Re: what is a meme?

From: Douglas Brooker (
Date: Wed 04 Feb 2004 - 10:37:34 GMT

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    Keith Henson writes:

    >> role of the biological. From my perspective of anthropology classing
    >> anthropology under the biological umbrella would mean biologists have to
    >> account for their individual selves in their work
    > Indeed. But let me warn you all about this. *Admitting* you are a social
    > primate with standard social primate drives--even if you are not
    > consciously aware of them--will get in big trouble. In my case, a federal
    > judge lambasted me in writing for admitting to having the very same kinds
    > of status seeking drives that *he* had clearly displayed when he gave up a
    > lot of income to become a (higher status) federal judge.

    This is a difficult question for sure. Not sure that "will" get you into big trouble might be better expressed as "will likely" or something similar. The unspoken conventions of formal legal discourse (and perhaps
    "professionalism" of any kind) require (often, 'as a rule' always?) hiding behind a mask of professionalism to conceal the personal which, rightly so
     - is considered irrelevant. In formal legal terms, however, when questions of bias (in its legal senses) arise, this mask is lowered. As it is at discipline hearings, where a solicitor's personal interests have comprised his duty to a client.

    The judge may have justly criticised you, but it would hard to come to an good opinion without more facts, e.g. whether it was expressed in oral argument, in an article.... In my own field, legal anthropology,
    (precisely, the anthropology of legal doctrine), the approaches I pursue probably prevent me from practising law. I suspect that if practitioners were to see and attempt to answer the kinds of questions that interest me, it would detract from their professional skills. In a client-solicitor relationship any 'confession' would have to promote the client's interest to be valid. Otherwise, accounting for oneself induces a kind of self-consciousness that may take a practitioner outside of the "zone" in which they function best.

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