Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sign of the times

Huh. Not sure what to make of this photograph taken at the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert rally and posted on Inside Higher Ed. Am I supposed to laugh because I also am supposed agree - or because (to be honest) I find it rather ludicrous?

I think there is a lot more to say about "evidence-based" discourse. Certainly there ought to be more careful and considered study of, say, teaching and prenatal care, to mention two arenas where a need for more "evidence-based" practice is being claimed. However, "evidence-based" discourse seems to be grounded in narrow functionalism, with little interest in, say, ritual.

Yet, rituals accomplish important, meaningful, and necessary work for us as members of communities. I mean, we all engage in any number of apparently unimportant, meaningless, and unnecessary - and unevidenced - practices whose effects might be missed when they become eliminated.

There is a lot more to say. Alas, I am not the parenthropologist to do it at this moment.

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