Monthly Archives: July 2010

Barry Glassner, Fear, Poor people and their babies: Friday!

I’ve been interested forever in human perceptions of risk and culturally mediated fear. I got to work with some of the cook risk perception people at the Kennedy School of Government for a while (as a bystander), and as an archaeologist, I find the question of risk and fear important in human foraging (and other) decisions. For instance, humans can specialize or not as foragers, and they can include or exclude certain kinds of resources. Did early humans in southern Africa avoid dangerous bovid prey and prefer allegedly less dangerous antelopes? Did various groups that avoid fishing (East African pastorals and, of course the Tasmanians) do so for any reasons related to risk? And so on.

Continue reading Barry Glassner, Fear, Poor people and their babies: Friday!

Sociosexually, what is “safe”?

Are you a “safe guy”? Or do you know someone who (you or he or some else thinks) is?

Stephanie Zvan has written about this at Quiche Moraine, and I think I might have been living in a different world than Stephanie’s because my experience has always been that the attribute of “safeness” is a negotiated one, and it has not always been about “safe guys” but also “gals.”

Perhaps this is an East Coast vs. Midwestern/Plains thing, or, perhaps the difference is that we field scientists can spend months at a time (rather than hours now and then) dealing with this issue. There is a difference between a “safe guy” tagging along with the gal to which he is safe while she shops for panties at Victoria’s Secret, and being thrown into a situation where the custom is that everyone bathes (for safety reasons) at the same spot daily and clothing is not an option. Or you share a tent for a week with someone of the opposite sex. Or you are arrested and tossed in a jail together for 24 hours. For instance.

Anyway, go read the post and see if your experiences are more like hers or more like mine, and don’t forget to leave a comment!