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W.M.G.F.: Anthropological Perspectives on Communication Technology

Ok.  You know me by now…  Well, at least you know several things about me if you’ve been reading marginalia for a bit.  Things such as the fact that I’m horrible at keeping the blog up to date (something I’m diligently working to correct).  That I am addicted to addiction.  And that I’m a bit OCD…  like in the way I’m obsessed with classifying my posts into features, the names of which I incorporate into the title of the post.  It creates a sense of consistency, like I have achieved something similar to regularity; it is, somehow, comforting.

So, this post is no exception.  The title is preceded by “W.M.G.F.”, an abbreviation never before seen on marginalia, which means a bit of explanation is in order.  Can anyone guess what it stands for?

I promise that the phrase does not contain any curse words…

Still puzzled?  Ok; I’ll tell you.  W.M.G.F. stands for “waving my geek flag.”

You may remember this phrase as the title of one of my recent posts, a post in which I share a video of a talk given by an awesome lexicographer about why we need to redefine the way we think about the dictionary.  Well, I decided that I have a lot of other geeky material/ideas to share with anyone interested enough to read/listen/view it.  Thus, W.M.G.F. was born.

I plan on this being a semi-regular feature here on marginalia.  No promises about timing or frequency, just consistency in geeky material.

What exactly do I mean by geeky material?  Topics I currently envision include video games, electronics, social science theory, history, comics, information and library science and pop culture.  I’m sure that this is by no means an exhaustive list of topics that will make an appearance in W.M.G.F. but it gives you an idea of what to expect.

Today, I have another video to share with you from TED.  In this short talk, anthropologist Stefana Broadbent talks about how communication technology has changed how people connect to one another – how they build and maintain relationships – and, ultimately, how this is changing social norms and expectations.  You may be surprised by what she found…

Besides being fascinating in its own right, it makes me happy to see serious ethnographic research being done in modern industrialized cultures.

Flag waived…