:: Sonner la cloche anthropologique :: Ringing the anthropological bell ::
:: Die ethnologische Glocke läuten :: Tocar la campana antropológica ::


Für alle Ethnolgen, die nach einer neuen qualititiven Forschungsmethode suchen, gibt es die Internetseite

Viel Spaß beim Kennenlernen.

PLUS: Bei Interesse können wir den Entwickler der Methode zu einem Vortrag einladen.

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Interview oben rein, Ergebnisse unten raus, oder wie soll das funktionieren?

Eine Inhaltsanalyse, die Text als Informationsmaterial begreift, dass von einem PC bearbeitet werden kann, macht schon in der Sozialforschung nur begrenzt Sinn, in der Ethnologie überhaupt nicht, weil Begriffe und Konzepte in fremden Kulturen noch weniger ohne Interpretation auskommen.

Ich will über dieses Programm nicht urteilen, weil ich es nicht kenne und nicht weiß, was es macht. Aber ich bin da sehr skeptisch, weil ich kein Freund von einem kybernetischen Informationsbegriff bin.

Wer Geertz, Gadamer, Ricoeur, Bachtin oder Barthes gelesen hat und einen postmodernen Textbegriff vertritt, käme nicht auf die Idee, so eine automatisierte Wort-Netzwerkanalyse zu machen.

Aber vielleicht bringt das den Freunden der quantitativen Sozialforschung etwas, weil man aus einem Text schneller Zahlen herausziehen kann. Einen soliden Fragebogen zum Ankreuzen, bei dem der Interviewte weiß, dass er seine Gedanken reduzieren muss, halte ich aber in dem ohnehin begrenzten Anwendungsbereich der quantitativen Sozialforschung für die besser Methode.

Für die Ethnologie ist das definitiv nichts.

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Vielleicht haben Sie ja nur meinen Text gelesen, sich die Internetseite gar nicht erst angeschaut.

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Das können Sie ja sicher mit dem Programm herausfinden.

Aber mal im Ernst: Das war nur eine erste Kommentierung. Sie sind herzlich eingeladen, den Nutzen des Programms für die Ethnologie zu zeigen und meine Vorwürfe zu entkräften. Ich habe nichts dagegen, wenn es hier zu einer Debatte darüber kommt. Was analysiert das Programm denn? Grammatikalische Bezüge? Worthäufigkeiten?

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Das muss ich selbst noch herausfinden. Ich habe erst ein kurzes Einführungsgespräch mit dem Entwickler des Programms geführt (da ich es interessant fand, wollte ich es auch anderen Studenten/ Forschern etc. zugänglich machen). Seine email Adresse steht auf der oben genannten Homepage - fragen Sie ihn am Besten selber!

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Na hoffentlich bekommen Sie jetzt keinen Ärger, weil Sie ohne eine Lizenz zu besitzen hier bei uns Werbung für das Programm gemacht haben, siehe Copyright-Bestimmung von Gabek.

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sieht nicht gut aus

ich tipp mal: alles nur geklaut

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social sciences software licence madness

All right, I took a li'l look into the matter, as it seemed that some kind of discussion around GABEK seemed to start to unfold within this confines here. To set the record straight from the beginning: I did not have my hands on the software itself, nor did I read everything on the according website. I read around the site to a certain extent, but honestly couldn't yet make heads nor tails about the software's actual workings, what it exactly does. Maybe this article would enlighten me, if I'd read it from the first to the last line. But I already stumbled over a series of things ... so this is some kind of very subjective account of someone who claims to have some insight into anthropology, software and licences attached to the latter. Enough of the prolegomena, now it's time for some slapping around with a large trout.

To be honest, what struck me first and intuitively lets me shy away from the software package, was the (R) symbol attached to GABEK and WinRelan. In the case of knowledge or even 'products' stemming from academia I deem a (CC) way more healthier. Way more. That may well be the prejudice of someone who has hung out on the Net for too long, so I read on till I reached the licences. There are two of them, one for academical (English version | German version) use of the software and one for commercial use (English version | German version).

The commercial licence doesn't give a figure for the "Lisence fees" [no typo from my side], but states that they're subject to negotiation. The rest of the licence is a heap of terribly restrictive babble, among which some goodies feature really prominent, like: "L[icencee] has no right to make any changes of any sort to G[ABEK]. Should he/she wish to do so, he/she must inform Z[elger] without delay. L has no rights to reverse engineer, decompil or disassembl the software WinRelan." [again no typos from my side] All of that in a way is perfectly all right with me, as the victims will be from the corporate world—milk 'em, or suck 'em dry, or whatever is to your taste.

But now for something completely different, or at least something which should be something completely different, the licence for academical use. Let's start with the seemingly unavoidable: The minimum fee for using the software for academical purposes amounts to 192,- Euros. plonk Usage duration is limited to a maximum of one year. :o Do I get this right? I pay onehundredandninetytwo Euros and am allowed to use the software for one year only? Not even the MPAA goes as far with their IP-craze. Just Yesterday afternoon I bought "I, Robot" on DVD and had to lay just 12,99 Euros upon the counter. And guess what? Twentieth Century Fox now allows me to watch the movie over and over again until I die. And my heirs, and their heirs, and so on, are allowed to do so, too. But just wait a sec and hold your breath, I'll reveal the licence's real goodies in a moment. Please allow me to quote part 3 ("Obligations of the licensee" [It's licencee, for Christ's sake!]) in full:

"L[icencee] keeps Z[elger] informed about the progress and the results of the application of G[ABEK]. L reports on essential experiences (errors, suggested improvements, etc.) and particularly on type and scope of verbal data, especially on:

  • problems and background of the situation
  • analytical steps implemented and methods of evaluation
  • questions that have arisen during implementation, difficulties and their solutions
  • a summary of results and experiences gained during realisation
  • new and improved application possibilities.
    In the case of errors that may occur in the project work L undertakes to document any discrepancies or errors in such a way that a technical revision of the program may be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Normally the submission of the relevant WinRelan files saved before and after the error and the applicable log-file with a written description of the problem is sufficient Z will receive the final WinRelan-file by e-mail or on disc, the summary on hard copy in quotable form, the final title of the project and possible publications connected with GABEK.
    Provided there are no express contradictions, the projects can be entered by Z in the list of GABEK-applications under the name of L, title, and assignment area.

In research reports and publications the copyright is to be quoted by L on first mention (i.e. "GABEK and WinRelan © Josef Zelger, Innsbruck")."

I mean, c'mon, r u serious ... or insane?

Do you really want me to pay you 192,- Euros in order to gain the right to work for you as a beta-tester for one year? Or is it an alpha, you released? And furthermore I have to give you all my research results, documented research steps, and publications? Who do you think I am? I mean even Mother Theresa would have laughed straight into your face because of that proposal.

The copyright holders of GABEK aim at a certain academical group as potential customers. As GABEK is to be used for "a thesis (e.g. master thesis etc)", and the project has to be "no larger in scope than a dissertation". Well, till some years ago I was within that group, too, and I wrote a doctoral thesis. Interested in the results? Well, go and buy the book, 395 pages of glossy paper, containing a juicy story of anthropology, sex, drugs, magick, and rock'n'roll. For 19,- Euros, 13,- Euros if you are a student. If you have bought the book, it's your property, you can do with it whatever you want to. You can read it until you die, you can put it below your table-leg if that one happens to be exactly 2,1 cm too short, or you can make a bonfire of it. As you wish, it's your property then. No interest in spending nineteen Euros? Then, the fuck, download the whole piece of shit. The exact .pdf-file from which the printer made the book is online for free, CC-licenced. Welcome to the 21st century.

No offence nene4, whoever you are—I refrain from some IP-tracking, but I've got a vague idea where this process would lead me to, topographically—are you really asking me to invite GABEK's sales representative to give a lecture at my institute? And in the end I shall ask the university to cover her/his travel expenses and accomodation? Well, I am making a fool of myself all the time, confessed, but I won't drive it thus far.

Personally I wouldn't go as far as Richard Stallman does and state, that software is a human right, but GABEK's above quoted licence for academical use goes way too far into the other direction. Yes, information wants to be free, especially information and knowledge generated within academia. And academical knowledge that I am generating—if I ever really will, that is—for sure doesn't want to be the property of the maker of the tools I used to generate it. Adobe never asked me to send them one of my books for free, just because I used software they created to make a .pdf of my text.

Slap a CC-licence onto your product and write some sane terms of use for academics and I may, I may, have a look into the usability of your software for the noble discipline of sociocultural anthropology. Welcome to the Internet, to the blogosphere, and again to the 21st century.

--zeph enraged

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Great comment, zeph, really. The licence shows that there is no real interest to GIVE something to the science community while its really clear what the want to GET.

Its a bad joke. Imagine, Levi-Strauss would have sold his structuralism for 192.- bucks to everyone who likes to use it for a year, haha!

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Thanks zeph, you´re THE MAN!

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Josef Zelger answered some weeks later to this thread in a new article.

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