Propiopasta and Culture

I’d much rather maintain a collectivist, communitarian perspective; but, when it comes to defining culture – and, don’t worry, we’ll get to pasta soon enough – I’ve always liked how Ward Goodenough distinguished between private culture and culture in general, Cf. Cooperation in Change (1963:260). In Culture, Language, and Society (1971:31, 1981:98), Goodenough subsequently coined the term propriospect to shed additional light on this important distinction in perspective. Let’s look at culture in general first and then propriospect (Goodenough 1981:98) … and then PASTA:

Culture consists of
standards for deciding what is,
standards for deciding what can be,
standards for deciding how one feels about it,
standards for deciding what to do about it, and
standards for deciding how to go about doing it

Propriospect [An individual’s private, subjective view of the world and of its contents – his or her “personal outlook.” Note: Goodenough considered using the Greek derivative, idiorama, but ultimately went with the Latinate, propriospect. See? We’re closing in on pasta!]
Included in a person’s propriospect and indeed, dominating its content are the various standards for perceiving, evaluating, believing, and doing that he attributes to other persons as a result of his experience of their actions and admonitions.

Simply put, propriospect is to culture as ideolect is to language.

I think it’s very helpful to look at culture(s) from both of these COGNITIVELY-ORIENTED perspectives simultaneously and in all cases. Otherwise, we might easily get carried away by overlooking Goodenough’s distinction and embracing only one perspective to the detriment of the other. For example, in pasta making…


Practical Hermeneutics, Living Context, and the Deep End

I’m still thinking about Between, mirrors, and inter-independent subjectivity in relation to interpreting and understanding texts of all sorts, tangible and intangible. Weren’t you just asking about that?  We so underestimate sense making and, consequently, settle for less and less.  I’m thinking political discourse, marketing, educational psychology, etc.. We’re told we’ll go off the deep end if we unglue ourselves from the loyalty wall and approach sense making eclectically, pragmatically, and collaboratively.  Soon each of us will be hopping around and around in a private, one-legged sack race, taking personal responsibility for one one-hundredth of his or her cognitive capital and sacrificing the rest to what, an antiquated but persistent hermeneutical habit?

But wait! “Cada uno es hijo de sus obras.” Aha! Cervantes had Sancho Panza himself say this in Part I, Chapter 47 of Don Quijote de la Mancha.  Who better than Sancho to balance things off, turn things up-side-down and inside-out?  Roughly translated, We are the children of our works. Oh, the offsprings?  Never mind.

deep ends


Sack race rules.


Out Standing in His Field

Every time I’d see Karl I’d ask him about his donkey, and each time Karl would say, “He’s out standing in his field.”

Donkeys have always intrigued me, especially ever since I met Sirous and learned how many Persians regard them. Just the other day Sirous sent me this link to a YouTube video which is likely to make you laugh. The featured donkey is out standing in his field, but he’s not alone.


From the Archives: The archaeological Record

Occasionally, we dip into the analogical past far beyond the digital confines of Paper by 53. Carbon dating techniques and the historical record indicate that the archaeological Record was endoodled in the fall of 1989 by one of the founders of in Washington, DC during a graduate course entitled Archaeology and Physical Anthropology. Note the stylistic consistencies and the persistent resistance to perspectival regularity.


A Prayer by Rumi to Commemorate Cowboy’s New Dog Door

First of all, that’s the rear end of a Belgian Tervuren named Cowboy going through his very own, brand new dog door. It took him around six cheese-assisted tries before he got the swing of it independently; it took me about five hours to install the door…with additional help from Ann!

It was well worth the effort! Cowboy now has direct and immediate access to the fenced-in, outside world, but because of the dog door, he can also take air-conditioned refuge from the Central Valley summertime heat. This is an appropriate development for a dog, who before our move to Merced, California, lived in an upper-floor, downtown Des Moines, Iowa loft! Three times a day, at least, for almost two and a half years, season after season, Cowboy would suit up, walk down the hall, get into and out of the elevator, walk through the lobby, out the front door, and continue for another 50 yards before he could finally get down to business! And he never complained once!!

This prayer goes out to Cowboy and all the other love dogs who teach us how to pray: (Link to YouTube Love Dogs by Rumi…or see it embedded below from my YouTube channel, plongeaux.)



Ample Parking at Yang’s Strawberry and Produce Stand, Merced, CA

For a little longer than a month we’ve been treating ourselves to the freshest, largest, most delicious, and least expensive strawberries I’ve ever come across. But that’s not all! There are many other kinds of berries, tons of produce, and herbs galore…all very reasonably priced.

When it comes to strawberries, I typically whip up some maple syrup infused cream and slather away, but I think it’s time to branch out into some new directions!

There are no marketing gimmicks, no distractions whatsoever in and around this stand on McKee and E. Alexander in Merced, CA; only friendly service, locally grown and just-picked fruits and vegetables, best prices in town, and plenty of free parking!



Here’s the image that came to mind just after I started reading this interview by Amy Santee with design anthropologist, Armonia Alvarado.

Armonia invited folks in the LinkedIn group, Ethnographers to read her interview by using the following quote, which helps us understand what is meant by design anthropology: “Mediation between objects and people has always gone in both directions. Anthropology breaks the dichotomies: person – object, humans – tools, user – designer, company – consumer. Anthropology reframes these relations, bringing processual understanding of the constant moving forward of creation and human reinvention. Design anthropology has given the industry the tools to create and respond to ever-changing human ecosystems.”

It was that quote that prompted me cognitively to drag out some of my favorite images in this illustration, e.g., facing mirrors and straddling stuff, in order to go back and understand the interview better.


Old Ford @ K & 26th in Merced, CA

This beauty catches my eye every time I ride or drive by. I couldn’t resist the urge to photograph it last night on the way to the 17th Street Public House so that I could render it today.

Anyone know what year it might be? (thanks for the clue Jim; it’s a 1950.)