“Look at the numbers!” Who hasn’t heard or even said that phrase during a debate? Does your company evaluate your work with performance indicators? We tend to take these indicators for granted, but things are not that simple.
For the apprentice...who does not have the initial skills necessary to participate as a full member of a specific sporting practice, how are they to obtain the embodied knowledge of their interlocutors and understand what that knowledge says about their practice? This is where the concept of “apprenticeship elsewhere” comes into play.
I have been asked about my research in China as a researcher from Taiwan by my colleagues in the US. One of them commented: “It’s not common for someone from Taiwan to do research in China.” I have attributed this sudden recognition of my ethnocultural and legal identity as a Taiwanese and the subsequent framing of my actions as uncommon to the pandemic and its impact on the tensions in current international politics. identity with global geopolitics and how these geopolitical forces have real-life impact on my research and social life.
Himalayan travelogues are full of stories. For the most part, those stories fall into a specific genre, one that I tend to refer to as “my magical adventure in an exotic land.” Mustang, especially, has this reputation. In fact, multiple coffee table books easily available from booksellers everywhere pay homage to the “Lost Kingdom of Tibet,” the “Lost World of Lo,” and the “real Shangri-La.” Unfortunately, these books and pamphlets on high altitude travel are equally full of popular orientalist tropes of “pure” cultures and “innocent” people who somehow exist “out of time” despite being just as familiar with and a part of the “modern” world as anyone else is. But the impetus to see Mustang (and the Himalayas generally) as “magical” place filled with “spiritual” people is a hard one to resist. Most especially because the illusion is not just conjured up by Euro-American travel agencies or National Geographic specials but by Nepalis and Tibetans themselves, many of whom rely on the trekking and tourism industry for their livelihoods in a land politically marginalized between China, Kathmandu, and India.