John McCreery
  • Yokohama, Japan
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John McCreery's Discussions

Tim Ingold's "That's Enough About Ethnography"--The Seminar is Underway
122 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by John McCreery Apr 2.

Tim Ingold's "That's Enough About Ethnography"—Invitation to an informal seminar
9 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by John McCreery Mar 23.

HAU NOW!
2 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by John McCreery Jul 9, 2014.

 

John McCreery's Page

Latest Activity

John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"New channel? Where?"
May 15
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Re the timing of an informal seminar on Peter Gow's paper, I could start one on or about June 6, after Ruth and I get to Virginia. That would, however, leave less than a week before we went offline for our trip to the UK. Alternatively,…"
May 15
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"FB is great for what it is, a way to make announcements and point to material of interest, to keep up with friends and share family photos. It is NOT a place for serious conversation. And, if anything, I find Huon's posts too brief. Too often…"
May 14
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Lee, Many is the time I have ridden my hobby horses too hard. If thanks are owed, they are owed to you and Huon for putting up with me this long. We have, it seems to me, at least demonstrated why the format of our informal seminars, focusing on…"
May 12
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Hi, Lee. Surprised you didn't get the vice-versa. Statement that begin with "people/groups who SEE" (emphasis added) to me signal an analysis that is trapped in head trips, where only ideas matter. I am not saying that it's…"
May 7
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Another passing thought. The conversation between Master Eastwall and Zhuangzi is an example of a trope found elsewhere, in which representatives of hierarchical order and authority are baffled in their conversation with the Daoist sage. Another…"
May 6
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Errata: Mrs. Grundy, an archetypally priggish person. See http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs_Grundy Kant was a faithful subject of the King of Prussia, renowned for habits so regular that clocks could be set by them, and his transcendental…"
May 6
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Two questions. 1. Lee writes, "Since the Piaroa find themselves caught up in the absurdities and ambivalence of life as a consequence of their cosmogenesis, their social life is strongly egalitarian." Why not vice-versa? The Kants and…"
May 5
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"I should have noted that the sources quoted in my previuos reply can be found in Livia Kohn, ed., (1993) The Taoist Experience: An Anthology. I would also like to add the following remarks from N.J. Girardot (1983) Myth and Meaning in Early Taoism:…"
May 3
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Lee, what fun. But fear not, I am here to play the straight man, the pedant who costantly questions the evidence. You say that you have never encountered an origin myth from which primordial violence was missing. How about this one? The Tao is…"
May 3
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Is "translating the terms" what we should be doing? The attempt to conflate the two models, as if one were reducible to the other seems misguided to me. So what would I do instead? The mathematical model is abstract but also very…"
May 2
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"because if the model just becomes a way of talking about hierarchy tout court then that essentially stops any kind of discussion of what we mean by hierarchy or equality or, indeed, authority, legitimacy, status, sacredness, caste or any of the…"
May 1
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Lee, I do not have a favorite mathematical metaphor. I am talking about a theorem, which appears to apply across a wide range of phenomena, from protein cascades in cell biology to the structure of the Worldwide Web. You can read about it here:…"
May 1
John McCreery replied to John McCreery's discussion An Archeology of Inequality?
"Huon, thanks for the link to the TED talk. It clearly makes the point that there are natural impulses toward reciprocity and fairness, found in animals as well as humans. I never supposed, however, that utopian projects are ungrounded in nature. We…"
Apr 29
John McCreery replied to Lee Drummond's discussion Welcome to an Informal Seminar on David Graeber’s HAU essay, “The Divine Kingship of the Shilluk: On Violence, Utopia, and the Human Condition, or, Elements for an Archaeology of Sovereignty.”
"Question: Are crocodiles game? Or tabooed because of their association with Nyikang? Thinking about this, it occurs to me—pure speculation—that crocodiles are a lot like Nyikang. Associated with the river and the fertility of the land…"
Apr 24
John McCreery replied to Lee Drummond's discussion Welcome to an Informal Seminar on David Graeber’s HAU essay, “The Divine Kingship of the Shilluk: On Violence, Utopia, and the Human Condition, or, Elements for an Archaeology of Sovereignty.”
"None of this undermines David's rich and synthetic account. I don't take it that his aim is to tell what really happened. But he does provide lots of fine stories and analysis which help us to think about politics and religion. I agree.…"
Apr 20

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John McCreery
School/Organization/Current anthropological attachment
Independent Scholar, Executive Committee AJJ
Website
http://www.wordworks.jp

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John McCreery's Blog

Some people take culture seriously. Why?

With a tip of the hat to Bill Bishop at Sinocism,

Cultural reflection can improve modern governance: Xi - Xinhuaat Politburo study session  //  Xi argued that ancient ideologies still have deep influence on people nowadays, and they should be scientifically analyzed so as to inherit and promote the good parts…

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Posted on October 16, 2014 at 8:33am

Why should I read what you have written?

Why should anyone read what you have written? This should be question No. 1 for anyone writing anything. So, let me rephrase the question: Why do so many of the contributors to the online forums in which I participate assume that people will be interested in what they are writing about, then feel disappointed when no one responds?

As students, we learn to write assignments. The teacher who hands us a topic has to read what we write. But once we leave school and start writing for…

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Posted on October 15, 2014 at 9:41am

The Third International Conference on Applications of Anthropology in Business

     It was my third time to participate in the annual International Conference on Applications of Anthropology in Business, organized by Robert Tian Guang and held at a venue in China, and my second time to visit Jishou University, which is located in the Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan Province in the west of China. The first two…

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Posted on May 23, 2014 at 4:30am

Who says anthropology can't rock?

Serendipitously, the entertainment section in this morning's Japan Times carries an article about an Indie band, three young Japanese women, called Crunch. One of them, Noriyo Hotta says,



"For example, take 'Mori no Naka,' the first track on the album. This song was influenced by Radiohead, especially the songs 'Jigsaw Falling' and 'There There,' and a funk tune by Japanese rock band Jagatara called 'Tango.' But I was also inspired by a book about the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon.… Continue

Posted on March 5, 2014 at 3:06am

Collective? Individual? Both? How should we think about thinking?

Just found an interesting piece titled "Good Group Think" on eighteen chains.com. Resurrects some shrewd observations by Karl Mannheim, from Ideology and Utopia. Most of what we think we learn from others. We add a bit and pass it on. Tracing the routes is a project called the sociology of knowledge. Enjoy. Reflect. Respond. Pass it on.

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 8:29am — 7 Comments

Comment Wall (32 comments)

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At 6:52am on April 3, 2014, Peter Wogan said…

Thanks, John. Sorry to be away, but nice to know I'm missed! More to follow...

Peter

At 1:43pm on March 2, 2013, Larry Stout said…

The "Grey People" are found at yet another fishing village along the same coast of Gaspesie.  It's a very interesting and scenic drive, all the way around the peninsula.  You see the flag of Acadie flying there, and in parts of New Brunswick,often to the exclusion of the Canada flag.

At 12:17pm on March 2, 2013, Larry Stout said…

Hi, John  -- The "Blue Men" are the work of an old woodcarver who has a shop in a fishing village on the St. Lawrence seaway in Gaspé, Quebec.  He fashioned them from driftwood logs and gave them a beautiful lapis lazuli panache.  I told him that when I win the lottery I'll fly him down to Ozarkistan and pay him handsomely to create similar art for our backyard (near our inukshuk).

At 11:40pm on January 11, 2013, Tracey Thornborrow said…

thanks for that John, I shall check it out! 

At 11:30pm on November 8, 2012, Kate Wood said…

Sorry for the late response, I am not good at social networking! :) 

At 3:45am on September 15, 2012, Keith Hart said…
See OAC Facebook.
At 12:46pm on September 9, 2012, Sheyma Buali said…

sounds great, thanks a lot for the suggestion! im looking at it and it shall indeed be helpful!

At 3:16pm on June 28, 2012, Logan Sparks said…

thanks, John, for the article. its very interesting. I am actually looking into what else Neslihan Cevik has written...

At 2:41am on May 6, 2012, Chelsea Hayman said…

Thank you John for your excellent response and the great clarification! It's been awhile since those undergrad theory classes, but I did learn a lot from them, even though they were so long ago. Now I am trying to manage a theory class in my Master's course that was combined with ethnography -- except the weeks seem to be organized thematically rather than chronologically. Or in order of influence rather than historical period. All of this can be rather frustrating for a student, who can make misleading assumptions based on when the material was presented! All very confusing. Thank you for sorting that information out for me - we did not discuss the Boasians at length in my class but rather focused mostly upon Geertz. Such is the nature of the British school of Anthropology. I'll have to post more blogs about theory - I always have lots of questions and need for clarification. I wish I had more time to learn about the historical context in which some of these ideas developed, but I should have plenty of time when I graduate to read freely. :)

At 11:44am on March 21, 2012, Chelsea Hayman said…

John, firstly, thank you for all of your input. I completely agree with what you said about the 'Western' - the idea is pretty totalizing and inaccurate in and of itself. I've been looking into more ontological theory and non-dualism since I've been studying for my Master's. I think it's easy to set up a dichotomy almost as a polemical point of departure and I guess I have been using it more evocatively in thinking through some of the ideas that have been on my mind for the past couple of weeks. I will look into the material you suggested and see what I can come up with. I suppose my main issue with conceptual categories is that they can be so linguistically conditioned, but they also have some grounding in our ideas about rationality, which can also be variable depending upon one's education. I think that's an idea I've been struggling with. I don't necessarily think the authors are arguing against that point, but it seems to be an often unidentified issue in the cognitive science literature. Of course, the anthropological literature addresses it rather well, on the whole. What are you up to in Japan? I see that you work as an independent scholar - what kinds of work do you do? I'm interested because I've considered a non-academic career in applied anthropology. Thank you again for your input, I appreciate it greatly.

 
 
 

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