Thomas Barnett, the military, and anthropology

Mark Dawson posted the video of Thomas Barnett’s talk to on Febrary 2 in the expectation that you might be pissed off, or you might be impressed. I appreciated seeing it. I was mostly impressed, and not too pissed off even though I disagree with a number of Barnet's basic assumptions about how the … Continue reading Thomas Barnett, the military, and anthropology

Popular and Traditional Culture

Living in another country means that you are always drawing comparisons with your own culture.  Sometimes it seems like globalization runs rampant.  Commonalities are seen all around you, in our case between our home in California, and our temporary home in southern Germany.  An example is my daughter’s analysis of the television show "Deutschland Sucht … Continue reading Popular and Traditional Culture

In Memory of a Friend

Today I attended a memorial mass celebrating the life of a friend and colleague, Dr. John Alfred Pierre Dennis, Jr., who died on February 9, 2008 (b. 10/21/48). Dr. D, as he was known to students, was one of those people whose spirit literally seemed to linger in the room after he left - making … Continue reading In Memory of a Friend

The Importance of Mentors

As somebody who is going through same major transitions in life, I’ve been thinking about how important mentors are in one’s life. I would bet there are very few people in this world who truly believe that they got where they are in life completely alone. As in my case, there are many different people … Continue reading The Importance of Mentors

On The Road Again

Hello from a random TA truckstop along I-10 in Arizona.  I spent 10 years of my life criss-crossing the country as a performer and I have to say I have a major soft spot for a good truck stop.  I have eaten in them, showered there, caught up on the news, and spent many, many … Continue reading On The Road Again

Confusing Things

So it's midterm time, and also time for me to do my self-check (stolen from my colleague and best pal, Cindy herself):  have the students write down the most interesting, most confusing, and most important things they have learned so far in the class. Thus far, we've been reading Margaret Mead's Growing Up in New … Continue reading Confusing Things

Letter of Recommendation, Academic Influence Peddling, and Related Pet Peeves

Letter of recommendation writing season has come and passed. I probably did 10 or 15 letters for a variety of academic jobs, graduate school applications, and served as a reference on a couple more job applications. I do not mind writing the letters, because I know that my students need to get past this hurdle. … Continue reading Letter of Recommendation, Academic Influence Peddling, and Related Pet Peeves

Thomas Barnett: The Pentagon’s new map for war and peace

Every year in Monterey, CA there is a famous conference called TED. Think of it as the Burning Man of the Digerati and Intelligencia crowd. Invitation-only and a few thousand bucks to attend. The speakers are often very high profile, or obscure and thought provoking. Thomas Barnett has been a Pentagon adviser on how the … Continue reading Thomas Barnett: The Pentagon’s new map for war and peace