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Re: [xmca] Deb Roy: The birth of a word Discussion

Hello, Xmca-ers,
Vandy Wilkinson from Japan.
It seems to me that suddenly technology is on the table, with this discussion, re: now Larry Purss' comments. What I have to say that seems to me urgently connected to our present here in Japan, where we catch scenes of people in shelters, two elderly people suddenly being found yesterday, still alive, And these clips are beyond "journalism". There is more information for those with eyes trained to see. So how can one, then, access stored information and present an edition to show what needs to be shown and demonstrated. I just saw a clip of Rachel Maddow introducing a clip (http://crooksandliars.com/karoli/rachel-maddow-what-survival-looks) which shows people in a taxi, ditching the taxi and running for it, and getting up the stairs of a concrete building just as the tsunami smashed into it. This clip from a hand held camera somehow got onto national no, international, TV and had NO funding. Research that can be done from that short clip! If you add up the clips and put them together,with a narrative idea and this digitized material, both from the sky and the ground, everything that happened here, even if we can't get a complete picture of it, it is logged, filed, and searchable. At this point, various academics, geographers, communication experts, psychologists, community workers, sociologists, social workers, with their various frames of reference (strategic choices, scanning information, making expedient choices, and witnessing group action and so on, plus what can be seen from the higher perspective of the upper floor will sort out what there is to be learned from this.

So much was learned from the Sumatra 2004 earthquake and it made a big difference now in Japan. Clearly understanding the advances in early warning systems, the patterns of what happens, geographically and socially, the 250,000 who perished then did not die in vain.

In research, it is the level of attention which guides the eye to see, and the patience to edit. Technology has advanced to rapidly so as to put very high level equipment in the hands of ordinary people, for example, running from a tsunami (that was not ordinary, by any evaluation). Piaget altered the course of his study with the addition of his own children to the research mix. That must be relevant to the passion to study and the intention to follow a thread. What I am saying is that very powerful technology is already in the hands of ordinary untrained people who see extra-ordinary things, but trained experts can then see what was going on and make informed sense of it. There is much, very much available without simply enormous budgets to record, describe, analyze, and present very subtle and advanced knowledge. I hope this makes sense.

So much focus on budget and technology, when the real trick is to use what you have when you need it. To see what you have when it is being used as something else/ for something else, but can be turned to another immediate purpose.
I can see that technology is so very very valuable and has a price.
But we already have so much digitally stored and so much access to so much material, so that the time to ponder and study and present it is somehow more necessary.

(2011/03/20 10:30), Martin Packer wrote:

The 2011 budget request for the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is $1,368,894,000. That's one fancy basement you have!


On Mar 19, 2011, at 7:59 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

Well it was great viewing, Deb Roy's presentation certainly spurred me to improve my own presentation style. But it didn't test any claim about speech development, and was surely never intended to prove or discover anything about speech development. Except that to do any work in this area you need a vast array of expensive audio-visual and computer equipment and a team of dozens of research assistants. Gone are the days when a hand-held video camera would let you do meaningful research into child development.

Note that this reinforces the major malady of our times: the conception that on one hand there is little individual me with no capacity to do anything except massage my own preferences, and on the other hand the mighty institutions and forces of society with their billion-dollar machines and vast organisations, who decide everything .

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