This passage from Lisa Schiffman’s Generation J speaks for itself and I have nothing to add, but the sentiment is one that I embrace and see as a wonderful explanation for what I am trying to do here.
Historically, anthropologists have been loath to publish their field notes. They’re often too personal, too honest, a tad too unscientific. They show a hodgepodge — stories and scenes, conversations, facts and figures, questions, confusion — a collection of stuff, evidence of what it means to be a cultural observer. They show stray thoughts, character flaws like impatience and self-righteousness.
Field notes. They’re supposed to show patterns. They’re supposed to reveal societal underpinnings, magnify our smallest actions into larger meanings. How?
Me and you: the observer and the observed. Who is enlightening whom? I want to say this right now, right here: we can help each other.
There will be no secrets. There will be no rules. Take these notes in your hands. […] Tell me what you find. I’m sure I’ve missed something important. Whatever you see, tell me. And I’ll tell you. I’ll keep telling you. We’ll tell each other. And through each other, we’ll find ourselves. That’s how it works.
While what I offer is different then Schiffman’s notes, the intention is the same. To understand this. To explain it. As for what “this” is I cannot say, but that is, perhaps my task. And an essential part of this quest is interaction and feedback.
I think I’ll go outside now, in the snow, and watch people. See how they act.