Category Archives: Uncategorized

Writing for Nature

I love nature, but as a terrestrial primate, I have a love of tools as well.  A simple knife is usually enough for me, with that I can make nearly anything else, given enough time, but I like other tools as well; rope, cameras, and computers to name a few.

I am often teased for the tools I carry (I have full pockets), but the teasing is usually good natured as I use all the tools I carry on a regular basis and others often benefit from my tool use.  One of the tools I carry is a smartphone, an iPhone to be specific.  What I like best about it is not the phone aspect, but the computer aspect.  It is a surprisingly versatile  field science and reference tool, even setting aside the ability to go online from the field.

People often ask me what apps I use, so I…

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Primatology.net

Ethnoprimatology is defined as the approach that draws from primate socioecology, ethnoecology/environmental anthropology, and conservation biology. This approach enable us to see the multifaceted interaction between humans and nonhuman primates in a dynamic ecosystem. It seems to be something I would like to do and learn more. What’s a better way to incorporate the fundamentals of cultural anthropology and biological anthropology.

An ethnoprimatology paper by Riley and Priston (2010) on the American Journal of Primatology, Macaques in farms and folklore: exploring the human-nonhuman primate interface in Sulawesi, Indonesia(free abstract) explores the complex interaction between macaques and humans through overlapping resource use and cultural perceptions of macaques. If you do not have access to the paper, I can send you a copy of the pdf.

Macaca tonkeana, one of the endemic macaque species of Sulawesi. Photo from Wikipedia.

There are six species of macaques endemic to the island of Sulawesi. Macaca…

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Interesting and gorgeous art that reverses the idea of species and habitat. #beautiful

I can see all sorts of cool ways to use these images to talk about various biodiversity issues. Habitat nuances come to mind, but also the general idea that our industrial system is pretty much propped by things that are alive.


“The Take Over”


“Pigression”


“Sheep Country”

By the awesome Brandy Masch. Lots more to see at her website (Note, she also did some amazing work for phylomon which I’ll try and highlight later.

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Sociobiology

False theories die with disproof, but false data may live forever, or so my undergraduate advisor, Richard D. Alexander, told me. A single false fact can corrupt a dataset, a study, even a field. I remembered this as I counted the cells in wasp nest after wasp nest, patiently moving a dental mirror from one side to the other, nudging nighttime wasps aside so my cell count would be correct. I worked half the night in hot Brackenridge Field Laboratory meadows. After all, what would happen if it looked like there were fewer instead of more cells a few nights later?

Perhaps I need not have worried about those thousands of measurements, as accurate as I could make them with one, two, even three or four, counts on difficult nests. But I kept what Dick said in mind, ever aware of how devastating a false claim could be.

Fairly…

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A great resource for literary science writing!

Science Writing

We do have literary and narrative science writing before World War II: Rachel Carson, Joseph Mitchell, John Steinbeck, etc. After mid-century, the change from private to public science had enormous consequences, and one of those was the birth of science writing as a distinct field (Franklin).

There also was a change in literature at this same time, a proclaimed “death of fiction,” of the great novel. Some argue that nonfiction writers stepped in to fill the void: Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S. Thompson. Meanwhile, John McPhee started writing for The New Yorker.

So, what is literary journalism, narrative, creative nonfiction, etc.? You can lump these together or tease them apart. In essence, the forms of writing are often said to “borrow the tools of fiction” to craft true stories. Others would argue that true stories are the original stories. Here are some elements that can…

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Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Education Innovation, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions

Stephen J. Goulds Criticism of the Theory Evolutionary Psychology

Stephen J Gould’s criticism of evolutionary psychology is actually from the perspective of an evolutionist. He wrote a piece for the New York Review of Books in 1997 which became an exchange on the principles, assumptions, and problems of evolutionary psychology (Gould seems to be taking on Steven Pinkers work How the Mind Works along with other popular titles). Goulds thesis in “Darwininan Fundmentalism” is this:

Evolutionary psychology could, in my view, become a fruitful science by replacing its current penchant for narrow, and often barren, speculation with respect for the pluralistic range of available alternatives that are just as evolutionary in status, more probable in actual occurrence, and not limited to the blinkered view that evolutionary explanations must identify adaptation produced by natural selection.

Gould criticizes what he calls the Darwinian fundamentalists (aka evolutionary psychologists including Pinker et…

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Haitus

Almost through applying to graduate school (disease ecology and evolution); expect posts to resume within the month.