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Tuesday Morning News: Anthropology changing the way we understand cultures; sitting...

Deck chair among others. Big Stock Photo

Thomas Friedman concurred, noting how Trouillot and anthropology changed his columns on globalization and the Middle East. “Trouillot revealed the myth-making involved in ahistorical claims about recent globalization and the need to understand deep interconnections among peoples we typically portray as us and them,” Friedman writes. “Reading anthropology kept me from spouting inanities about Egypt, and of course to be very careful with metaphors: why would anyone ever celebrate a march to war as an audacious shake of the dice?”” Living Anthropologically

Here’s a link to a stand up desk. Order it, use it and live longer. Actually, can I lie down? Does that generate a longer life span?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. cecilia
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 07:04:40

    That Macmillan piece was depressing as all get out. I use Mimio products in my class, but they’re not a substitute for good texts. Not that most of the non-fiction textbooks are all that great anymore, since every page is slathered in pictures and every little paragraph is given a heading to tell the kids what it’s about. But still. More and more all the focus is on assessment, and too little focus is on giving the kids a quality content so that they actually have to develop their literacy.

  2. SAo
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 07:33:32


    I think Gail Collins did a piece for the NY review of books? About how Texas is killing textbooks. Apparently committees change stuff based on whim and changing a narrative is hard, so they fill the textbooks with distracting boxes of factoids because if Texas suddenly wants to mention some famous Texan no one else has heard of, it’s easy to put in another box and hard to add him to a coherent narrative of science or history.

    I found my kids’ science texts very hard to read because of all the distracting boxes of factoids that weren’t connected to the main text, leaving you to puzzle the connection — or wonder if you needed to read them at all.

  3. SAo
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 07:37:04

    David Brooks said plenty of stupid things about Haiti and Voudoun after the earthquake.

  4. Angela Quarles
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 08:27:04

    Anthro Major here, and I always maintained that Anthropology 101 should be a required course in colleges…

  5. Author on Vacation
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 08:34:21

    Standing for long periods of time has its own health risks, not to mention it eventually gets quite tiring. Ask anyone who’s ever had a job where they had to stand all day, usually in a limited space.

    The best jobs I’ve ever had (in terms of health and personal comfort) were positions where I was able to move. Sometimes I sat, sometimes I stood, sometimes I moved around. Standing in one place or sitting in one place for long periods of time just wore me out.

    “Standing Problem”

    Individuals spending most of the day on their feet every working day are at greater risk of health problems including varicose veins, poor circulation and swelling in the feet and legs, foot problems, joint damage, heart and circulatory problems and pregnancy difficulties.

    I suspect the new “sitting is bad for you” craze is just an excuse for big business to abuse their employees without concern for their comfort.

  6. Jason Antrosio
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 08:40:11

    For clarification, my piece on The Headline I Wish We Were Reading: Anthropology Changed Everything begins with a satire. I apologize for any confusion. As SAo notes, David Brooks actually said very stupid things after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and I was trying to draw attention to that, just like Thomas Friedman called the Iraq war an “audacious shake of the dice.” My point was that if these authors had actually read anthropology–and if anthropology was more prominent–people might not be able to get away with such statements.

  7. Avery Flynn
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 09:41:18

    I have a walking desk. I use it in the morning to answer e-mail and do non-creative writing things. Also, perfect for reading Dear Author. :) In the afternoon I move to the sitting desk and get my mojo going.

  8. Karenmc
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 10:32:24

    @Author on Vacation: I once worked standing over a light table most of the day, doing paste up on business forms. It was SO MUCH healthier than my current sit-all-day job (and I’m under doctor’s orders to get up for five minutes every hour and move around).

  9. Ridley
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 11:58:09

    My husband splits his time working between a standing desk and lying flat on his stomach. Since doing so, his frequent back problems have completely stopped.

    Sitting is not good for you.

  10. lucy
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 15:49:37

    I’m probably not going to have a long life expectancy then.

  11. lazaraspaste
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 18:01:06

    Oh Noes! Not TWO YEARS off my life expectancy! Say it isn’t so!

    -snort- Seriously? Based on family history, unless I get cancer I will die in my late 80’s/early 90’s I think I can live with the knowledge that my sitting might lead to a whole two years off my life expectancy.

    As for the Macmillan piece: My concern with the removal of textbooks and the increase of digital education aids is that it favors a higher socio-economic group. Public education is not equal. Hell, even public schools in higher tax brackets have notoriously crap funding for technology, especially in districts/states with over-crowded populations. So I guess what I’m saying is that moving to digital may have the effect of limiting access. It also presumes that every household has a computer, which I think a certain infographic about the importance of libraries recently disproved?

  12. Author On Vacation
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 18:02:48


    I agree sitting still all day is no more healthier for a person than standing all day. My point is that standing up all day has its own problems, particularly for anyone who has any foot problems, knee problems, etc..

    What’s worse is that many white-collar companies who employ people in “stand up” positions also endorse dress codes requiring employees to wear heels, dress shoes, etc. . Shoes most appropriate for standing up all day — supportive sneakers, sandals, clogs, etc. — are normally prohibited.

    I also think the nature of the work impacts the health factor. A job where a person is standing still can’t be much more beneficial than a job requiring people to sit still.

  13. Susan
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 18:29:01

    “Here’s a link to a stand up desk. Order it, use it and live longer. Actually, can I lie down? Does that generate a longer life span?”

    I’d like to have that lounger so I could put my feet up. Over the weekends, I have normal-looking feet, but after a few hours back in the office, they look like basketballs and I can barely fit into my shoes. Periodically walking around does help–if I remember and can find the time. Some days, I’m lucky to make it to the bathroom. And don’t even ask what all this sitting is doing to my butt! :-(

  14. JessP
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 22:20:24

    I read the WSJ article today, and had to sigh. My job is hugely sedentary, and I don’t have too much opportunity to stand when I want to. Depending on how things are going, it can be two or more hours before I can get up to do something quickly, then it’s right back to sitting. Then, as is the case this evening, I’m sitting reading for tomorrow’s workload. I have things to catch up on that will require more sitting. So, I’ll simply thank you all now for all the pleasure I get from discussions on this site, since I anticipate keeling over at my desk probably by 4:30 tomorrow afternoon. The only saving grace is that I don’t watch much TV anymore – so maybe I have until next week or so?

    Also, @ Jane – “Oh copyright and trademark infringement. You go on with your ridiculous self.” Thanks for that one.

  15. Author on Vacation
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 08:16:22

    @lucy: The good news is that EVERYBODY will probably experience this alleged 2-year (or whatever) loss of life span. I’m reasonably confident the average human being is seated at least 3 hours a day even if s/he does not have a seated position at his/her job. We sit to eat, sit to drive, sit to read … OK, I confess to being “swept away” enough by a book I may stand next to a shelf for a while, reading. But eventually I do sit down to really “get into it.”

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