By Stefan Helmreich
Alien Ocean immerses readers in worlds being newly explored through marine biologists, worlds often out of sight and succeed in: the deep sea, the microscopic realm, and oceans past nationwide obstacles. operating along scientists at sea and in labs in Monterey Bay, Hawai'i, the Woods gap Oceanographic establishment, and the Sargasso Sea and at undersea volcanoes within the jap Pacific, Stefan Helmreich charts how revolutions in genomics, bioinformatics, and distant sensing have pressed marine biologists to determine the ocean as lively through its smallest population: marine microbes. Thriving in astonishingly severe stipulations, such microbes became key figures in medical and public debates concerning the beginning of lifestyles, weather swap, biotechnology, or even the opportunity of existence on different worlds.
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Extra info for Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas
Scientists have to know how the robot works in order to think about sampling, and pilots have to be able to intuit what scientists might find interesting. Together, they enact what Edwin Hutchins, in his ethnography of navigation on board a navy ship, 44 / The Message from the Mud The Message from the Mud / 45 called"cognition in the wild," converting and communicating information through a cascade of representations channeled through analog and digital media and propagated through different people's embodied expertiseY Still, scientists are understood to direct the action: PETE: Tubeworms!
The pilots, though, have not found the sonar as fine tuned as they like; they want to know more about speed. They reoutfitted the ROV with a Doppler velocity log, measuring movement relative to seafloor (rather than in "absolute" space). Though this has been accurate about how fast the ROV is going, it has been less so about where it is. When Doppler data were first fed to shore, software engineers became confused about the ROV's line of flight, not knowing of the pilots' modifications. Knute says that computer folk sometimes confuse people at sea, too-as when they upgrade ship software from shore.
964 "Anthropological Aspects of Language: Animal Categories and Verbal Abuse," we read: "Quite apart from the fact that all scientific enquiry is devoted to 'discovering' those parts of the environment that lie on the / The Message from the Mud The Message from the Mud borders of what is 'already known,' we have the phenomenon, which is variously described by anthropologists and psychologists, in which whatever is taboo is a focus not only of special interest but also of anxiety. "53 So far, microbes have been described as bearers of important messages, as in need of protection from contamination, as versatile, as possibly chimerical, as invasive, as smelly, and as shit bugs.