Posts Tagged ‘Fieldwork’

The Hurricane Lantern Effect

As you observe this ritual, you notice that the person engaged in the task is clearly doing it wrong. The process itself…the order in which things are being done…is inefficient. The way in which the funnel is used, the kind of container used to store the paraffin, the choice of device used to trim the wicks, and so on–all can be improved. You wonder how it is that these people could have survived here a year being so stupid about something as basic as maintaining and lighting the hurricane lamps they use every day.

What a dumb-ass you are being.

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When Your Field School Goes Into the Toilet

Two years ago, I attended my best friend’s wedding. I made the cake. When I got married a year earlier, she was my best man. Last Sunday, a bunch of people were going on and on about my cakes (I make about one every two years but they are very famous and frightfully expensive) and this reminded me of her and the amazing times we’ve had and toilets in Japan.

Let me explain.

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