Posts tagged David-Graeber

On WEIRD Cultural Beliefs, Anthropologists’ Wizard-envy and the Skeptical Native"

anthropology, ontology, magic, skepticism, culture, reality, David-Graeber, RAW, OT

Graeber concludes his piece by explaining that his saying as an anthropologist – like his informants themselves said – that certain spirit-charms probably didn’t work, actually allows for the possibility that other charms might do so. Skepticism about magic is thus a necessary part of its possibility, and we actually take the ‘radically other’ possibilities of our research participants’ worlds more seriously when we recognize that they are often just as hard-to-swallow, inconclusive, weird or paradoxical for our research participants themselves.


David Graeber’s The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy

bureaucracy, book, book-review, David-Graeber

Bureaucracy is a utopian project: like all utopians, capitalist bureaucrats (whether in private- or public-sector) believe that humans can be perfected by modifying their behavior according to some ideal, and blame anyone who can’t live up to that ideal for failing to do so. Bureaucracy begets bureaucracy. Every effort to do away with bureaucracy ends up with more bureaucracy.