Chief Admin


Blogs: 155
Pages: 1
Memos: 111
Invitations: 1
Location: Kyoto and Auckland
Work interests: research, editing, science communication
Affiliation/website: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: email = researchcooperative-at-gmail-dot-com
Favourite publications: Various, and especially the open access versions of older journals with effective review systems

Founding Member

Work: ethnobotany, prehistory, museum curation
Affiliations: 1996-present: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. 1995: Freelance editor, Kyoto. 1994: JSPS Research Visitor, Kyoto University, Kyoto. 1993: Research Visitor, Australian National University, Canberra. 1991: Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.1990: STA Fellow, National Institute for Ornamental Plants, Vegetables, and Tea (NIVOT), Ano, Japan
Contact: National Museum of Ethnology, Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Biographical: Established the Research Cooperative in 2001
Favourite Publications: Various

Category: Books

Famous robots

By Research Cooperative, 2015-11-23

Many fictional robots have achieved literary and cinematic fame. I am sure the following list should be longer. Please add a comment with your own list!

Why robots? The working kinds that already occupy factories around the world are merely unthinking machines, but there is serious discussion of what might happen if truly thinking robots are invented. The challenge is scientific, ethical, and philosophical all at the same time.

Has anyone produced a philosophical robot, in fact or fiction?

Will IBMs' Watson ever have it's own philosophical point of view, or will it merely be a tool ("cognitive assistant") that can be used for good or bad purposes?

Famous Robots (with a Japan-located bias)

Astro Boy in the Mighty Atom cartoon series (Japan)

Baymax in Big Hero 6

Bokko-chan in Bokko-Chan, The story of a B-girl who didn't have a heart of gold

R2D2 in Star Wars

Gundam in Mobile Suit Gundam

Doraemon in Doraemon series

Evangelion in Neon Genesis Evangelion

Wall-E in Wall.E

Sonny in i-Robot

Ava in Ex Machina

After reading the story of the mindless but dangerous Bokko-chan, I wonder if she was a literary ancestor for the very mindful and dangerous Ava.

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Aymara Indian Perspectives on Development in the Andes

Amy Eisenberg, Ph.D.

Photography by John Amato, RN

Kutarapxiw quqanakasxa, ukatxa phichantapxarakiw, quqa tunu lawanaks jikirapxi, ukatsi janipu-niw jiksupkit qhuya tunu saphanakasxa.

One should take pride in ones land and culture. There is a popular saying in Aymara, They cut our branches, they burn our leaves, they pull out our trunks . . . but never could they overtake our roots. This was addressed to the Spaniards.

- Aymara agriculturist of Chile

Aymara Indian Perspectives on Development in the Andes presents our collaborative research with the Aymara people in the Andes of northern Chile. We conducted ethnographic interviews with Aymara people in more than 16 villages from the coast to the high plateau, 4600 meters above sea level. With-in a multidisciplinary framework and with a detailed understanding of issues from the Aymara point of view, together we explore the enduring reciprocal relations between the Aymara and the elements of land, water, and the supernatural amid exogenously imposed development within their holy land. We discuss the paving of international Chile Highway 11, diversion of Altiplano waters of the Ro Lauca to the arid Atacama Desert coast for hydroelectricity and irrigation, mining within Parque Nacional Lauca, a UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve, and Chilean national park policies regarding Ay-mara communities and their natural and cultural properties within the protected area.

For Andean people, economic, spiritual, and social life, are inextricably tied to land and water. The Aymara of Chile are the indigenous people of the northern border Region XV, Arica y Parinacota, who are struggling to maintain their sustainable and traditional systems of irrigation waters distribution, agriculture, and pastoralism in one of the most arid regions of our world, the Atacama Desert. Inter-views with Aymara people reveal the social and environmental dimensions of the larger conflict be-tween rapid economic growth and a sensitive cultural and natural resource base. The Aymara help us to understand indigenous issues and their cosmological vision.


We are human beings; hence we must communicate. We are obliged to dialogue, in spite of all the conflicts in which humans act, we also face and resolve with communication. The Aymara believe in the unity of humankind and that only as one can we make this earth a good place for all of us. Aymara perceptions and needs are the most important consideration in this study.

Development in the Andes must consider the individual and collective needs of the Aymara people. Environmental transformation must be grounded in a careful understanding of the Aymara and their way of life. This book attempts to contribute to that understanding.

Through the lens of visual ethnoecology, John Amato vividly and respectfully photodocuments details of Aymara life, culture and the environment.

Amy Eisenberg, Ph.D. is an ethnobotanist and botanical artist who works collaboratively with indigenous peoples internationally and nationally. She recently conducted organic sustainable agriculture and agroforestry research in Asia and the Pacific.

John Amato, RN practices Emergency and Intensive Care nursing. His exquisite photographic gallery can be viewed at: ;

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ISBN-13: 978-0-8173-8666-5


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"Read your stuff aloud" says Ben Yagoda

By Research Cooperative, 2015-02-15

Last week I received a copy of a book by Ben Yagoda (2004):

The Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk about Style and Voice in Writing. Harper: New York, London, Toronto and Sydney.

Ben Yagoda was (and perhaps still is) a teacher of non-fiction writing at the University of Delaware, USA.

I like this book. I like this author. He is writing about something that is difficult to define, that others have avoided writing about for reasons that he explains well.

He puts our efforts as writers in historical perspective.

I'd like to re-read my own papers after finishing this book, to understand my own writing better.

Here's a key statement, from page thirty-six:

"After all my years of teaching and being taught, I am convinced that there is only one specific, consistently reliable tip writers in training can be given: read your stuff aloud, if not literally, then with an inner voice attended to by the inner ear."

The need to read and hear our own writing is something I try to tell my own students.

When I first started building the Research Cooperative website, I wrote a poem to the same effect. The title is:

Read it.


Please do.

It's just a poem. It won't bite.

Posted in: Books | 0 comments

Of course it did not start with nothing, but in just one night I was able to pull together a book production team to meet our deadline with the printer last Monday.

We already had a full set of manuscripts and the basic book design ready, but I could see a wall of logistical impossibility fast approaching. I was heading for a crash.

First I had to break down the work into smaller tasks, and then I could delegate.

Here's what happened, when I looked though our Research Cooperative members list:

1. Copyediting the reference list at the end of each chapter - found  Julie Martin in the USA (previously recommended to me by a friend in New Zealand).

2. Copyediting the main text of each chapter - Julie recommended another Co-op member in the USA, Elizabeth Humphrey .

3. Cross-checking references, in the text and reference list of each chapter - found a highly experienced, but retired researcher in New Zealand, with a general interest in the subject of our book, and some spare time: Richard Benton , also a Co-op member.

4. General problem spotting and checking figures - contacted Mark Smith , a Research Cooperative member here in Osaka, to come to the museum and look for problems of any sort, alongside my Research Assistant Ms Etsuko Tabuchi (also a Co-op member). Mark came, and settled into checking figures for each chapter, then continued the work at home.

5. Drawing new figures - we found several figures that either had to be abandoned or redrawn; Tabuchi-san gave herself a crash course in computer graphics, and has fashioned a number of excellent maps in a short amount of time. (Truly, it would help if more authors could employ illustrators to produce maps, if they cannot to the work themselves, when submitting papers for publication!)

I will pay them all a fair price (I hope it is fair!) soon. They have already done most of what was needed.

We are on schedule!

While the team dealt with all these technical details, I could give time to further substantive editing, co-ordination with our authors, and co-ordination with my main co-editor.

Tomorrow we will begin work on the first proofs, I expect.

5. Indexing - found an expert indexer, Mary Coe (also a Co-op member). She has already read our chapters, and is ready to jump into the last-minute indexing process when the second or third proofs arrive -- with page numbers added.

I will write again when we have a book to announce!

Addendum: see a related discussion of cartography 'standards'.

Posted in: Books | 3 comments
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