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Re: [SACC-L] Fwd: Gusterson/Feaver debate, For. Policy, Aug 08

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  • Kip Waldo
    So it is just the source of the funding, not the purpose of the study? Operation Phoenix, centered at MSU, was a problem of misreading the situation? The
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 20 7:04 AM
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      So it is just the source of the funding, not the purpose of the study? Operation Phoenix, centered at MSU, was a problem of "misreading" the situation? The U.S. is doing what in Iraq and Afghanistan?

      We have learned nothing from the past? I guess if following the money is the guide I don't have much to say to my students who could make much more than I do by slinging crack on the corner or cooking up some meth in the kitchen.

      kip

      >>> Lloyd Miller <lloyd.miller@...> 08/19/08 11:09 PM >>>
      Hey George,

      The exchanges between Gusterson and Feaver on Pentagon funding are
      interesting. I noticed that the American Psychological Ass'n is also
      voting on a resolution that its members should refuse to work in
      interrogation settings where torture is present (e.g., Guantanamo,
      etc.).

      I think that Gusterson's point that the source of funding inevitably
      influences the study irrespective of intentions is persuasive. I
      wonder if Gates would actually consider his suggestion of placing the
      money with NSF instead. It would be interesting to hear his reasons
      for not doing so. On the other hand, Feaver does make a point that
      many scholars would simply follow the money (it's their livelihood,
      they must put their kids through college, etc.), thus the Pentagon's
      Minerva project would be successful and the so-called leftist
      anthropologist dissenters would be seen as largely irrelevant.

      In the final analysis, though, I side with the irrelevant ones.

      Lloyd

      On Aug 12, 2008, at 11:01 AM, George Thomas wrote:

      > www.foreignpolicy.com/story/files/story4398.php



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • George Thomas
      Clearly the source-of-funding aspect has taken on massive influence, while the research design, intentions, scope of the study take a back seat. Any narrow
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 21 7:46 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        Clearly the source-of-funding aspect has taken on massive influence, while the research design, intentions, scope of the study take a back seat. Any narrow research focus should now come as spin-off perks from massive Defense contract work.
        I thought Gusterson's approach represented some sort of breakthrough, but only because SecDef Gates has proven to be a cabinet officer capable of paying attention. As far as "human terrain," shadowy funding via the CIA, and integrity of informed consent/trust, there seems to be some sort of growing awareness that these are issues at least as important as sending the marines wherever there's some crisis. It's crucial to remember that the political reaction has become institutionalized: one always questions source of funding regardless of the research intentions. Old 1963 mistakes (and Pres. Kennedy killed Project Camelot) served as one stimulus, assuring that anthro research would be suspect.
        And hey, the meth lab option is out there. I haven't heard about that kind of loot becoming available through some government contract.... (Some suppressed info from Halliburton and KBR notwithstanding..... we're talking about us LITTLE peeps). It's just that other sources of funding have been far more exclusive and harder to get.
        And as the "purist" argument becomes more irrelevant (cheers, Lloyd), we also move away from that most anthropological of areas: culture & personality and its descendants. If we forget about the irrationality within movements and the variations in motivation, we'll ignore that knee-jerk assumption that our funding source necessarily means disaster for the subjects of anthro study.
        And keep an eye out for American Psych Ass'n pronoucements. They are also the source of that ban on "polygraph" evidence in court. As anthros inch closer to irrelevant political side-issues, we might do well to remember that the magic "lie detector" is but an interrogation tool.
        G


        SACC-L@yahoogroups.com wrote:
        Date: 21 Aug 2008 11:08:53 -0000
        From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SACC-L] Digest Number 1642

        There is 1 message in this issue.

        Topics in this digest:

        1a. Re: Fwd: Gusterson/Feaver debate, For. Policy, Aug 08
        From: Kip Waldo


        Message
        ________________________________________________________________________
        1a. Re: Fwd: Gusterson/Feaver debate, For. Policy, Aug 08
        Posted by: "Kip Waldo" kwaldo@... kipandfei
        Date: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:04 am ((PDT))

        So it is just the source of the funding, not the purpose of the study? Operation Phoenix, centered at MSU, was a problem of "misreading" the situation? The U.S. is doing what in Iraq and Afghanistan?

        We have learned nothing from the past? I guess if following the money is the guide I don't have much to say to my students who could make much more than I do by slinging crack on the corner or cooking up some meth in the kitchen.

        kip

        >>> Lloyd Miller 08/19/08 11:09 PM >>>
        Hey George,

        The exchanges between Gusterson and Feaver on Pentagon funding are
        interesting. I noticed that the American Psychological Ass'n is also
        voting on a resolution that its members should refuse to work in
        interrogation settings where torture is present (e.g., Guantanamo,
        etc.).

        I think that Gusterson's point that the source of funding inevitably
        influences the study irrespective of intentions is persuasive. I
        wonder if Gates would actually consider his suggestion of placing the
        money with NSF instead. It would be interesting to hear his reasons
        for not doing so. On the other hand, Feaver does make a point that
        many scholars would simply follow the money (it's their livelihood,
        they must put their kids through college, etc.), thus the Pentagon's
        Minerva project would be successful and the so-called leftist
        anthropologist dissenters would be seen as largely irrelevant.

        In the final analysis, though, I side with the irrelevant ones.

        Lloyd

        On Aug 12, 2008, at 11:01 AM, George Thomas wrote:

        > www.foreignpolicy.com/story/files/story4398.php



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




        Messages in this topic (4)



        Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/

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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • bdlqvcc
        As one who has actively questioned anthropologists engagement in research (applied or otherwise) for efforts such as the so- called Human Terrain Project, I
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 21 8:32 AM
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          As one who has actively questioned anthropologists' engagement
          in "research" (applied or otherwise) for efforts such as the so-
          called Human Terrain Project, I think it amazing how we can
          rationalize such engagement when the powers that be dangle funds in
          front of us. And how this then shapes any subsequent discourse, as
          if "purists" are the ones to be called into question. A recent death
          of a "social scientist" in the Human Terrain program was reported not
          long ago and became another facet of the "humanitarian contribution
          of social scientists" discourse, that continues to cloud the issues
          involved in this whole matter.

          Recently it was also reported that the supposedly "spectacular"
          rescue of hostages in Colombia, and a proposed "false flag" shoot
          down of a plane over Iran, each used or proposed the use of the
          identity of ostensibly neutral NGO's (the Red Cross and the UN) to
          carry out covert operations. These are clearly offenses (legal or
          otherwise) against the very nature of these organziations, and most
          people will see the potential for damage such actions could have
          toward the integrity of such organizations. Anthropologists as
          professionals, who present themselves as 'researchers,' looking for
          the trust and openness of those with whom they study, as the bedrock
          of their profession, can't affort to be any less circumspect than
          such NGO's about the integrity of what we do. And "following the
          money" abolutely has to be part of this.



          --- In SACC-L@yahoogroups.com, George Thomas <broruprecht@...> wrote:
          >
          > Clearly the source-of-funding aspect has taken on massive
          influence, while the research design, intentions, scope of the study
          take a back seat. Any narrow research focus should now come as spin-
          off perks from massive Defense contract work.
          > I thought Gusterson's approach represented some sort of
          breakthrough, but only because SecDef Gates has proven to be a
          cabinet officer capable of paying attention. As far as "human
          terrain," shadowy funding via the CIA, and integrity of informed
          consent/trust, there seems to be some sort of growing awareness that
          these are issues at least as important as sending the marines
          wherever there's some crisis. It's crucial to remember that the
          political reaction has become institutionalized: one always questions
          source of funding regardless of the research intentions. Old 1963
          mistakes (and Pres. Kennedy killed Project Camelot) served as one
          stimulus, assuring that anthro research would be suspect.
          > And hey, the meth lab option is out there. I haven't heard about
          that kind of loot becoming available through some government
          contract.... (Some suppressed info from Halliburton and KBR
          notwithstanding..... we're talking about us LITTLE peeps). It's just
          that other sources of funding have been far more exclusive and harder
          to get.
          > And as the "purist" argument becomes more irrelevant (cheers,
          Lloyd), we also move away from that most anthropological of areas:
          culture & personality and its descendants. If we forget about the
          irrationality within movements and the variations in motivation,
          we'll ignore that knee-jerk assumption that our funding source
          necessarily means disaster for the subjects of anthro study.
          > And keep an eye out for American Psych Ass'n pronoucements. They
          are also the source of that ban on "polygraph" evidence in court. As
          anthros inch closer to irrelevant political side-issues, we might do
          well to remember that the magic "lie detector" is but an
          interrogation tool.
          > G
          >
          >
          > SACC-L@yahoogroups.com wrote:
          > Date: 21 Aug 2008 11:08:53 -0000
          > From: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          > To: SACC-L@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [SACC-L] Digest Number 1642
          >
          > There is 1 message in this issue.
          >
          > Topics in this digest:
          >
          > 1a. Re: Fwd: Gusterson/Feaver debate, For. Policy, Aug 08
          > From: Kip Waldo
          >
          >
          > Message
          >
          ______________________________________________________________________
          __
          > 1a. Re: Fwd: Gusterson/Feaver debate, For. Policy, Aug 08
          > Posted by: "Kip Waldo" kwaldo@... kipandfei
          > Date: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:04 am ((PDT))
          >
          > So it is just the source of the funding, not the purpose of the
          study? Operation Phoenix, centered at MSU, was a problem
          of "misreading" the situation? The U.S. is doing what in Iraq and
          Afghanistan?
          >
          > We have learned nothing from the past? I guess if following the
          money is the guide I don't have much to say to my students who could
          make much more than I do by slinging crack on the corner or cooking
          up some meth in the kitchen.
          >
          > kip
          >
          > >>> Lloyd Miller 08/19/08 11:09 PM >>>
          > Hey George,
          >
          > The exchanges between Gusterson and Feaver on Pentagon funding are
          > interesting. I noticed that the American Psychological Ass'n is
          also
          > voting on a resolution that its members should refuse to work in
          > interrogation settings where torture is present (e.g., Guantanamo,
          > etc.).
          >
          > I think that Gusterson's point that the source of funding
          inevitably
          > influences the study irrespective of intentions is persuasive. I
          > wonder if Gates would actually consider his suggestion of placing
          the
          > money with NSF instead. It would be interesting to hear his reasons
          > for not doing so. On the other hand, Feaver does make a point that
          > many scholars would simply follow the money (it's their livelihood,
          > they must put their kids through college, etc.), thus the
          Pentagon's
          > Minerva project would be successful and the so-called leftist
          > anthropologist dissenters would be seen as largely irrelevant.
          >
          > In the final analysis, though, I side with the irrelevant ones.
          >
          > Lloyd
          >
          > On Aug 12, 2008, at 11:01 AM, George Thomas wrote:
          >
          > > www.foreignpolicy.com/story/files/story4398.php
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Messages in this topic (4)
          >
          >
          >
          > Find out more at our web page :http://webs.anokaramsey.edu/sacc/
          >
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------
          ----
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
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          >
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          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
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