May 2005


I had a pretty active weekend for once, and I thought parts of it were worth sharing. On Saturday we went to see KFOG Kaboom, which this year featured Kathleen Edwards, The John Butler Trio, and The Wallflowers. The music was decent, in particular I enjoyed the John Butler Trio – they're very creative and obviously skilled musicians. The Wallflowers were blah, but I hadn't realized just how many hits they churn out. That's a skill in and of itself.

The real highlight of the festival, though, was the fireworks display (wmv, 68mb). Between all the folks in my group, we'd seen fireworks in San Francisco, Oakland, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Paris, London, etc… but none of them came even close to matching this display. I saw about 5 things I didn't even know they could do with fireworks! The show went on for about 15 minutes and we were all absolutely blown away. I highly recommend you all go see this next year, especially since it's entirely free.

On Sunday we also went to Yoshi's to see Bill Evans and an all-star band that included Bela Fleck (banjo), Vinnie Colaiuta (percussion), Jimmy Haslip (bass) & Darol Anger (fiddle). I was particularly excited to see Bela, who I love on his solo albums with the Flecktones, but it turned out that Darol Anger was the star of the show. That guy is fantastic. Overall, it was a decent show, but a bit more free form than I was hoping for. When a bunch of ridiculously talented musicians get together like that, you're bound to have a good show, but we were glad when they finished up with Bela's Outbound because it was the only song they played all night that anyone had been playing for longer than a week.

Recent rumors about SIMS imminent name change got me to thinking it was about time to get a permanent domain name of my own. Enter technotaste.com.

I have mirrored both this blog and my website over there, and will continue to mirror posts for a few more weeks (or longer). But please, if anyone acutally has them out there, update your links and update your feeds for the blog to these new ones:

RSS 2.0: http://www.technotaste.com/blog/?feed=rss2
Atom: http://www.technotaste.com/blog/?feed=atom

(I also upgraded to WordPress 1.5 – fascinating experience!)

I learned of a new anthropology group blog called Savage Minds via anthropologi.info.

I'm not sure if I would have chosen that name – seems a bit 1955 for a group of young anthropologists who are trying to be relevent ( by blogging, of all things!). An attempt at irony, maybe? But from what I've read so far they seem intelligent, articulate, and definitely worth reading.

From Mimi Ito's site:

The transcript of a recent (and fascinating) keynote address she gave at a conference in 07/2004: Technologies of the Childhood Imagination: Yugioh, Media Mixes, and Otaku

Resource on PhotoEthnography

Here is an interesting site by Karen Nakamura on Photoethnography – "the art and science of representing other cultures visually."

Our Summer 2004 work used a kind of photoethnography. We called it a photo-journaling and photo-elicitation study. We asked participants to take pictures of their daily interactions with information, and then we used those photos during follow-up interviews to elicit narratives about perceptions and practices. It was a fantastic technique. We got lots of rich data, but it wasn't very focused. More specific picture-taking directions would have helped to solve this problem.

Annotated Bibliography on Media Anthropology

I'm not quite sure what 'media anthropology' is in 2005, but here is an annotated bibliography on the subject that looks like a great resource. I know from experience that this kind of work is very time consuming, so it's fantastic to have this resource online! (Thanks to Zerzaust for the link)

So I have finally broken down and joined the iPod revolution. I just got a 4gb iPod mini. So far I am loving it. Having an iPod has made me realize that converged devices aren't always the best. An iPod is an example of a device that does (pretty much) one thing, and does it (pretty) well. Sure, I could just as easily fire up iTunes or Winamp on my laptop (which I am not often without), but something about having this simple, fast, and functional device at my side all the time seems to make me more likely to use it.

I do have one complaint, however. I loved using Winamp's 'Enqueue' feature which would allow me to start a song playing and then build my playlist on the fly. I love to browse through my collection and add one song after the next without having to go to the trouble of creating a playlist. As far as I know, my iPod won't let me do this, and it's going to change the way I browse and listen to my music. And damnit, my iPod ought to support the way I want to listen, not force me to listen its way!!

I know others have complained about this problem. Anyone know of a solution?

I've recently had two cheap and delicious wines that are perfect for everyday drinking. This is exciting for me because I don't always want to open a nice bottle on a Tuesday night, but I'd like a wine that goes a small step beyond that vague 'red wine' flavor matched with a bundle of powerful tannins. These wines are surprisingly balanced, simple, tasty, and appropriate for almost any food (or none at all) on almost any night. Both are available for about $7/bottle from Trader Joes and likely elsewhere:

2000 Guenoc California Cabernet Sauvignon
2002 Chateau Mayne Guyon [Premiers Cotes de Blaye]

Check 'em out!

Check out Andrea's useful post about where to start if you're getting interesting in ethnography and anthropology in the online world.

This is a nice resource, though I'm not sure how up to date it is (last update 4/6/04):

Ethnography in the Digital Age (2002-2004)

I'm excited to have my first publication out in Practicing Anthropology, a journal of the Society for Applied Anthropology. It's not a peer-reviewed journal, but that's just as well because I make some pretty wild accusations about a popular evaluation methodology, Empowerment Evaluation. Unfortunately the journal's not online, but the citation is:

Antin, J. 2005. Empowerment Evaluation: From Theory to Practice. Practicing Anthropology 27:23-26.

My wife was also published in the same issue. She reports on the fantastic work she and a friend of ours did combining ethnography with GIS. I have been stealing her ideas (with attribution, of course!) lately for some new work I'm doing. That citation is:

Antin, T., and M. Hora. 2005. Distance and Beyond: variables Influencing Conceptions of Food Store Accessibility in Baltimore, Maryland. Practicing Anthropology 27:15-17.