The (Fake) Geek Girl Project / 1: The How-to

The Geek Anthropologist

You may read the foreword to this series, As Always, it Started With Star Trek: A Study On Geek Girls.

For a little over two years now, geek culture has been tormented with a raging debate, that of the  »fake » geek girl. This debate has divided geeks between those who reinforce the notion that some women pretend to be geeks in order to attract the attention of men, and those who contest it.

Since late 2012, I have been analysing this debate and following the changes it brought forth in geek culture.

I was curious to know why the debate had gained such intensity and visibility at the moment when it did. But, as I express in the foreword to this series, I was also puzzled by several of the arguments put forth in  »rants », for lack of a better word, against alleged fake geek girls: that women were rare in…

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Star Wars and Anthropology

Anthropology Now

Happy Halloween!  I’ll be wearing a simple Darth Vader t-shirt for a costume.  Did you know that Star Wars was inspired by anthropology?

As you’ve probably heard, Lucasfilm, production company of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, was purchased yesterday by Disney.  They have plans to release multiple new Star Wars films, beginning with Episode VII (set after Return of the Jedi) in 2015.  Nothing could have surprised me more, since George Lucas has always suggested that Episodes VII, VIII, and IX would never be made.  I’ve written before about the relationship between Indiana Jones and real-life archaeology, but Star Wars was also shaped by anthropology, though I certainly didn’t realize this as a child.

Like many kids who grew up in the 1980’s, it’s hard to overstate the influence of Star Wars on my childhood.  I played with Star Wars toys, slept on Star…

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econ nobel prize cliches: collect them all

Every October when the Nobel prize in economics is announced, you hear the same trite and hackneyed things. Already, the Guardian has one of those tedious « economics is not a science » articles just to prepare for tomorrow. To help you save time, I’ve collected the following cliches so you can just clip and paste them into your tweets, Facebook messages, and blog posts:

  • Economics is not a science.
  • Actually, there is no Nobel Prize in economics.
  • The so-called Economics Nobel prize.
  • This prize refutes the policies of [insert politician you hate].
  • This prize supports the policies of [insert politician you love].
  • This prize is long overdue.
  • This prize rewards [my favorite field].
  • This prize rewards free-market fundamentalists.
  • This prize proves that free-market fundamentalists are wrong.
  • This person did not deserve the prize.
  • This person deserved the prize.
  • This is a rather mathematical/statistical prize for a technical point that…

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Atheist Pseudoscience

Shadow To Light

Atheist Zoltan Istvan writes:

‘Sometime in the next decade, the number of worldwide godless people — atheists, agnostics, and those unaffiliated with religion — is likely to break through the billion-person mark. Many in this massive group already champion reason, defend science, welcome radical technologies, and implicitly trust and embrace modern medicine. They are, indeed, already transhumanists. Yet many of them don’t know it because they haven’t thought much about it. However, that is about to change. A transformative cultural storm comprised of radical life improving technologies is set to blow in soon.

Whenever atheists start artificially inflating their numbers and start promising revolutionary changes, my skeptic-o-meter starts to go off. Perhaps Zoltan can better explain to the agnostics and unaffiliated what they believe:

Broadly defined, the word transhuman means beyond human.

Oh, oh. I think I know where this is going.

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The insights of an online ethnography

Weblog Social Media and Governance

My research indicates that the people who live in Cybercity do so as an integral part of their everyday life” [1].

While reading Carter’s article, I could not help but think of an experience I had in 2008. At the time I was in my fifth year of high school (the year before senior year) and I was visiting different universities to see where I would go after I had finished high school.

Utrecht University offered a special two-day master class for high school students, called “virtuele beleving” (virtual experience). It was offered at the faculty of science and could best be seen as a try-out for the program of Information Science. In the master class we looked into Second Life and answered questions like: “What is it like to go on holiday in Second Life?” and “Could you open a virtual travel agency in Second Life?”


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“Who speaks for Nature?”: Political representation and the challenge of non-human entities

Non human entities: cosmopolitics and modern politics

“Who speaks for Nature?”: Political representation and the challenge of non-human entities

       “Animals should be represented in human parliaments”, “political representation should not exclude nonhumans”. Here are some of the claims we might hear from ecologist activists, environmental thinkers, or just people who consider indeed that non-human entities should be granted the possibility to be represented. But what does representation mean here? What is political representation? How could it be applied to nonhumans? In other words, “who speaks for nature” (1) , and how can they do it?

Speech and politics

Politics is speech

       The idea that politics is speaking is present since Aristotle, who wrote in his Book 1 of his Politics that “Man is a political animal, in a sense in which a bee is not”. The core difference between men and animals lies in the fact that the latter cannot speak…

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Petit Hommage à Mathieu Hilgers

Mathieu Hilgers , anthropologue, philosophe et sociologue belge, spécialiste de Pierre Bourdieu mais pas seulement. Il était un spécialiste en  anthropologie de la globalisation et du néolibéralisme . Toujours à l’écoute, toujours ouvert à des nouvelles idées et approches, Mathieu Hilgers EST l’un de meilleurs professeurs  à L’université Libre de Bruxelles.

Mathieu Hilgers Google Scholar

Mathieu Hilgers ResearchGate

Mathieu Hilgers

Habitus, freedom, and reflexivity

Introduction to Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Social Fields”, in Hilgers M., Mangez E., Bourdieu’s Theory of Social Fields. Concepts and Applications, London/New-York, Routledge, Routledge Advances in Sociology, pp. 1-36 (with E. Mangez)

Theory of fields in the postcolonial age 

Embodying Neoliberalism : Thoughts and responses to critics », in Social Anthropology, volume 21, n° 1, pp. 75-89

Mathieu Hilgers- Burkina Faso: Uprising or military coup?