Horst & Miller – The Digital and the Human

The Digital and the Human: A Prospectus for Digital Anthropology

by Heather Horst & Daniel Miller

[Horst, Heather A., and Daniel Miller. 2012. “The Digital and the Human: A Prospectus for Digital Anthropology.” In Digital Anthropology, 3–35. London ; New York: Bloomsbury Academic.]

Points:

Six main principles

  1. The first principle is that the digital itself intensifies the dialectical nature of culture
  2. Our second principle suggests that humanity is not one iota more mediated by the rise of the digital
  3. The commitment to holism, the foundation of anthropological perspectives on humanity, represents a third principle
  4. The fourth principle reasserts the importance of cultural relativism and the global nature of our encounter with the digital
  5. The fifth principle is concerned with the essential ambiguity of digital culture with regard to its increasing openness and closure
  6. Our final principle acknowledges the materiality of digital worlds, which are neither more nor less material than the worlds that preceded them

“The primary point of this introduction, and the emergence of digital anthropology as a subfield more generally, is in resolute opposition to all approaches that imply that becoming digital has either rendered us less human, less authentic or more mediated. Not only are we just as human within the digital world, the digital also provides many new opportunities for anthropology to help us understand what it means to be human” (13).

“In effect, the digital is producing too much culture, which, because we cannot manage and engage with it, renders us thereby superficial or shallow or alienated” (15).

“At the level of abstraction, there are grounds for thinking we have reached rock bottom; there can be nothing more basic and abstract than binary bits, the difference between 0 and 1. At the other end of the scale, it is already clear that the digital far outstrips mere commoditization in its ability to proliferate difference” (16).

“Digital anthropology fails to the degree it makes the nondigital world appear in retrospect as unmediated and unframed. One of the reasons digital studies have often taken quite the opposite course has been the continued use of the term virtual, with its implied contrast with the real” (22).

“Rather than seeing predigital worlds as less mediated, we need to study how the rise of digital technologies has created the illusion that they were” (23).

“Social science had demonstrated how the real world was virtual long before we came to realize how the virtual world is real” (24).

“the term real must be regarded as colloquial and not epistemological. it should be clear that we are not more mediated. We are equally human in each of the different and diverse arenas of framed behaviour within which we live” (24).

“Materiality is thus bedrock for digital anthropology, and this is true in several distinct ways, of which three are of prime importance. First, there is the materiality of digital infrastructure and technology. Second, there is the materiality of digital content, and, third, there is the materiality of digital context” (34).

“We would therefore suggest that the key to digital anthropology, and perhaps to the future of anthropology itself, is, in part, the study of how things become rapidly mundane. What we experience is not a technology per se but an immediately cultural inflected genre of usage” (38).

Being human is a cultural and normative concept. As our second principle showed, it is our definition of being human that mediates what the technology is, not the other way around” (38).

“The faster the trajectory of cultural change, the more relevant the anthropologist, because there is absolutely no sign that the changes in technology are outstripping the human capacity to regard things as normative” (39).

Annotation Summary for: The Digital and the Human: A Prospectus for Digital Anthropology Daniel Miller and Heather A. Horst”

Page 14, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “This introduction will propose six basic principles as the foundation for a new sub- discipline: digital anthropology.1”

Page 14, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The fi rst principle is that the digi- tal itself intensifi es the dialectical nature of culture. The term digital will be defi ned as all that which can be ultimately reduced to binary code but which produces a further proliferation of particularity and difference.”

Page 14, Underline (Blue):
Content: “The fi rst principle is that the digi- tal itself intensifi es the dialectical nature of culture.”

Page 14, Highlight (Yellow):
Content: “digital”

Page 14, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The dialectic refers to the relationship between this growth in universality and particularity and the intrinsic connections be- tween their positive and negative effects. Our second principle suggests that humanity is not one iota more mediated by the rise of the digital. Rather, we suggest that digital”

Page 14, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Our second principle suggests that humanity is not one iota more mediated by the rise of the digital.”

Page 14, Highlight (Custom Color: #fee69c):

Page 14, Highlight (Custom Color: #a4d7fb):

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “anthropology will progress to the degree that the digital enables us to understand and exposes the framed nature of analogue or predigital life as culture and fails when we fall victim to a broader and romanticized discourse that presupposes a greater authenticity or reality to the predigital.”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The commitment to holism, the foundation of anthropological perspectives on humanity, represents a third principle.”

Page 15, Underline (Blue):
Content: “The commitment to holism, the foundation of anthropological perspectives on humanity, represents a third principle.”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The fourth principle reasserts the importance of cultural relativism and the global nature of our encounter with the digital, negating assumptions that the digital is necessarily homogenizing and also giving voice and visibility to those who are peripheralized by modernist and similar perspectives.”

Page 15, Underline (Blue):
Content: “The fourth principle reasserts the importance of cultural relativism and the global nature of our encounter with the digital,”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The fi fth principle is concerned with the essential ambiguity of digital culture with regard to its increasing openness and closure, which emerge in matters ranging from politics and privacy to the authenticity of ambivalence.”

Page 15, Underline (Blue):
Content: “The fi fth principle is concerned with the essential ambiguity of digital culture with regard to its increasing openness and closure,”

Page 15, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Our fi nal principle acknowledges the materiality of digital worlds, which are nei- ther more nor less material than the worlds that preceded them.”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Our fi nal principle acknowledges the materiality of digital worlds, which are nei- ther more nor less material than the worlds that preceded them. As many of the chapters in this volume will demonstrate, the digital, as all material culture, is more than a substrate; it is becoming a constitutive part of what makes us human.”

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The primary point of this introduction, and the emergence of digital anthropology as a subfi eld more gen- erally, is in resolute opposition to all approaches that imply that becoming digital has either rendered us less human, less authentic or more mediated. Not only are we just as human within the digital world, the digital also provides many new opportunities for anthropology to help us understand what it means to be human.”

Page 15, Underline (Blue):
Content: “The primary point of this introduction, and the emergence of digital anthropology as a subfi eld more gen- erally, is in resolute opposition to all approaches that imply that becoming digital has either rendered us less human, less authentic or more mediated. Not only are we just as human within the digital world, the digital also provides many new opportunities for anthropology to help us understand what it means to be human.”

Page 15, Stamp (openStarred)

Page 15, Stamp (c_A4659461-3314-40C2-A8CD-56CF6AE081EF_quote_)

Page 15, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Defi ning the Digital through the Dialectic”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Rather than a general distinction between the digital and the analogue, we defi ne the digital as everything that has been developed by, or can be reduced to, the binary—that is bits consisting of 0s and 1s.”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “We will use this basic defi nition, but we are aware that the term digital has been associated with many other developments. For example systems theory and the cybernetics of Norbert Wiener (Turner 2006: 20–8; Wiener 1948) developed from observations of self-regulatory feedback mechanisms in liv- ing organisms that have nothing to do with binary code but can be applied to engi- neering. We also acknowledge that the use of term digital in colloquial discourse is clearly wider than our specifi c usage; we suggest that having such an unambiguous defi nition has heuristic benefi ts that will become evident below.”

Page 16, Underline (Red):
Content: “Norbert Wiener (Turner 2006: 20–8;”

Page 16, Underline (Red):
Content: “Wiener 1948)”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “One advantage of defi ning the digital as binary is that this defi nition also helps us identify a possible historical precedent. If the digital is defi ned as our ability to reduce so much of the world to the commonality of a binary, a sort of baseline 2, then we can also refl ect upon humanity’s ability to previously reduce much of the world to baseline 10, the decimal foundation for systems of modern money.”

Page 16, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Dialectical thinking, as developed by Hegel, theorized this relationship between the simultaneous growth of the universal and of the particular as dependent upon each other rather than in opposition to each other. This is the case both with money and with the digital.”

Page 16, Underline (Red):
Content: “Hegel,”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Keith Hart (2000, 2005, 2007) was the fi rst to suggest that money might be a useful precedent to the digital, because money provides the basis for a specifi cally anthropological response to the challenges which the digital in turn poses to our humanity.2”

Page 17, Underline (Red):
Content: “Keith Hart (2000, 2005, 2007)”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “By contrast Simmel’s (1978) masterpiece, The Philosophy of Money, includes the fi rst detailed analysis of what was happening at the other end of this dialectical equation.”

Page 17, Underline (Red):
Content: “Simmel’s (1978)”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Much of the debate about the digital and the human is premised on the threat that the former poses for the latter. We are told that our humanity is beset both by the digital as virtual abstraction”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “and its opposite form as the sheer quantity of heterogenized things that are thereby produced.”

Page 17, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “In ef-fect, the digital is producing too much culture, which, because we cannot manageand engage with it, renders us thereby superfi cial or shallow or alienated.”

Page 17, Underline (Blue):
Content: “In ef- fect, the digital is producing too much culture, which, because we cannot manage and engage with it, renders us thereby superfi cial or shallow or alienated.”

Page 17, Underline (Red):
Content: “Material Culture and Mass Consumption (Miller 1987).”

Page 18, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “If we agree to regard money as the precedent for the digital, Hart and Miller then provide two distinct positions on the consequences of the digital for our sense of our own humanity. Do we address the problems posed by the digital at the point of its pro- duction as abstract code or in our relationship to the mass of new cultural forms that have been created using digital technologies?”

Page 18, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “At the level of abstraction, there are grounds for thinking we have reached rock bottom; there can be nothing more basic and abstract than binary bits, the difference between 0 and 1. At the other end of the scale, it is already clear that the digital far outstrips mere commoditization in its abil- ity to proliferate difference.”

Page 18, Underline (Blue):
Content: “At the level of abstraction, there are grounds for thinking we have reached rock bottom; there can be nothing more basic and abstract than binary bits, the difference between 0 and 1. At the other end of the scale, it is already clear that the digital far outstrips mere commoditization in its abil- ity to proliferate difference.”

Page 18, Underline (Red):
Content: “Kelty (2008) Barendregt and Malaby. Karanović’s”

Page 18, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Kelty (2008) uses historical and ethnographic methods to retrace the work of those who founded and created the free software movement that lies behind many developments in digital culture (see also Karanović 2008), including instruments such as Linux, UNIX and distributed free software such as Napster and Firefox.”

Page 18, Underline (Red):
Content: “Coleman (2009).”

Page 18, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “just as Simmel saw that money was not just a new medium but one that allowed humanity to advance”

Page 19, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “in conceptualization and philosophy towards a new imagination of itself, so open source does not simply change coding. The very ideal and experience of free soft-ware and open source leads to analogous ideals of what Kelty (2008) calls recursive publics, a committed and involved population that could create fi elds ranging from free publishing to the collective creation of Wikipedia modelled on the ideal of opensource. “

Page 19, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Wesch 2008).”

Page 20, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “In his research, Julian Dibbell (2006) used the classic ethnographic method of partici-pant observation and set himself the task of making some real money via investing and playing with virtual money. He noted that, at the time, in games such as World of Warcraft, ‘merely getting yourself off to a respectable start might entail buying a level 60 Alliance warrior account from a departing player ($1,999 on eBay)’ (Dibbell 2006: 12). “

Page 20, Underline (Red):
Content: “Julian Dibbell (2006)”

Page 21, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Dibbell (2007) also provides one of the fi rst discussions of gold farming, where it was claimed players in wealthy countries farmed out the repetitive, boring keystrokes re-quired to obtain virtual advances in these games to low-income workers in places suchas China, though the idea may have become something of a discursive trope (Nardi and Kow 2010).”

Page 21, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Nardi and Kow 2010).”

Page 21, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “All this follows from Hart’s argument that we need to fi nd emancipation through taming money or expand-ing open source that is at the point of abstraction. The alternative argument madeby Miller looked to the other end of the dialectical equation—at the mass of highly differentiated goods that were being created by these technologies. Following that logic, we want to suggest an alternative front line for the anthro-pology of the digital age. “

Page 22, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The point is not to choose between Hart’s emphases upon the point of abstraction and Miller’s on the point of differentiation.”

Page 22, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Culture and the Principle of False Authenticity”

Page 22, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Having made clear what exactly we mean by the term digital, we also need to ad- dress what is implied by the term culture. For this we assert as our second prin- ciple something that may seem to contradict much of what has been written about digital technologies: people are not one iota more mediated by the rise of digital”

Page 23, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “technologies. The problem is clearly illustrated in a recent book by Sherry Turkle(2011) which is infused with a nostalgic lament for certain kinds of sociality or hu-manity deemed lost as a result of new digital technologies ranging from robots to Facebook. The implication of her book is that prior forms of sociality were somehow more natural or authentic by virtue of being less mediated. For example, Turkle be-moans people coming home from work and going on Facebook instead of watching TV. In fact, when it was fi rst introduced, TV was subject to similar claims as to its lack of authenticity and the end of true sociality (Spiegel 1992); yet TV is in no way more natural and, depending on the context, could be argued to be a good deal less sociable than Facebook. “

Page 23, Underline (Red):
Content: “Sherry Turkle (2011)”

Page 23, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Turkle refl ects a more general tendency towards nostalgia widespread in journalism and a range of work focusing on the effects of media that view new technology as a loss of authentic sociality. This often exploits anthropo- logical writing on small-scale societies, which are taken to be a vision of authentic humanity in its more natural and less-mediated state.”

Page 23, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Turkle refl ects a more general tendency towards nostalgia widespread in journalism and a range of work focusing on the effects of media that view new technology as a loss of authentic sociality.”

Page 23, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “In anthropology there is no such thing as pure human immediacy; interacting face-to-face is just as culturally infl ected as digitally mediated communication, but, as Goffman (1959, 1975) pointed out again and again, we fail to see the framed nature of face-to-face interaction because theseframes work so effectively. The impact of digital technologies, such as webcams, are sometimes unsettling largely because they makes us aware and newly self-conscious about those taken-for-granted frames around direct face-to-face encounters.”

Page 23, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “In anthropology there is no such thing as pure human immediacy; interacting face-to-face is just as culturally infl ected as digitally mediated communication, but, as Goffman (1959, 1975) pointed out again and again, we fail to see the framed nature of face-to-face interaction because these frames work so effectively. The impact of digital technologies, such as webcams, are sometimes unsettling largely because they makes us aware and newly self-conscious about those taken-for-granted frames around direct face-to-face encounters.”

Page 23, Stamp (openStarred)

Page 23, Underline (Red):
Content: “Goffman (1959, 1975)”

Page 23, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Potentially one of the major contributions of a digital anthropology would be the degree to which it fi nally explodes the illusions we retain of a nonmediated, noncultural, predigital world. A good example would be Van Dijck (2007), who uses new digital memorialization such as photography to show that memory was always a cultural rather than individual construction.”

Page 23, Underline (Red):
Content: “Van Dijck (2007),”

Page 24, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “To spell out this second principle, then, digital anthropology will be insightful to the degree that it reveals the mediated and framed nature of the nondigital world.Digital anthropology fails to the degree it makes the nondigital world appear in retro-spect as unmediated and unframed. We are not more mediated simply because we are not more cultural than we were before. One of the reasons digital studies have often taken quite the opposite course has been the continued use of the term virtual, with its implied contrast with the real. As Boellstorff makes clear, online worlds are simply another arena, alongside offl ine worlds, for expressive practice, and there is no reason to privilege one over the other. Every time we use the word real analyti-cally, as opposed to colloquially, we undermine the project of digital anthropology, fetishizing predigital culture as a site of retained authenticity.”

Page 24, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Digital anthropology fails to the degree it makes the nondigital world appear in retro- spect as unmediated and unframed. One of the reasons digital studies have often taken quite the opposite course has been the continued use of the term virtual, with its implied contrast with the real.”

Page 24, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Meyer (2011) notes that the critical debate over the role of media in Christianity took place during the Reformation. Catholics fostered a culture of materiality in which images proliferated but retained a sense of mediation such that these stood for the greater mystery of Christ. Protestants, by contrast, tried to abolish both the mediation of objects and of wider cultural processes and instead fostered an ideal based on the immediacy of a subjective experience of the divine. In some respects the current negative response to digital technologies stems from this Protestant desire to create an ideal of unmediated authenticity and subjectivity. In short, anthropologists may not believe in the unmediated, but Protestant theology clearly does.”

Page 24, Underline (Red):
Content: “Meyer (2011)”

Page 24, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “anthropologists may not believe in the unmediated, but Protestant theology clearly does.”

Page 24, Underline (Red):
Content: “Eisenlohr (2011)”

Page 25, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “At fi rst we see a paradox. It seems very strange that we have several centuries during which Protestants try to eliminate all objects that stand in the way of an unmediated relationship with the divine while Catholics embrace a prolifera- tion of images.”

Page 25, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “At fi rst we see a paradox. It seems very strange that we have several centuries during which Protestants try to eliminate all objects that stand in the way of an unmediated relationship with the divine while Catholics embrace a prolifera- tion of images. Yet when it comes to modern digital media, the position is almost reversed. It is not Catholics, but evangelical Protestants, that seem to embrace with alacrity every kind of new media, from television to Facebook. They are amongst the most enthusiastic adopters of such new technologies.”

Page 25, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Yet when it comes to modern digital media, the position is almost reversed. It is not Catholics, but evangelical Protestants, that seem to embrace with alacrity every kind of new media, from television to Facebook. They are amongst the most enthusiastic adopters of such new technologies.”

Page 25, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “This makes sense once we recognize that, for evangelical Christians, the media does not mediate. Otherwise they would surely oppose it. Rather, Protestants have seen media, unlike images, as a conduit to a more direct, unmediated relationship with the divine (Hancock and Gordon 2005).”

Page 25, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “This makes sense once we recognize that, for evangelical Christians, the media does not mediate. Otherwise they would surely oppose it. Rather, Protestants have seen media, unlike images, as a conduit to a more direct, unmediated relationship with the divine (Hancock and Gordon 2005).”

Page 25, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Hancock and Gordon 2005).”

Page 25, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “As Meyer (2008) demonstrates, evangelical Christianity embraces every type of new digital media but does so to create experiences that are ever more full-blooded in their sensuality and emotionality.”

Page 25, Underline (Red):
Content: “Meyer (2008)”

Page 25, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “In summary, an anthropological perspective on mediation is largely concerned to understand why some media are perceived as mediating and others are not. Rather than seeing predigital worlds as less mediated, we need to study how the rise of digital technologies has created the illusion that they were. For example when the Internet fi rst developed, Steven Jones (1998) and others writing about its social im-pact saw the Internet as a mode for the reconstruction of community. Yet much of these writings seemed to assume an illusionary notion of community as a natural collectivity that existed in the predigital age (Parks 2011: 105–9; for a scepticalview, see Postill 2008; Woolgar 2002). “

Page 25, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Rather than seeing predigital worlds as less mediated, we need to study how the rise of digital technologies has created the illusion that they were.”

Page 25, Underline (Red):
Content: “Steven Jones (1998) (Parks 2011: 105–9; for a sceptical view, see Postill 2008; Woolgar 2002).”

Page 26, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “We are all the result of culture as mediation,whether through the rules of kinship and religion or the rules of netiquette and game play. The problem is with the concept of authenticity (Lindholm 2007). Curiously the earlier writings of Turkle (1984) were amongst the most potent in refuting these presumptions of prior authenticity. The context was the emergence of the idea of the virtual and the avatar in role-playing games. As she pointed out, issues of role-play and presentation were just as much the basis of predigital life, something very evident from even a cursory reading of Goffman (1959, 1975).”

Page 26, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Lindholm 2007). Turkle (1984) Goffman (1959, 1975).”

Page 26, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Social science had demonstrated how the real world was virtual long before we came to realize how the virtual world is real.”

Page 26, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Social science had demonstrated how the real world was virtual long before we came to realize how the virtual world is real.”

Page 26, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Such discussion depends on our acknowledgment that the term real must be re-garded as colloquial and not epistemological. Bringing together these ideas of medi-ation (and religion), Goffman, Turkle’s early work, Humphrey and the contributions here of Boellstorff and Ginsburg, it should be clear that we are not more mediated. We are equally human in each of the different and diverse arenas of framed behav-iour within which we live. “

Page 26, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Such discussion depends on our acknowledgment that the term real must be re- garded as colloquial and not epistemological. it should be clear that we are not more mediated. We are equally human in each of the different and diverse arenas of framed behav- iour within which we live.”

Page 26, Underline (Red):
Content: “Goffman, Turkle’s Boellstorff and Ginsburg,”

Page 26, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Transcending Method through the Principle of Holism”

Page 26, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: ” There are several entirely different grounds for retaining a holistic ap-proach within anthropology, one of which has been largely debunked within anthropol-ogy itself. Many of the theoretical arguments for holism3 came from either the organic analogies of functionalism or a culture concept that emphasized internal homogen-eity and external exclusivity. Both have been subject to trenchant criticism, and today there are no grounds for anthropology to assert an ideological commitment to holism.”

Page 26, Note (Orange):
Like structural functionalism -one thing (kinship or something) can describe the whole

Page 26, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “We will divide these motivations to retain a commitment to holism into three categories: the reasons that pertain to the individual,”

Page 27, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “those that pertain to the ethnographic and those that pertain to the global.”

Page 27, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “What Horst conveys in her chapter is pre- cisely this feeling of easy integration of digital technologies within the lives of her participants.”

Page 27, Underline (Red):
Content: “Horst”

Page 27, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The concept of polymedia developed by Madianou and Miller (2011) exemplifi es internal connectivity in relation to personal communications.”

Page 27, Underline (Red):
Content: “Madianou and Miller (2011)”

Page 27, Highlight (Yellow):
Content: “polymedia”

Page 27, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “We cannot easily treat each new media independently since they form part of a wider media ecology in which the meaning and usage of any one depends on its relationship to others (Horst, Herr-Stephenson and Robinson 2010); using e-mail may be a choice against texting and using a social network site; posting comments may be a choice between private messaging and a voice call.”

Page 27, Highlight (Yellow):
Content: “media ecology”

Page 27, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Horst, Herr-Stephenson and Robinson 2010);”

Page 27, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “In Gershon’s (2010) ethnography of US college students, being dumped by boyfriends with an inappropriate media adds much insult to the injury of being dumped. In Madianou and Miller’s (2011) work, polymedia are exploited to increase the range of emotional fi elds of power and communication between parents and their left-behind children.”

Page 27, Underline (Red):
Content: “Gershon’s (2010) Madianou and Miller’s (2011)”

Page 27, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “In reading Coleman’s (2010) review of the anthropology of online worlds (which provides a much more extensive bibliography than the one provided here), it is apparent that there is almost no topic of conventional anthropology that would not today have a digital infl ection.”

Page 27, Underline (Red):
Content: “Coleman’s (2010)”

Page 28, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The holistic sense of ethnography is brought out clearly by the combination of Boellstorff’s and Ginsburg’s refl ections on the ethnography of Second Life. Granting Second Life its own integrity matters for people who feel disabled and disadvan- taged in other worlds; it is a site where, for example, they can live a full religious life, carrying out rituals they would be unable to perform otherwise.”

Page 28, Underline (Red):
Content: “Boellstorff’s and Ginsburg’s”

Page 28, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “the very terms anthropological and ethnographic are commonly used these days as tokenistic emblems of such holism often reduced to a few interviews. Drazin reveals how”

Page 28, Underline (Red):
Content: “Drazin”

Page 29, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “While anthropologists may repudiate holism as ideology, we still have to deal with the way others embrace holism as an ideal. Postill’s discussion of the digital citizen reveals how, while democracy is offi cially secured by an occasional vote, mobile digital governance is imagined as creating conditions for a much more integratedand constant relationship between governance and an active participatory or com-munity citizenship that deals with embracing much wider aspects of people’s lives.”

Page 29, Underline (Blue):
Content: “While anthropologists may repudiate holism as ideology, we still have to deal with the way others embrace holism as an ideal.”

Page 29, Underline (Red):
Content: “Postill’s”

Page 29, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Voice and the Principle of Relativism”

Page 29, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “It is worth reiterating with respect to digital anthropology that much debate and representa- tion of the digital is derived from the imagination of science fi ction and modernism that predicts a tightly homogenized global world that has lost its prior expression of”

Page 30, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “cultural difference (Ginsburg 2008).”

Page 30, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Ginsburg 2008).”

Page 30, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “In their ethnography of Internet use, Miller and Slater (2000) refused to accept that the Internet in Trinidad was sim-ply a version or a clone of ‘The Internet’; the Internet is always a local invention by its users. “

Page 30, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “In their ethnography of Internet use, Miller and Slater (2000) refused to accept that the Internet in Trinidad was sim- ply a version or a clone of ‘The Internet’; the Internet is always a local invention by its users.”

Page 30, Note (Orange):
Historical particularism
Boas!

Page 30, Underline (Red):
Content: “Miller and Slater (2000)”

Page 30, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Miller makes a similar argument here with respect to Facebook in Trinidad, where the potential for gossip and scandal (and generally being nosy) is taken as showing the intrinsic ‘Trinidadianess’ of Facebook (Miller 2011).”

Page 30, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Miller 2011).”

Page 30, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Within this vol- ume, Barendregt provides the most explicit analysis of relativism. He shows that even quite mundane uses of digital communication such as chatting, fl irting or com- plaining about the government become genres quite specifi c to Indonesia rather than cloned from elsewhere.”

Page 30, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The cliché of anthropology is that we assert relativism in order to develop com- parative studies.”

Page 31, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “With a few exceptions (Ito, Okabe and Matsuda 2005; Pertierra et al. 2002), most of the early work on digital media and technology privi-leged economically advantaged areas of North America and Europe. Ignoring a global demography where most people actually live in rural India and China rather than in New York and Paris, the theoretical insights and developments emerging from this empirical base then refl ect North American and Northern European imag-inations about the world and, if perpetuated, become a form of cultural dominance.”

Page 31, Stamp (openStarred)

Page 32, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Ambivalence and the Principle of Openness and Closure”

Page 32, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The contradictions of openness and closure that arise in digital domains were clearly exposed in William Dibbell’s (1993) seminal article, ‘A Rape in Cyberspace’. The article explores one of the earliest virtual worlds where users could create avatars, then often imagined as gentler, better people than the fi gures they represented offl ine. Into this idyll steps Bungle, whose superior technical skills allows him to take over these avatars, who then engaged in unspeakable sexual practices both with them- selves and others. Immediately, the participants whose avatars had been violated switched from seeing cyberspace as a kind of post-Woodstock land of the liberated to desperately searching for some version of the cyberpolice to confront this abhorrent violation of their online selves.”

Page 32, Underline (Red):
Content: “William Dibbell’s (1993) seminal article, ‘A Rape in Cyberspace’”

Page 33, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Postill’s ethnographic work in Malaysia is one of the clearest demonstrations of the value of an anthropological approach, not just as long-term ethnography but also its more holistic conceptualization. Instead of labelling the political impact as good or bad, Postill gives a nuanced and plausible account of the contradictory effects of digital technology on politics. Instead of idealized communities, we fi nd cross-cutting affi li- ations of groups using the Internet to think through new possibilities.”

Page 33, Underline (Red):
Content: “Postill’s”

Page 33, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “For Malaby, the essence of gaming is that, unlike bureaucratic control which seeks to diminish or extinguish contingency, gaming creates a structure that encourages contingency in”

Page 33, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “For Malaby, the essence of gaming is that, unlike bureaucratic control which seeks to diminish or extinguish contingency, gaming creates a structure that encourages contingency in”

Page 34, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “its usage. He sees this realized through his ethnography of the workers at Linden Lab who developed Second Life (Malaby 2009). They retained much of the infl uence of 1960s idealism found in books such as the Whole Earth Catalog (Brand 1968; Coleman 2004; Turner 2006) and similar movements that view technology as a tool of liberation. They remain deeply interested in the unexpected and unintended appro- priations by users of their designs. By setting limits upon what they would construct, they hoped to engage in a kind of co-construction with users, who themselves then became as much producers as consumers of the game. Many of the early adopters are technically savvy and more inclined to do the kind of wild adventurous and profi cient things the people at Linden Lab would approve of. However, as the game becomes more popular, consumption becomes rather less creative; ‘for most of them this seems to involve buying clothes and other items that thousands of others have bought as well’ (Malaby 2009: 114). The end point is very evident in Boellstorff’s (2008) ethnography of Second Life, which constantly experienced the reintroduc- tion of such mundane everyday life issues as worrying about property prices and the impact on this of one’s neighbours.”

Page 34, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “its usage. He sees this realized through his ethnography of the workers at Linden Lab who developed Second Life (Malaby 2009). They retained much of the infl uence of 1960s idealism found in books such as the Whole Earth Catalog (Brand 1968; Coleman 2004; Turner 2006) and similar movements that view technology as a tool of liberation. They remain deeply interested in the unexpected and unintended appro- priations by users of their designs. By setting limits upon what they would construct, they hoped to engage in a kind of co-construction with users, who themselves then became as much producers as consumers of the game. Many of the early adopters are technically savvy and more inclined to do the kind of wild adventurous and profi cient things the people at Linden Lab would approve of. However, as the game becomes more popular, consumption becomes rather less creative; ‘for most of them this seems to involve buying clothes and other items that thousands of others have bought as well’ (Malaby 2009: 114). The end point is very evident in Boellstorff’s (2008) ethnography of Second Life, which constantly experienced the reintroduc- tion of such mundane everyday life issues as worrying about property prices and the impact on this of one’s neighbours.”

Page 34, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “An analogous and extensive literature arises around the concept of the ‘pro- sumer’ (Beer and Burrows 2010), where traditional distinctions between produc- ers and consumers break down as the creative potentials of consumers are drawn directly into design.”

Page 34, Highlight (Yellow):
Content: “‘pro- sumer’”

Page 34, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Beer and Burrows 2010),”

Page 34, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: ” This idealof a ‘prosumption’ that includes consumers is becoming something of a trend in contemporary capitalism (Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010). Consumers appropriate com-mercial ideas and are quickly incorporated in their turn (Thrift 2005) and so on.Related to prosumption is the rapid growth of an online feedback culture, such as Trip Advisor for researching holidays, Rotten Tomatoes for reviewing fi lms and “

Page 34, Underline (Red):
Content: “(Thrift 2005) (Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010).”

Page 35, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “a thousand similar popular sources of assessment and criticism that fl ourished as soon as digital technologies allowed them to.”

Page 35, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Normativity and the Principle of Materiality”

Page 35, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Several of the authors in this volume have been trained originally in material culture studies and have engaged with digital anthropology as an extension of such studies.”

Page 35, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “As has been argued in various ways by Bourdieu, Latour, Miller and others, rather than privilege a social anthropology that reduces the world to social relations, social order is itself premised on a mater-ial order. It is impossible to become human other than through socializing within amaterial world of cultural artefacts that include the order, agency and relationships between things themselves and not just their relationship to persons. “

Page 35, Underline (Red):
Content: “Bourdieu, Latour, Miller”

Page 36, Stamp (openStarred)

Page 36, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Materiality is thus bedrock for digital anthropology, and this is true in several distinct ways, of which three are of prime importance. First, there is the materiality of digital infrastructure and technology. Second, there is the materiality of digitalcontent, and, third, there is the materiality of digital context.”

Page 36, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Materiality is thus bedrock for digital anthropology, and this is true in several distinct ways, of which three are of prime importance. First, there is the materiality of digital infrastructure and technology. Second, there is the materiality of digital content, and, third, there is the materiality of digital context.”

Page 36, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Kelty’s (2008) detailed account of the development of open source clearly illus-trates how the ideal of freely creating new forms of code was constantly stymied by the materiality of code itself. Once one potential development of code becameincompatible with another, choices had to be made which constrained the premise of entirely free and equal participation. “

Page 36, Underline (Red):
Content: “Kelty’s (2008)”

Page 36, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: ” Blanchette explicitly re-jects what he calls the trope of immateriality found from Negroponte’s Being Digital (1995) through to Blown to Bits (Abelson, Lewis and Ledeen 2008). His work builds, instead, upon Kirschenbaum’s (2008) detailed analysis of the computer hard disk. Kirschenbaum points out the huge gulf between meta-theorists, who think of the digital as a new kind of ephemerality, and a group called computer forensics, whose job it is to extract data from old or broken hard disks and who rely on the very op-posite property—that it is actually quite diffi cult to erase digital information”

Page 36, Underline (Red):
Content: “Blanchette Negroponte’s (Abelson, Lewis and Ledeen 2008). Being Digital (1995) Kirschenbaum’s (2008)”

Page 37, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The second aspect of digital materiality refers not to digital technology but to thecontent it thereby creates, reproduces and transmits.”

Page 37, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Miller (2000) used Gell’s theory of art to show how websites, just as art works, are systematically designed to seduce and entrap some passing Internet surfers while repelling those they have no reason to attract. Similarly Horst shows how online worlds are aesthetically integrated with the bed-rooms of young people going online in California, while Geismar explores the im-pact of digital technologies on museum display. “

Page 38, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Third, in addition to the materiality of technology and the materiality of content,there is also the materiality of context. Issues of space and place are the central concern of DeNicola’s chapter and his discussion of ‘spimes’, which imply objects’, and not just people’s, awareness of space. This leads to a kind of Internet of things, where the digital results not just in enhanced use of absolute space, as in the Global Positioning System, but increasing awareness of relative proximity. This may refer to people, such as gay men making contact through Grindr, but also objects sensing their own relative proximity.”

Page 38, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Context refers not just to space and time but also to the various parameters of human interaction with digital technologies, which form part of material practice.”

Page 39, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “It is because technologies are constantly fi nding new ways to construct illusions of im-materiality that a material culture perspective becomes ever more important. Of allthe consequences of this illusion of immateriality, the most important remains the way objects and technologies obfuscate their own role in our socialization. From the infrastructure behind computers to that behind fi nance, games, design or museum catalogues, we seem less and less aware of how our environment is materially struc-tured and that creates us as human beings. The reason this matters is that it extends Bourdieu’s (1977) critical argument about the role of practical taxonomies in making us the particular kinds of people we are, who subsequently take for granted most of what we call culture. Bourdieu showed how a major part of what makes us human is what he called practice—a conjuncture of the material with the socialization of habit, which makes the cultural world appear as second nature, which is natural. This is best captured by the academic concept of normativity. “

Page 39, Stamp (openStarred)

Page 39, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “From the infrastructure behind computers to that behind fi nance, games, design or museum catalogues, we seem less and less aware of how our environment is materially struc- tured and that creates us as human beings. The reason this matters is that it extends Bourdieu’s (1977) critical argument about the role of practical taxonomies in making us the particular kinds of people we are, who subsequently take for granted most of what we call culture. Bourdieu showed how a major part of what makes us human is what he called practice—a conjuncture of the material with the socialization of habit, which makes the cultural world appear as second nature, which is natural.”

Page 39, Stamp (c_A4659461-3314-40C2-A8CD-56CF6AE081EF_quote_)

Page 40, Stamp (openStarred)

Page 40, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “We would therefore suggest that the key to digital anthropology, and perhaps to the future of anthropology itself, is, in part, the study of how things become rapidly mundane. What we experience is not a technology per se but an immedi-ately cultural infl ected genre of usage. A”

Page 40, Underline (Blue):
Content: “We would therefore suggest that the key to digital anthropology, and perhaps to the future of anthropology itself, is, in part, the study of how things become rapidly mundane. What we experience is not a technology per se but an immedi- ately cultural infl ected genre of usage.”

Page 40, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Normativity can be oppressive. In Ginsburg’s powerful opening example, the dis- abled activist Amanda Baggs makes clear that digital technologies have the capacity to make someone appear vastly more human than before, but the catch is that this is only to the degree that the disabled use these technologies to conform to what we re- gard as normatively human, for example performing that key process of attention in what are seen as appropriate ways. This direct confrontation between the digital and the human is what helps us understand the task of digital anthropology.”

Page 40, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: ” Being human is a cultural and normative concept. As our second principle showed, it is our defi nition of being human that mediates what the technology is, not the other way around. “

Page 40, Underline (Blue):
Content: “Being human is a cultural and normative concept. As our second principle showed, it is our defi nition of being human that mediates what the technology is, not the other way around. “

Page 40, Underline (Magenta):
Content: “Being human is a cultural and normative concept. As our second principle showed, it is our defi nition of being human that mediates what the technology is, not the other way around.”

Page 40, Stamp (c_A4659461-3314-40C2-A8CD-56CF6AE081EF_quote_)

Page 40, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The anthropological apprehension is to refuse to allow the digital to be viewed as a gimmick or, indeed, as mere technology. A key moment in the recent historyof anthropology came with Terence Turner’s (1992) report on the powerful appro-priation of video by an Amazonian Indian group, the Kayapo, in their resistance to foreign infi ltration (see also Boyer 2006). It was the moment when anthropology had to drop its presumption that tribal societies were intrinsically slow or passive, what Lévi-Strauss called cold.”

Page 40, Underline (Red):
Content: “Terence Turner’s (1992) (see also Boyer 2006). Lévi-Strauss”

Page 41, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “The faster the trajectory of cul- tural change, the more relevant the anthropologist, because there is absolutely no sign that the changes in technology are outstripping the human capacity to regard things as normative.”

Page 41, Underline (Blue):
Content: “The faster the trajectory of cul-tural change, the more relevant the anthropologist, because there is absolutely no sign that the changes in technology are outstripping the human capacity to regardthings as normative”

Page 41, Highlight (Cyan):
Content: “Anthropology is one of the few disciplines equipped to im- merse itself in the process by which digital culture becomes normative culture and to understand what this tells us about being human.”

 

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