“The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.” – Ruth Benedict
“Imagine what seven billion people could accomplish if we all loved and respected each other.” – Anthony Douglas Williams
I just received notice from WordPress that it is the 8th anniversary for this site. To be honest, I have not been feeling too great about this site lately. Readership is down noticeably, and it has been harder to get the attention of my targeted audiences. I’ve even contemplated folding the tent.
Surely, part of that is me, as I’ve found it hard to maintain the volume of essays compared to prior years. Perhaps it’s merely the nature of today’s Internet. Eight years ago, there were fewer personal blogs and sites to compete for readers’ attention, and people seem to prefer shorter, more digestible, essays before moving on to the next item on their list. I understand. Time is finite, and we have things to do.
I’m also aware that this notice came on Martin Luther King Day this year, which acts as inspiration for me. I’ve admired him since about the time I was in the first grade (and through high school). I’ve tried to take an approach on this site similar to that recommended by the cognitive linguist George Lakoff, by trying to frame things accurately and in a positive light whenever possible, rather than merely responding to all of the negative out there. It hasn’t been easy, and at times I’ve felt outright depressed by the world. The lesson holds, however. The way we frame things and the way we see the world matters, and we can shift from focusing on divisions to what we have in common. As one simple example, it was once more common to say that “the United States are,” emphasizing their separateness. After the Civil War, this was superseded by “the United States is,” framing the states as a single unit.
I am proud of some things of the things I’ve written on this site, and that I’ve tried to inject something positive into the thought-o-sphere. And while new posts don’t take off the way they used to, there are many that have had some staying power with people.
So, carry on humans. Thank you for reading.
- Developmental Plasticity and the Hard-Wired Problem (Jun 2014) Link
- The Conditions of the Game: It’s Not a World of Eternal Struggle (Sept 2017) Link
- Reconciliation, Biology & The Second Indochina War (Mar 2011) Link
- Life Is Beautiful (May 2010) Link
- Genocidal Altruists: Are We ‘Naturally’ Violent? Altruistic? Both?
(Feb 2015) Link
- On Multiraciality: Perceptions of Homogeneity and Difference (June 2017) Link
- Pursuing the God of Truth in a Post-Truth Era (Jan 2017) Link
- Lessons from The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Dec 2010) Link
- “A People Orientation” (A View from Anthropology and Astronomy) (July 2017) Link
- Cosmically Connected Primates (Mar 2012) Link
- Thresholds of Inclusion (July 2016) Link
- A (R)evolution of Tenderness (Jun 2017) (Link)
- “I’ve never seen a Chinese monkey” (Essentialism & Human Variation) (Nov 2016) Link
- Colin Kaepernick and the Clash of Values (Oct 2016) Link
- The Branches of Humanity (Nov 2015) Link
- Human Family: We Are More Alike, My Friends, than We Are Unalike (Aug 2016) Link