18.759 culture is popular

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 3 May 2005 07:04:36 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 759.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 06:59:52 +0100
         From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli_at_indiana.edu>
         Subject: Culture is Popular (was: Zeitgeist metrics)

[Disclaimer: I'm a cultural anthropologist. Our concept of culture is quite
broad but rather specific.]

About Oppenheimer's notion of a "common culture," I must admit that the
very thought scares me a great deal. Culture, to me (or, to us,
anthropologists), is supposed to be diverse, open, and dynamic (not to
mention "learned, symbolic, integrated, all-encompassing, and shared"). A
"common culture" sounds quite Orwellian.
"And all day, and all night, and everything is just blue, like him, inside
and outside"

Steve's insightful points and quick analysis of that week's zeitgeist
reminds me of this NYT article on the 2002 Google Zeitgeist:
<http://tinyurl.com/b8qs7>. In that article, some patterns were described,
including peaks in popularity for the group Las Ketchup. Fascinating.
In fact, the statistics themselves include a graph on the Las Ketchup
phenomenon: <http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist2002.html>. The one for
2003 also has some graphs about SARS, Iraq, and Roland Garros:

The world is still diverse. The hegemonic mold, whether it may be
corporate, intellectual, or traditional, leaks as much as a grammar.

Received on Tue May 03 2005 - 02:18:37 EDT

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