🎧 Episode 47: Dick Move (MEN, Part 1) | Scene on Radio

Listened to Episode 47: Dick Move (MEN, Part 1) by John Biewen and Celeste Headlee from Scene on Radio

Launching Scene on Radio Season 3 series—MEN—co-hosts John Biewen and Celeste Headlee look at the problems of male supremacy. And we visit Deep Time to explore the latest scholarship on how, when, and why men invented patriarchy.

Featuring Meg Conkey of UC-Berkeley, Mel Konner of Emory University, and Lisa Wade of Occidental College.

Music by Alex Weston, and by Evgueni and Sacha Galperine. Music and production help from Joe Augustine at Narrative Music.

🎧 Episode 44: White Affirmative Action (Seeing White, Part 13) | Scene on Radio

Listened to Episode 44: White Affirmative Action (Seeing White, Part 13) by John Biewen from Scene on Radio

When it comes to U.S. government programs and support earmarked for the benefit of particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the goodies. By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and recurring series partner Chenjerai Kumanyika.

Affirmative action is really best framed as White affirmative action…

After listening to most of this series and really appreciating the work that has gone into it, I wish there were an online lecture series version of Deena Hayes-Greene’s work for the Racial Equity Institute. I’d love to hear a longer version of what they’ve done without needing to travel. Ideally it could be done as a paid series of lectures along the lines of what The Great Courses does (perhaps as history/sociology lectures?) or some other similar group that could produce it well with accompanying learning materials, but also done in a way to help underwrite and spread their work. I’d definitely pay for it.

👓 Ibn Khaldun | Wikipedia

Read Abū Zayd ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Khaldūn al-Ḥaḍramī (Wikipedia)
Ibn Khaldūn (/ˈɪbən kælˈduːn/; Arabic: أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي‎, Abū Zayd ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Muḥammad ibn Khaldūn al-Ḥaḍramī; 27 May 1332 – 17 March 1406) was a Tunisian Arab historiographer and historian. He is widely considered as a forerunner of the modern disciplines of historiography, sociology, economics, and demography.

Concerning the discipline of sociology, he described the dichotomy of sedentary life versus nomadic life as well as the inevitable loss of power that occurs when warriors conquer a city. According to the Arab scholar Sati’ al-Husri, the Muqaddimah may be read as a sociological work. The work is based around Ibn Khaldun’s central concept of ‘aṣabiyyah, which has been translated as “social cohesion”, “group solidarity”, or “tribalism”. This social cohesion arises spontaneously in tribes and other small kinship groups; it can be intensified and enlarged by a religious ideology. Ibn Khaldun’s analysis looks at how this cohesion carries groups to power but contains within itself the seeds – psychological, sociological, economic, political – of the group’s downfall, to be replaced by a new group, dynasty or empire bound by a stronger (or at least younger and more vigorous) cohesion. Some of Ibn Khaldun’s views, particularly those concerning the Zanj people of sub-Saharan Africa,[27] have been cited as a racist,[28] though they were not uncommon for their time. According to the scholar Abdelmajid Hannoum, Ibn Khaldun’s description of the distinctions between Berbers and Arabs were misinterpreted by the translator William McGuckin de Slane, who wrongly inserted a “racial ideology that sets Arabs and Berbers apart and in opposition” into his translation of the Muqaddimah.  

November 09, 2018 at 11:09PM

He believed that the reason why non-Arabs were accepted as part of Arab society was due to their mastery of the Arabic language.  

November 09, 2018 at 11:21PM

🎧 Is Online Dating Destroying Romance? | Crazy/Genius | The Atlantic

Listened to Is Online Dating Destroying Romance? by Derek ThompsonDerek Thompson from Crazy/Genius | The Atlantic
Two sociologists debate the merits of online dating and discuss their research on the history of romance in America.

Interestingly no discussion of satisficing.

👓 Anomie | Wikipedia

Read Anomie (Wikipedia)

Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is a "condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals". It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, e.g., under unruly scenarios resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.

The term is commonly understood to mean normlessness, and believed to have been popularized by French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his influential book Suicide (1897). However, Durkheim first introduces the concept of anomie in his 1893 work 'The Division of Labour In Society.' Durkheim never used the term normlessness; rather, he described anomie as "derangement", and "an insatiable will". Durkheim used the term "the malady of the infinite" because desire without limit can never be fulfilled; it only becomes more intense.

🔖 The Strength of Weak Ties | American Journal of Sociology: Vol 78, No 6

Bookmarked The Strength of Weak Ties by Mark S. Granovetter (American Journal of Sociology 78, no. 6 (May, 1973): 1360-1380. https://doi.org/10.1086/225469)
Analysis of social networks is suggested as a tool for linking micro and macro levels of sociological theory. The procedure is illustrated by elaboration of the macro implications of one aspect of small-scale interaction: the strength of dyadic ties. It is argued that the degree of overlap of two individuals' friendship networks varies directly with the strength of their tie to one another. The impact of this principle on diffusion of influence and information, mobility opportunity, and community organization is explored. Stress is laid on the cohesive power of weak ties. Most network models deal, implicitly, with strong ties, thus confining their applicability to small, well-defined groups. Emphasis on weak ties lends itself to discussion of relations between groups and to analysis of segments of social structure not easily defined in terms of primary groups.
h/t Disconnected, fragmented, or united? a trans-disciplinary review of network science by César A. Hidalgo (Applied Network Science | SpringerLink)

🔖 Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness | Mark Granovetter | American Journal of Sociology: Vol 91, No 3

Bookmarked Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness by Mark Granovetter (American Journal of Sociology)
How behavior and institutions are affected by social relations is one of the classic questions of social theory. This paper concerns the extent to which economic action is embedded in structures of social relations, in modern industrial society. Although the usual neoclasical accounts provide an "undersocialized" or atomized-actor explanation of such action, reformist economists who attempt to bring social structure back in do so in the "oversocialized" way criticized by Dennis Wrong. Under-and oversocialized accounts are paradoxically similar in their neglect of ongoing structures of social relations, and a sophisticated account of economic action must consider its embeddedness in such structures. The argument in illustrated by a critique of Oliver Williamson's "markets and hierarchies" research program.
h/t Disconnected, fragmented, or united? a trans-disciplinary review of network science by César A. Hidalgo (Applied Network Science | SpringerLink)

👓 Malu Is Like A Golden Ticket | Christopher Lynn – Medium

Read Malu Is Like A Golden Ticket by Christopher Lynn (Christopher Lynn – Medium)
This piece is about the fieldwork I’ve conducted the past two summers. I just wrote it the weekend before the first day of class, so, for better or worse, students heard an early draft of this story that may get published on its own somewhere or in a book some day in some form that will probably ultimately be very different than this. I wrote it because I think our work this summer epitomizes the nature of neuroanthropology as essentially biocultural, and because I think this story encapsulates much of our experience of fieldwork this summer. There may be less neuro than you’d expect here, given the course I read it to, but it’s the ethnographic prelude before we’ve finished collecting and analyzing the neuro data.
This was a long read, but utterly fascinating!

👓 How Same-Sex Couples Divide Chores, and What It Reveals About Modern Parenting | New York Times

Read How Same-Sex Couples Divide Chores, and What It Reveals About Modern Parenting (nytimes.com)
They divide chores much more evenly, until they become parents, new research shows.
This is fascinating, though I now have so many additional questions…

👓 With the grain: sociology | Espresso: The Economist

Read With the grain: sociology (The Economist (Espresso))
Research has shown that wealthier, urbanised regions tend to harbour more individualistic personalities, while poorer, agrarian areas have more collectivist, community-minded ones. But why? A study from the University of Chicago published this week suggests such differences could be down to a region’s predominant crops—an insight gleaned, improbably, from observing nearly 9,000 customers in Chinese cafes. People in China’s south farm rice, which requires a whole village’s co-operation on irrigation; in the north, they grow wheat, far less demanding of collective effort. The researchers’ first observation was that latte-lovers in wheat-growing regions were far more likely to be alone. Then the team surreptitiously blocked thoroughfares with chairs. Among northerners, 16% shifted the chairs (individualism is marked by actively modifying one’s environment), while only 6% from the rice-cultivating south did so (collectivists tend to work with what they’ve got). It’s an intriguing sociological suggestion, perhaps to be filed under “you are what you eat”.
Randomly ran across this over the weekend and seems like the kind of cultural/food-related study that Jeremy Cherfas would enjoy.

References this study: Moving chairs in Starbucks.1


Talhelm T, Zhang X, Oishi S. Moving chairs in Starbucks: Observational studies find rice-wheat cultural differences in daily life in China. Science Advances. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/4/eaap8469. Published April 25, 2018. Accessed April 28, 2018.

📺 Zeynep Tufekci: Online social change: easy to organize, hard to win | TED

Watched Online social change: easy to organize, hard to win by Zeynep TufekciZeynep Tufekci from ted.com

Today, a single email can launch a worldwide movement. But as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci suggests, even though online activism is easy to grow, it often doesn't last. Why? She compares modern movements -- Gezi, Ukraine, Hong Kong -- to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and uncovers a surprising benefit of organizing protest movements the way it happened before Twitter.

🔖 NativeLand.ca

Bookmarked NativeLand.ca - Our home on native land (Native-land.ca)
Welcome to Native Land. This is a resource for North Americans (and others) to find out more about local indigenous territories and languages.
I ran across this over the Thanksgiving holiday. It would be cool to have more maps like this that spanned the globe as well as searchable by time span as well.

Book Review: Jared Diamond’s “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?”

I’m honestly shocked that no one else has written a book similar to The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies prior to now. It’s certainly a wonderful synthesis and a fantastic resulting thesis based on an incredibly broad array of areas of study over a lifetime of work.

I personally don’t think that it is as significant as Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies was, though perhaps it should be just as (if not more) ground shaking for modern society. As a long-time student of evolutionary biology and other fields related to this work, I’m not as impressed with the effort as I might otherwise be since most of the overarching thesis is second nature to me. It does however have some superb anecdotes and broad reviews of large areas of literature to provide some excellent motivation that I might not otherwise have spent the time to find thus giving it some excellent value to me.

The World Until Yesterday by Jared Diamond (bookcover)

As for others in the general public, I highly recommend it for it’s simple and clear examples and the ultimate thesis which are exceptionally worth reading (and implementing) into one’s life as well as into broader areas of modern society. If nothing else, it points out how drastically life has changed for human societies even in the last 150 years, much less the last 10,000.

For those in the field or with an interest in Big History, this is certainly a must-read and possibly an excellent place to start for those without any background at all.

Based on my own personal background, I’d give this 3 stars (in terms of it’s direct value to me), but for the general public it’s easily a 5 star work. I do wish that it had been more traditionally and extensively footnoted, but for a broader audience I certainly understand Dr. Diamond’s reasons for publishing it as he did.

Brief Notes on “Consider the Fork”

Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson was one of my favorite Christmas presents this year. It covered my loves of history, gadgets, food, technology, entomology, popular culture and even evolution and anthropology. The major broad themes were very interesting and enlightening while being very well researched.

There were a few short sections on individual technologies which did feel a bit throw in almost as afterthoughts or which were related to the bigger topics, but just didn’t stand up on their own. Fortunately these didn’t detract from the overall work, though I did feel a bit more on these could have been written.

This is one of the most interesting books on food which I’ve had the pleasure of reading.