Razib Khan published an interesting article “Our Cats, Ourselves” about the evolution of the domestic cat. The article describes how domestication of felines over the last 10,000 years has resulted in a critter that is both biologically and socially adapted to live with humans. The genetic element has resulted in smaller cranial sizes, and so forth. The social part at the same time includes adaptation to human-created environments that came with the invention of agriculture, and the emergence of “domestic” rodents. Razib is pursuing a PhD in Genetics, but has a long history of blogging about a wide range of subjects, including history, anthropology, and general science. Occasionally, he has commented here at ethnography.com.
The New York Times has had a good week with writing interesting and engaging op-ed about social scientific subjects. Here is a good meditation on the American Myth of the Individual, which traces its roots in the classical philosophy of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. Emphasized is that very basis of sociology and anthropology which is that first and foremost humans are social beings, not biological beings. It is written by John Terrell, an anthropologist.
Tony Waters is czar and editor of Ethnography.com. He came to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2016 though he suddenly found himself with a new gig at Payap University in northern Thailand where he is on the faculty of the Peace Studies Department. He has also been a guest professor in Germany, and Tanzania. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). His books include: Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child (2012). His hobby is trying to learn strange languages–and the mistakes that that implies. Tony is a prolific academic, you can read more of his work at academia.edu.or purchase one (or more!) of his books from Amazon.com.