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Internet Use and E-Commerce in Developing Countries

The UN today published the E-Commerce and Development Report 2002 (PDF-Datei, 272 Seiten). It's an important data and information source, it seems. And I guess you can find everything you wan't to know about IT and developing countries ... but I don't wan't to read it without needing to ;-) Gladly Forbes (english) and heise (german) are writing only about some important facts of the report.

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The Indigenous Maori of New Zealand in Cyberwar with LEGO

The maori people, inigenous people of New Zealand, are probably using some kind of modern shamanism to defend their culture. The LEGO-Company produced some action-toys bearing some names and religious words of the maori, like Toa, Mata Nui, Pohatu, Whenua, and Tohunga. The company did already stop producing last year, after maori people protested. But now a hacker did attack a fan site, were the old names and words are still in use. But the american fans also seem to have "The Power": They hacked some maori sites. The result: The LEGO-Fan-Site is still down, the maori sites were temporally unavailable. Spiegel (german) reports, they are assuming that in fact anti-globalisation activist around Indymedia did the attack. Stuff (english) is also reporting. Update:And somedays after us Wired reported about the story.

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Southeast Borneo, History

KnapenKNAPEN, HAN. 2001. Forests of Fortune? The environemental history of Southeast Borneo, 1600-1880. Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 189. Leiden:KITLV Press. [ISBN 90 6718 158. 33,-- Euro]

"The book deals with the relationship between people and the natural environment in Southeast Borneo, based on many hitherto unused primary sources. It describes the ways in which people made a living within the wide range of environments found here, focusing on agriculture, hunting, fishing, animal husbandry, forest exploitation, and the collection of products for the market. It deals with the impact of these activities on the natural environment and attempts to explain why most areas were strikingly little affected until modern times, yet others showed clear signs of human occupation and exploitation from an early date."

In the next issue of TRIBUS (Linden-Museum, Stuttgart) you will find a book review by Martin Baier.

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Big ANTHROPOLOGICAL Party - "Ethnofest"

The same procedure as every year...

...every semestre the students of the Institut für Ethnologie und Afrikanistik in München organize a big party to welcome all our new students and to celebrate with everyone else thoughout all grades. Everyone is invited - everyone is welcome to bring friends with lots of energy. This year our anthropological party will take place THURSDAY, 21.11.2002, at:

S U B S T A N Z , Ruppertstr. 28, München (best take underground U3/U6 to Poccistr. and follow our signposts)

Entry at 08:00 pm, Fee 3.00 Euros, ... ...with music by DJ Fishsurfer, Bruno & Marc

See ya all !!! Cheers !!!

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Laughing Epidemic

Has anyone already heared about a laughing epedemic 1962 in Tansania? The Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports about it in an article about scientific reseach of laughing: "Betrachten wir zum Beispiel jene bemerkenswerte Lachepidemie, die 1962 in einer Mädchenschule in Tanganjika (heute Tansania) ausbrach. Die ersten Symptome traten am 30. Januar auf, als drei Mädchen einen Kicheranfall bekamen und nicht mehr aufhören konnten zu lachen. Die Symptome griffen bald auf alle 95 Schülerinnen über, bis die Schule am 18. März schliesslich den Unterricht einstellen musste. Die Mädchen wurden nach Hause geschickt, von wo sich die Epidemie weiter ausbreitete. In anderen Schulen Zentralafrikas kam es zu weiteren Ausbrüchen, die sich wie ein Lauffeuer ausbreiteten, und als die Epidemie zwei Jahre später verebbte, hatte sie etwa 1000 Menschen, zumeist Frauen und Mädchen, ereilt." Really strange stuff. Via Quimbo

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Comparing Things in Cyberethnology

In the last days I was discovering a little mistake in my (and others?) concept of Cyberethnology: As I know, researchers were always or often thinking about internet culture as a new culture, which has differences to offline cultures. For example, you compare commodification in online games to commodification in real markets, and discover similarities and differences (see also older story). Or a fellow student at our institute does research about democracy in the internet compared to the offline world, another one about ethnical conflicts in the internet (also with comparing or measuring it to the offline world). But taking internet culture serious means, that we are always aware that it's nearly as complex as the offline world and that there are really huge differences inside the internet. I mean, the differences of it to the offline world are really obvious and most of them (definitely not all!) are most likely based only on the technical difference, not in the cultural. The cultural interesting thing rather is: How are the differnces inside? As "inside" the technical difference is lesser. So taking internet culture serious means, that we are aware, that the internet is a own social space with it's own rules, of course affected by the offline world, but meanwhile maybe more affected by itself. So, what I would do to understand the internet, will rather be comparing different internet cultures. For example, commodification in one online game community compared to another (ok, this is stupid as it's most likely influenced by the game programing code). Another example: Comparing forum tradition and use and habits of one community to another. Intuitive I would guess, this would be more interesting as comparing it to offline communication of communities. Of course, this means not that comparing to the offline world is senseless. I think, at the moment it's only less interesting. Comparing to offline worlds is necessary for adapting our theorys. But then - as researches interested in culture - we should look at the different cultures inside the internet space.

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Presentation: Fieldwork in Cyberia II

This presentation is about Fieldwork in Cyberia and about the editorial of Christine Hines book "Virtual Ethnography" You can get the paper for my presentation here. Referat FF in Cyberia II Paper (application/msword, 35 KB)

The Paper is in German.

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