…
Hi Igor,

thanks for this, very kind of yours. You know what, I was actually going to write you abouth the issue of anonymity.
I am strongly in favour of giving (some) personal details, but against making this a rule. Also, these details don't have to include one's real name, this is a common mistake in my view.
The reason I'm in favour of giving detals is that I think it's important for this place to be one where we meet real people and can get to know each other on that basis. I don't like social networks because I think that overall they are a way for people to run away from themselves by inventing new personas. Although I understand the need for this and sympathize with it, I still think the root cause is usually unhappiness.But there is also the issue that if anonymity is a right, it must also be a big responsibility. when nobody knows who you are there is always the potential to act badly, it's like being the dark (or like the invisible man in the movie that starts to kill people). Online this can translate insults and abuse, because after all you are not accountable.
As I said one also must have the right to remain anonymous. But perhaps, and I think this is what a lot of people miss, because we are so used to thinking in dualisms, people who want to remain anonymous can explain us why. This is less crazy than it sounds. If you think about it, when someone is anonymous we usually know why: they have been threatened, they have to tesftify against someone, they have been raped, etc. We know the reasons for anonymity and that helps us understand.
In your case you say it's because of the natutre of your fieldwork, and that's fine by me. Now I understand better your position.
I only hope people don't remain anonymous because they are scared to talk with senior academics, or because they want to abuse the freedom of unaccountability. That's just stupid!

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