“God’s Grand Game: Divine Sovereignty and The Cosmic Playground.” – A Review

Author: Steven Colborne

Preamble

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the review I would like to thank Steven Colborne from Perfect Chaos for the opportunity to review his book. Though he and I have different perspectives on the nature of God, our philosophical interests are parallel. My background is in anthropology whose parent discipline is philosophy. Therefore I am no stranger to God and his prevalence throughout human culture.

I need to state firmly my own views on the matter. I believe the God that Colborne knows, is one that billions of humans have known, albeit by different names and experience. However, I do not believe God to be a singular being. This is where Colborne and I diverge.

Do not fret however, this will not affect either my ability to see from his perspective or the anthesis.

*I will refer to God through Male pronouns throughout as so intended in Colborne’s book*

 

The Review

For work such as this, there is no need for worries of spoilers, as rather it is less a narrative and more philosophical. However, I implore you to read the work in-depth as my musings on the subject may be contrary to the views of others. Even that of Colborne himself. However, as he says in his work, this is how God wanted it. Some knowing of his existence, and those of us waiting in the wing for divine interaction.

So Colborne introduces himself first and his story was not an easy one to read. In his contemporary life, he has discovered a type of stasis, however, with illnesses inherent to him, he proclaims this may be taken away at any time. Such is the will of God.

It is also important to me that you do not mistake Steven for a man of blind faith, who have never known anything else. From reading his blog alone you would know this, and in his introduction, he explains his deep interest with all things spiritual since his teens.

In Part 1 we are introduced to the nature of God. Which can be summoned up by His omnipresence. He states his case quite clearly through the lens of scientific endeavours:

“Even scientists, who are very successful in describing how things happen, generally agree that they cannot say why things happen.”

The argument here for Colborne is linked with the philosophical paradigm of determinism. God is all there is, we are a part of God, however, he exists outside of us. Therefore he is all-powerful and knows how our lives will play out.

In Part 2 we are guided through the human experience, in which Colborne is certain is curated by God. Why he is certain of this is simple. We are used to experiencing things in a certain way, through a certain set of laws.

When something outside of these perceptions happened, rather than chalking them down to anomalies or mistakes, Colborne assures the reader that this is through the desire of God. It is because God is a higher being, that we cannot experience everything he does. In certain cases, he allows us a small window into his nature. Colborne asks that rather than dismiss these anomalous experiences we should accept them as God’s outer life.

Scientist have grappled for centuries with the concept of ‘thought’. Where does ‘thought’ come from? How does it arise? Now with modern science researchers have pinpointed the moment the brain sends the signals to, for example, move an arm. They have not, however, pinpointed the decision or the why.

Colborne makes it quite simple, this is God’s will. He is managing our every movement.

“If we consider the nature of God, particularly His attribute of omnipresence, it makes sense that He is controlling our conscious experiences because His being permeates every atom in existence and every cell of our bodies.”

For someone who has studied anthropology and humankind so closely, I cannot help but agree with Colborne to an extent. Although humans have spread ourselves across the planet, we have things that are so unique to us as a species that it appears wherever we are. The concept of God is universal and in favour of Colborne’s argument, this may be God’s own way of showing himself to us.

In our modern world, the war between science and religion has gotten us nowhere. I have often been an advocate for the inter-disciplinary cooperation of scientists and theologians. For many centuries now, scientists have been doing the work philosophers in ancient Greece once had the pleasure of.

Now more than ever we need to listen to, and read about experiences had by human beings such as Steven Colborne. In my opinion, his belief in God is not a dirty secret or an unfortunate quirk. There are many people I love who both believe in God and many who do not. With all the varieties in between.

Steven Colborne
Steven Colborne

There is no denying that Colborne has done his homework, and he entertains the philosophies of those who would be considered his opposite. In Part 4 he discusses the American Philosopher Sam Harris, who is a prominent figure surrounding materialism and free will. Harris believes that all we are is physical, and this matter is calling the shots. Whereas of course, Colborne argues this is nonsensical. How can inanimate matter create the diverse realms of thought that humans enjoy?

 

“How something that is purely material could create awareness of the kind that human beings experience is an area of ceaseless confusion for neuroscientists.”

There is also the espousal of the major world religions, (not discounting the thousands of others he would not have had time to mention). Colborne is not dismissing your version of God. His simple truth is this. God is omnipresent and God is our creator (at birth and each and every moment of our lives).

Colborne wants what I think is lacking in the Christian faiths (among others) of the day. A modern church were a scientific debate is not only welcomed but part of the general practice of religion. A church of God which has thrown off the shackles of the cruelness of human doctrines, and allow only love to flow. An inter-faith dialogue, a safe place for everyone, in which to look at God from all unique perspectives and experiences of the human condition.

There is room for everyone in the debate so I would ask for the comments to be respectful, and I implore you to read this book. There is more benefit here than you realise.

Conclusions & Further readings

For my own piece of mind I would like to point out that while Colborne believes that God creates all human art, I feel that our crazy, beautiful, individual minds produce these things. Also my disposition is to always push back against determinism, however, God may have made me that way.

For those of you who are intensely religious, I mean neither disrespect or dismissal. If there is kindness in your intent, there is room for you in this debate. In reading Colborne’s book I experienced nothing but due considerations for all faiths.

Finally, I deeply respect Steven Colborne, for all he’s achieved even through pain and adversity. Although we don’t always agree, I cannot dispute that his arguments are not only well thought out, but well researched.

As I mentioned in the preamble my anthropology background implores me to mention Sir James Fraser’s, “The Golden Bough.

Available from Amazon.

Also reading Steven Colborne’s other books wouldn’t go amiss seeing as they will give you more to the story that is his spiritual path.

Also available from Amazon.

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Climate Justice – Moon’s History

Preamble

I really enjoy this preamble portion I’ve added to my posts. I’m drunk on power, I could say whatever I wanted… Peanuts!

Sorry to those of you with allergies that was probably very rude. Forgiveness, please!

Annnnyyyywaaaaay, when I say Moon’s history, I don’t mean the great celestial body in the sky, I actually am referring to myself, in the third person… You might think this is weird, but Le’Boo will tell you, I’ve been weirder.

Basically, I’m a trained anthropologist, working in a business management school, with a background in development. I interned with an NGO called Trócaire for 6 months in 2015. Myself and three other interns, who were also students from my Master’s programme, teamed up to write a project for Trócaire.

african-3741972_960_720

The theme? Climate Justice awareness on the Maynooth Campus. This was where Trócaire had its headquarters. The results? Stunning. (Is this considered clickbait if you’re already reading?) Also here I am in 2015 nervously competing in a colloquium with PhD students when I was but a wee Masters student.

Climate Justice

Climate justice has been in the news lately connected with the 16-year-old Swedish student Greta Thunberg. Now what is climate justice, you ask, or maybe you’re nodding along because you already know, and that’s cool. Thanks for reading anyway. For me, climate justice is an amalgamation of the two most important issues facing humankind at the moment. The problems caused by climate change, and human rights.

They may seem like two diverse and unrelated topics but the truth is they are more connected than you can ever realise. Today I will tell you two interlocking stories from the perspective of food anthropology (it’s all I know people).

rancehers
Climate Justice

Let me tell you a story about a cattle rancher in the United States of America. They’ve raised cattle all their lives, and so has their family before them. For generations in fact and they are a staple of not only state beef consumption, but other parts of the country as well.

The rancher’s cattle have won awards and they make a conscious effort to feed them as close to a wild diet as possible, which adds to the flavour of the meat. They are also considered to be more ethically driven than other ranchers as they don’t corral their cattle into tight spaces, and they slaughter them as humanely as possible.

Yet when it comes down to it, there are still people just outside their property accusing the ranchers of being animals. They are murderers because eating meat is murder. The ranchers are both disheartened and angry because they are doing the best they can with what is their livelihood.

Now let me tell you a story of a small family in Africa, (bear with me it will all come back around I promise). Their family have lived in the area for thousands of years, and they cultivated grains for the most part. Their other subsistence was hunting and gathering up until more contemporary history. Now while some hunting and gathering still goes on they are expected to buy their supplementary fibre.

Their forefathers grew food and ate most of it themselves. Occasionally either

farmer-3239302_960_720
Climate Justice

trading the excess with neighbours or sharing when there was a feast or a famine. Although food was never bountiful, they rarely went hungry. Now they are expected to sell some of their hard grown food in exchange for money, to buy their remaining food needs.

Yet in the last 10 to 20 years, the farmers have been noticing a shift in the climate. Nothing too drastic at first, but year after year it builds. The summers are longer, and the wet season is shorter. Water is harder to come by, so their crops aren’t as plentiful as they once were. The farmers are falling on hard times, and not only do they have less crops to eat, but they have less to sell in exchange for other foods.

Where they may have sent all their children to school with the excess money, now they only send the eldest or perhaps only the male children. Female children are less likely to receive an education and are stuck in a poverty loop which is exacerbated by the tough climate.

Back in the United States, pressure is put on ranchers for producing beef. “People should eat less beef.” Cry the animal activists. “Beef is one of the worst contributors to Co2 emissions.” Cry the climate activists, and neither are wrong. Beef isn’t the healthiest of protein available, and cattle rearing produces dangerous amounts of carbon emissions.

Yet what of the rancher? They are just doing their job. If they change to farming something else, it will be very costly and may end up costing them their very livelihood. Plus there is a serious market for beef in the United States, and giving up that to grow something else could be a bad move business wise. Besides the climate isn’t affected that badly in America.

Climate Justice
Climate Justice

Conclusion

Most of the population that suffers from climate change, live in the poorest areas of the world. Our excessive need to have beef in our diet, and available in every fast food outlet, produces the market for beef. Yet the change in the climate caused by western agriculture and industry affects the already water-starved areas of the world.

Climate change is not proportional, and this is why justice must be served. Although many of us living in the western world cannot see the damage wrought by climate change, it is happening none-the-less, causing devastation to those already struggling to survive in the lower socio-economic bands of society.

This is a new series on my blog, one that was ignited back in 2013 when I was still a young idealistic fool. Now I am an older fool, but one who is idealistic still none-the-less. I am not willing to give up on climate justice, and neither should you.

That is why I have individual sustainability goals. That’s why I don’t eat beef, and only eat meat 3 days out of the week. It’s why I gave up fast fashion, and use a deodorant that is all natural. You can learn more about me in the sustainability section of my blog than anywhere else so you will be getting more of it in the coming months.

I hope you stay with me, and even if you don’t agree, you listen.

References

Principles of Climate Justice – Mary Robinson Foundation

Greta Thunberg

Sustainability & Anthropology

Copyright © 2019 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Paranthropology – The Anthropology of the Paranormal

Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”

– Charles Addams.

 

Anthropology has always excited me. I’m not weird, we all have our passions, some of you enjoy Korean Pop groups, and I’m here for you. I’m not judging. What I’ve always liked about anthropology is its ability to describe life in philosophical paradigms, which make the normal seem abnormal.

For example, when I began anthropology at university level in 2007, I was young, idealistic, and had a complete world-view. Through my studies, I learned that this is impossible. What I thought were universal truths turned out to be culturally constructed scenarios. I came to realise how many valid realities exist, notwithstanding my own view of those realities.

Coming at the paranormal from an anthropological perspective seems plausible to me in a way pre-2007 Jaycee would have deemed ridiculous. Anyone reading this must either be interested in the paranormal, anthropological theory or both. However, if you are new to either topic here is how they are described.

Paranormal:Not scientifically explainable.” This is an updated word from the 20th century used to replace supernatural:Of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe in relation to God.” Scientists now study paranormal events and anomalies by applying its own archetypes. They believe the study of paranormal is valid because there are too many accounts from humans to disregard it.

Now, let’s talk regarding the current state of paranthropology. According to the ‘Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal,’ their own discipline is threatened in the new world of alternative facts. Yes, Trump has invaded everywhere, even the world of anthropology. So let me explain.

The general populous tends towards skepticism when anthropologists present the realities of others as something outside of our understanding of it. For example, with shamanism, we are quick in the ‘Western’ world to dismiss this as a form of forced psychosis or a psychological phenomenon. However, these are our terms and archetypes which inform our assessment of any given situation.

So in the world of alternative facts, everything is up for debate. nothing is concrete. Therefore the already tenuous disciplines within a philosophical vein, attempting to contribute to humankind’s cultural advancement rather than purely technological (Schroll, 2017), seem unfit to exist in the modern world.

If we return to the context of the shaman and their people, their reality is different to our own. Not only does their practices work, it is effective. Human beings create our shared realities through thinking. If we stop for a moment to consider, trillions of dollars/ euros/pounds are exchanged worldwide on an annual basis. Ye that monetary value only exists because of a shared belief.

So why not allow the belief in shamanism? It’s due to the Eurocentric view within our education systems that we are the complete reality. We’ve reached the end of history, and our sciences offer us the comforting notion that every unusual event can be explained away by them.

Nevertheless, Euro- American science has scoffed at accounts of primordial anthropology as idyllic dreams of a Golden Age, believing shamans were psychotic or at best charlatans.”4[i]

Within anthropology, our most important tool is storytelling. By doing so peer through the keyhole at the realities of others, whether that be the stock market in New York City, or the shaman in a very small community in Africa. Rather than dismissing the truths of others, we present them in a way a ‘European / western’ audience might understand.

Make no mistake though, anthropology is aware to a fault of its influence on these stories. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Bourdieu and his notion of habitus.[ii] Yet we continue to try and do better, by simply allowing the stories of our participants to be presented as rawly as possible while continuing to question what consciousness means for humans.

“Consciousness could, then, be located both within the body and outside of the body simultaneously…Quantum models of consciousness are gradually proliferating in the field of consciousness studies, and are beginning to receive a degree of serious thought amongst philosophers, psychologists and physicists”[iii]

We still have a long way to go in our understanding of paranormal phenomena, however, the first step is to stop dismissing outright. The second step is to give up our arrogant notions of complete paradigms. Step three? Well, we’re working on it. Stay tuned.

Anthropology: “The science of human beings.”

Paranormal: “Events or phenomena outside the bounds of scientific explanation.”

Paranthropology“Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal.”

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

References:

  1. Dr Radin, Dean. “Real Magic. Ancient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe.”
  2. http://realitysandwich.com/162119/supernatural_natural_anthropology_paranormal
  3. “Paranthropology: Journal of Anthological Approaches to the Paranormal.” Vol 8. No 1. (March 2017).
  4. Bourdieu, P., & Nice, R. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice (Vol. 16). Cambridge university press Cambridge.

 

[i] Schroll, Mark A. 2018 “Revisiting Cultural Evolution and Technological Evolution in Consciousness Studies.” The Journal of  page 4

[ii] Bourdieu, P., & Nice, R. (1977). Outline of a Theory of Practice (Vol. 16). Cambridge university press Cambridge.

[iii] http://realitysandwich.com/162119/supernatural_natural_anthropology_paranormal

[iv] Hurst, Tanya. 2018. “Catalysts that Initiate Embodied Knowing: Reflections on Individuation, synchronicity, and Ritual Space. Page 57

 

Did you like this? I have a whole category on anthropology if you want to check it out here is a link. Enjoy!

https://thinkingmoon.com/category/anthropology/

Anthropology & Youtube

When I was 15 I discovered anthropology at Maynooth University. I fell in love and I didn’t want to learn anything else. It called out to me in a way few subjects have since. Philosophy and nature are its parents. It is like a river, you never step in the same one twice.[i] Which is why it’s so uniquely suited to everything.

I managed to graduate from my undergrad, how, I’m still not certain. 2010 marked a tumultuous time in my life, and I only understand now how depression and anxiety played their parts. I spend 3 long years in the job market (miserably). Then a light came in 2013 when I was accepted for a Masters in anthropology and development, in my beloved Maynooth. So over 2 years, I studied my favourite subject again, this time solely.

Even with the seriousness of the subject matter, I still found my whimsical side, which I would like to share with you today. In 2014 I wrote an essay for a class by Dr Steve Coleman of Maynooth University. Rereading it has at times made me laugh out loud. Why he gave me a 2.1 on it I’ll never truly know. Shout out to Steve!

I’ve included some extracts below and it has been sufficiently altered for syntax and clarity. Also, Jenni of today has added some stuff for context and you can see that in italics. So if you’ve made it this far enjoy my stalwart friend!

Animation as Performance

The online world is an endless void of connected humanity. Projections of the self are possible online which are not available to us in the tactile world. Although there are situations where it is acceptable to enact your fandom in ‘real time,’ through ‘Cosplay,’ (the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga or anime) such as during Halloween, at conventions, or in theme parks; online personalities offer an outlet for people who want to explore an alternative version of themselves. This often takes place through participation in online communities such as MMO’s (an online video game which can be played by a very large number of people simultaneously). Manning & Gershon explain how the avatars make it possible for people to distance themselves from their bodies:

“…in the virtual worlds of Massively Multiple Online Games (MMOGs). Avatars are virtual embodiments that permit, at the outset, a complete divorce between the body of the offline player and the body of the online character and permit large numbers of offline players to interact socially within a single virtual world mediated by these online embodiments.”

Animation has rapidly become one of the most prevalent expressions of new media this century. Silvio provides a perspective on the popularity of animation:

The proliferation of animation and animated characters is not simply an effect or symptom of the intersection of computer technology and structural transformations in global capitalism. Animation is also popular because it provides a productive trope for thinking through this intersection.”

The topics I will discuss are YouTube and its relevant fandoms. People reinvent themselves online, they perform through the genre of another, and live action has even been transformed into animation. Silvio reinforces, “animation as an alternative model of and for human action in the world,” which is something anthropology seeks to link new animism.

Animism: Descola and Kohn

Descola provides a lens with which to look upon humanity, and the dual system of nature-culture, in his work ‘The Ecology of Others,’

“Making modern dualism the template for all the states of the world has thus lead anthropology to a particular form of academic Eurocentrism, which consists in believing not that the realities that humans objectivise are everywhere identical, but that our own manner of objectivising is universally shared.”

This thought process, although not new, challenges both the dualism of the Eurocentric (focusing on European culture or history to the exclusion of a wider view of the world; implicitly regarding European culture as pre-eminent) anthropology and the belief of anthropologist that all cosmologies (an account or theory of the origin of the universe) objectify the same way. Performance in animation can be adopted here in order to understand cosmologies that may appear to be outside the scope of animism, such as European cultures. Though the stories enacted often have a ‘first world perspective,’ the potential of the digital age to create analogies requires further exploration. Never before could we channel our likes, wants, and needs into something such as the video platform YouTube. YouTube is a nascent form of media which allows anyone to upload content, as long as it follows the community guidelines. The platform is relatively democratic, your views are the votes for what content is pushed to the fore.

The more we watch, the more YouTube calculates our interests through their algorithms, which in turn can generate advertisement revenue, incentivising the creators. YouTube also creates a market for animations. The consumers get what they want, which is more of their favourite animated characters. This is then exemplified by fans seeing themselves in the animated characters. It cannot be ignored and Silvio provides us with this concept:

“My project in this essay, to set up animation as a platform for the comparative study of how human beings negotiate the relationship between self and world, both includes such projects of intellectual history and, of course, should itself be subjected to cultural and historical contextualization.”

Here we can replace the terms ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ with ‘self’ and ‘world’. Which is what Descola was trying to produce in the ‘Ecology of Others.’ Western discourse believes it is complete and therefore other cosmologies should reflect it. It is pertinent however that we do not assume this. Each individual has their own system of meaning which they attach to the nature of their being. It seems both appropriate and fashionable in Western cultures to separate cultural being from natural being, as only one of those has the tools to survive within the systems capitalism and the neoliberal market have constructed. What must be understood is that all cognizant beings have a ‘self.’ This ‘self’ is only separated into sections by the environment they find themselves in such as their workplace or their community. What animation may give us is the picture of the human as a whole rather than the pieces we normally find ourselves in.

Fandoms, Youtubers, and Performance

We continue our journey through the internet with animation as our guiding trope. We encounter a phenomenon which lends itself to the anthropology as far back as Mauss, and gift exchange. With online community accounts offered for free, people can spend leisure time creating or enjoying fan art, which is more often than not, a reflection of some fandom or other.

The offering from YouTube comes from those who describe themselves as ‘Lets Plays.’ These YouTubers record themselves playing video games and their reactions to them. The most common reaction type is comedic, however, they vary. One such YouTuber calls himself Markiplier; his popularity exceeds 6 million subscribers. (Now with over 20 million as of June 2018). With this enormous fanbase dutifully watching his videos, he is able to make a living out of YouTube. Markiplier is known to play horror games in which he appears authentically frightened, which seems to be a large part of his allure. He is brave, according to himself. He uses his voice to give life to characters in the game. A memorable life-giving moment took place in his ‘lets play’ for an Amnesia custom story. He encounters a ‘tiny box’, pictured below, which he proceeds to call, ‘Tiny Box Tim.’ He announces he will bring Tiny Box Tim on adventures with him. Markiplier gives voice and life to an animation from a game. The first question that must be addressed is why? It would appear that humans give life to the inanimate; it seems to be innate for us to personify the world around us.

TinyBoxTimAnmesia.png

This event spawned an animation in which a cartoon Markiplier and Tiny Box Tim were inserted into the game, pictured in below, using an audio snippet from Markiplier’s original video. This 2.00-minute animation, which on Markiplier’s channel now has over 7 million views(now at 20 million), Was a made by a fellow YouTuber, and Markiplier fan called Lixian. This animation fascinating, not only as it awards the opportunity for the gamer Markiplier to appear inside the game, but it also gives life by means of animation to Tiny Box Tim. This character has gone on to appear in other Amnesia stories and animations with Markiplier. Markiplier set this in motion by imprinting himself onto Tiny Box Tim, which has spawned much fan art from Markiplier fans.

AnimatedTinyBoxTim

This is a wonderful example of Marcel Maus idea of gift exchange. Markiplier is free to use the channel to upload videos, he is compensated by YouTube for ad revenues in relation to time watched on his videos, allowing his viewers to watch for free. This is the result of a gift exchange between the YouTuber and the ‘fan’. This is described by Helleskon:

“…The gifts have value within the fannish economy in that they are designed to create and cement a social structure, but they themselves are not meaningful outside their context…”

So what we see unfolding is Markiplier’s video which provides comedy, in response fans that cannot compensate him in a conventional sense, create fan art such as the animation above. This performance is projected onto animations such as those during gameplay. Markiplier’s voice and personality is projected onto something inanimate, such as a tiny box.

This also is something which may affect Silvio’s belief that animated characters are the only ones that have lives of their own, as this is something live ‘characters’ such as Marilyn Monroe or Mick Jagger cannot have. In the case I have described above the animator Lixian became the live character of Markiplier by creating a representation of Markiplier through his own unique animation style, and use of Markiplier’s original audio. If we follow Silvio on this:

“When we follow an animated character we do much more than anthropormorpasize theme, we in fact, inject ourselves into them. Not only becoming like them, but becoming them, feeling what they are feeling and experiencing what they are feeling. Giving life and logic to something like an animated toy in Toy Story.”

Lixian created his interpretation of what happened, and now the animation gives us the possibility to feel not only what Markiplier felt but what Tiny Box Tim felt. Which pictured in below were; determination, joy, pride, and sadness.

The labour of humanity has allowed this to exist. Not only has a tiny box been animated, but it has been given the range of human emotions, making it real to us.

“Thanks to labour, humans extract their means of subsistence from their environment which they partially transform, metamorphosing themselves in the process in that they establish a social mediation with their fellow humans and with objects.”

Humans have this ability to personify the inanimate as we have a deep-rooted need to define the world. This is increasingly becoming the reality of play for children and adults alike. Play is now extended beyond childhood into a safe online environment, where we can build and define our relationships. We can see how we may like ourselves to be. The act of YouTubing as a ‘lets player’ has some interesting connotations when we consider this quote.

“Silvio points out that this is also true for moments of performance—all sorts of people enable actors to do their jobs. But when people interpret actors’ performance, they still focus on the embodied nature of the performance and the relationship of the actor to the role. Not so with animation. Animation brings this misrecognition in which a character is created by many to the foreground. So the labor underlying animation also contributes to the ways multiplicities can be conflated with an individual character…”

YouTubers are a phenomenon yet to be examined in great detail. YouTuber’s will often find animations of themselves, whether solicited or unsolicited, appearing from clips of their popular videos. This enables the fans to both insert themselves in the narrative of the YouTuber and also insert the YouTuber into the world of the game. The initial reaction of a YouTuber is as if they are in the game environment, which is the nature of gaming, whether you video yourself or not. By animating the moments, life has been brought to both the character of the YouTuber and the environment of the game.

Concluding Notions

Incredibly Manning & Gershon take Silvio animation tropes one step further adding an interesting dimension:

“What if this trope of animation sheds light on dilemmas otherwise obscured when one interprets interactions based on a self-divided by the tension between character and actor, between performance and true self?”

This offers something anthropology is always searching for in its discourse, especially when we consider the idea of the human having more than one self-described by Bourdieu’s ‘habitus’ and ‘field’ model. Although we are a complete person at all times when we are in certain situations we are enacting different versions of ourselves. Therefore interaction with animation is an interesting lens with which to view a person. For example, cosplayers, take an animated character, and embodied them, being both the character and themselves at the same time. Not only is this identifying mimicking an animation, but holding more than one reality in your mind at once.

We must remember we live in a world which is dominated by an online presence. Those of us online, have so many different identities, even in our use of emoticons to animate our emotions and reactions on what is a 2-dimensional space. It is undeniable that there are many versions of ourselves, and many use art to project themselves. A writer cannot separate themselves from their words, we now we have animations to enact ourselves through. They are templates waiting for someone to come along and ‘play’ them.

Copyright © 2018 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

Bibliography

  • Philippe Descola. 2013. The Ecology of Others. Prickly Paradigm Press, LLC 5629 South University Avenue.
  • Kohn, Eduardo. 2013. How Forests Think: Towards An Anthropology Beyond The Human. University of California Press. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London.
  • Silvio, Teri. 2010. Animation: The New Performance? Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology. American Anthropological Association.
  • Manning, Paul & Gershon, Ilana. 2013. Animating Interaction. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 3 (3): 107–37. Indiana University & Trent University.
  • Hellekson, Karen. 2009 A Fannish Field of Value: Online Fan Gift Culture. Cinema Journal, Vol. 48, No. 4 , pp. 113-118. Published by: University of Texas Press Society for Cinema & Media Studies.
  • Salzman, Philip Carl. 2002. On Reflexivity. American Anthropologist, Vol. 104, No. 3, pp. 805-813 Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association.
  • Gibson, Priscilla. Dickens’s Uses of Animism. Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 283-291 Published by: University of California Press.
Pictures

[i] Pocahontas. Disney.

Interested in this? Have a go at this one!

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/troid/

Food & It’s Surrounding Issues: An Introduction

Food & Climate Issues

During the final RTÉ debate on the 2016 general election, our incumbent Taoiseach Enda Kenny, could not answer a question put to him regarding climate change. When asked about the EU’s carbon emission targets versus our agricultural output Kenny, could not commit to either.

Our uneven production of greenhouse gases in the global north is increasingly causing devastation elsewhere. We need to meet our targets not only to avoid the hefty fines of the European Union but to avoid the devastating consequences to the natural world. The targets are not impossible. What is blocking our progress is our position as an agricultural nation, focused mostly on cattle rearing, and if we were to infringe on this part of our economy it would be irreparably damaged.

It’s a dilemma to be sure, but unlike many global issues with seemingly no solution, this one can be solved and to the benefit of the Irish public. The answer to the problem, however, is one most people don’t like discussing. It’s not just about reducing, reusing and recycling, it’s about a fourth ‘R’ word. We need to reinvent. We need to reinvent what we eat, how we eat and why we eat it. The results of this change in habits would produce positive effects on the global environment and to the individual.

All agricultural ventures require water, land and will inevitably contribute to greenhouse gases. Food is a huge industry, it must be considered in regards to sustainability. Cattle rearing is Ireland’s largest contributor to CO2 emissions so there is no doubt other food sources must be contemplated.

Food is a sensitive issue. Some people have too much, some people have too little, and overall we are all eating the wrong kinds. I have much more to say on this subject and this will not be my last discussion on food. So I ask you this, what if instead of eating so much beef and pork, we cultivated and ate insects? They require significantly less land and water and produce significantly fewer carbon emissions than cattle. They have many health benefits and can be treated as a sustainable food source.

I will continue this series in an attempt to justify my reasons for wanting us to eat insects, at the moment I will leave you with this consideration, we must think ahead, for the future of our planet. We must reinvent ourselves and that may mean eating cricket bread.

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

If you like this post, why not read my last one?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/stories-from-another-national-election-uganda/

Resources:

https://www.facebook.com/foodanthro/

 

Stories from another national election: Uganda

From Ireland to Uganda

Ireland’s 2016 general election has clouded my news feed, naturally. As a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, the results affect the social and economic situation of my loved ones. So far I am unable to ‘spot’ the winning coalition through a mixture of uncertainty and hope that the one blatantly staring us in the face doesn’t come to fruition. I’m disquieted by the possibility of a Fine Gael / Fianna Fáil coalition.

One week and a day before our own general election, Yoweri Museveni was once again elected President of Uganda. Although he is credited with overseeing some political and economic stability, his fifth re-election proves once more that he is too long in his position of power. Some of the voting was reported to be unfairly rolled out. Many balloting papers did not reach certain areas deemed to be less than ‘Museveni friendly’ until late afternoon. According to The Economist, it was “It is a tactic to disenfranchise people in the opposition’s urban strongholds.”

As this 30-year story trundles on (Museveni has been in power since 1986) the world occupies itself with more pressing matters such as the Oscars and Kim Kardashian. Regardless there is still a weight on my shoulders. Why is it that those that are in need of a voice get such a small portion of the exposure?

Under the Ugandan National Development Plan women are judged to be under-represented in many political and economic forums. “Uganda’s development progress, however, continues to be constrained by gender inequalities and social vulnerabilities.” While this is true there is little being done to change this at a governmental level. NGOs, human rights organisations, and brave local women continue the battle on the ground. We try and sleep soundly at night by telling ourselves we’ve done our part by reading the article.

Leading up to the election 7 children where reportedly sacrificed in blood rituals associated with wealth and power. This did reach the world’s newspapers today however these killings began in October of last year. Children are the most vulnerable group, entirely unable to speak for themselves, and rather than give them a voice, their deaths are muffled in a sea of seemingly irrelevant garble. The world has failed those young souls.

This is not a comprehensive view of the Ugandan election story, it is merely small pieces of a puzzle I’ve picked up but have been unable to complete. It’s piqued my interest as some of the stories ran parallel to our own election. I am as equally guilty of participation in the irrelevant garble; it keeps the voices at bay.

Copyright © 2016 Thinkingmoon.com – All rights reserved

If you liked this post, why not read my last one?

https://thinkingaheadblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/some-thoughts-on-women-representatives-in-irish-politics/

Sources:

FIDH 2012 Report On Women’s rights in Uganda: https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/uganda582afinal.pdf

Today’s Zaman:  http://www.todayszaman.com/life_report-children-sacrificed-to-bring-luck-in-uganda-polls_413581.html

The Economist: http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21693331-after-30-years-office-why-quit-now-yoweri-museveni-wins-fifth-term-ugandas

Uganda’s National Development Plan: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1860/National_Development_Plan_2010_11-2014_15.pdf

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