Second Order Information

1474 Words Apr 1st, 2011 6 Pages
Anthrcul101 Sec 033
First Writing Assignment
PROMPT 1:
In her chapter “How Do You Know”, Ilana Gershon introduces the concept of second order information. Second order information refers to the conjecture of the background information or concealed meaning of a communicated message. The communicated message’s phrases are analyzed beyond their initial literal meanings in order to decipher any expectations or intentions the message may deliver. Various mediums of communication allow for different ways to interpret second order information and new communicative technologies produce new ways to incorporate second order information into daily communication. Even seemingly insignificant details such as mispronouncing words or spelling and
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The procedure anthropologists followed while dealing with skeletons is:
Take cranial pieces inside to dry under heat lamps in preparation for reconstruction, then go back outside to lay out bones in anatomical position…Get one other anthropologist’s reference on the aging and record the information in the Anthro log.
Clean the femur, measure maximum length, and calculate stature estimate…Start by going over all postcranial trauma, discussing whether it’s peri or post and what caused it; then move on to cranial trauma [Koff, 2004:146]

The anthropologists are required to record the aging of the bones and various forms of trauma. They also show the use of anthropometry by measuring and recording the dimensions of the bones as they placed “all elements on the green background cloth or the sandbox, in the standard orientations for the photographer; hold or place the ruler with the case number next to each element” (Koff 2004:147). I believe Koff is striving to tell a specific story based on the team’s findings. Although she mentions that she enjoys working with dead bodies and finds them fascinating, there is a bigger reason she is so passionate about her work. In the text, there is a small passage that displays her emotion towards murder. She writes “I felt anger toward people who deem murder an acceptable political policy. I felt the last of my naiveté drain away as I uncovered more and more people shot while their hands were tied. And I