Anna Rogozinska: Everyday body regimes: the construction of self in weblogs about dieting (BlogTalk 2008, Cork) [en]

[fr] Notes de la conférence BlogTalk 2008.

Live blogged notes of Anna’s talk, might be inaccurate. Some video footage will follow when exported and uploaded. Don’t hesitate to add links to other coverage. Slideshow.

Adding to the Polish invasion of Cork/Ireland.

Identity as a construct, a reflective project. Fluid, fragmented and ever-changing. We’re not born with it, and we’re not given it. It’s self-constructed.

Narrative identity. Identity is a set of biographical narratives, reflected through lifestyle choices and the way we treat ourselves.

Gender play. Concept of multiple selves. Problematic line of research which originates in MUDs (virtual identity). Also, view of identity as constructed through text, and doesn’t take other media into consideration.

We need to look at the material aspects of constructing our identity online. Other problem: easy to draw on social theories to analyze life online, without actually checking if the theory fits in that particular context.

So, start with the content/context, and then think of possible theories, instead of the other way round.

Writing the self as a cultural practice. Many contexts: linguistic, social…

Tickers (days on diet, days left until wedding) are also a way of constructing one’s identity.

Methodology: academic objectivity makes one hide behind the role, and sometimes forget oneself as a person. Doesn’t necessarily make what we say better. founded 8 years, ago, blogs one year ago. Polish dieting portal. 60K registered users, 82% women, young, from rural areas or small towns.

Lots of calorie counters (how much do you burn with one hour of passionate sex?)

To become and author on the portal, you need to register and enter personal data. You are a “chubby”. You need to measure yourself and stuff (height, weight, etc).

Active forum: I’m starting tomorrow, I want to lose weight. Each person can start their own thread.

Weblogs. Ticker. General information about the life of the person. Gives bodily information (period coming, so 1kg above what she should be, etc — very close to the body).

Another blog: detailed account of what she ate, the exercise she did, the excuses she comes up for eating more than what she should have.

Counting calories. 4-5 meals a day, food always on the mind. Dieting: where do you eat? which restaurant? what dieting supplements?

Identification through one’s body. Always under watch. Always too much of that body, and never perfect enough.

My weblog is the space where I set the rules, even if I obey conventions (calorie tracking, excuses). Also a means of making technology mine. Blogging and dieting structure one’s life. Intertwined genres.

Fixed set of themes and categories. No additional widgets one can use. Expression limited by technology, and their ability.

Comparing the blogs with the personal threads on the forums. Monologue and dialogue. The forum is more about interaction, and the blog more about a presentation of self (monologue) in a narcissistic way (even though they allow dialogue, of course). My space is a blog space, and Our space is the forum space.

Identity of a diet blogger constructed through person use of technology. How temporary are those blogs? When are people going to stop? When they stop being read? When they have lost their weight? Will they keep on writing their blogs?

The identity of the blogger refers to other users, but not as much as on the forum. Interesting: how the dieting blogger refers to other identities of hers/his. Am I the same on the blog, on the forum, on Flickr, on Last.FM? steph-note: yes, same person, but emphasis on different aspects of my identity

MySpace Banning Sex Offenders: Online Predator Paranoia [en]

Update: If you’re a parent looking for advice, you’ll probably find my next post more interesting.

MySpace has removed profiles of 29’000 registered sex offenders from their site.

In a statement, MySpace said: “We’re pleased that we’ve successfully identified and removed registered sex offenders from our site and hope that other social networking sites follow our lead.”

BBC News, MySpace bars 29,000 sex offenders, July 2007

Sounds like a good move, doesn’t it?

Maybe not so.

First, what is a sex offender? A sex offender is somebody on the state registry of people who have been convicted of sex crimes. A sex offender is not necessarily a pedophile. And in some states… a sex offender might not have done anything really offensive.

Listen to Regina Lynn, author of the popular Wired column Sex Drive and the book The Sexual Revolution 2.0:

Lately I’ve been wondering if I’ll end up on the sex offender registry. Not because I have any intention of harming anyone, but because it has recently come to my attention that in a flurry of joie de vivre I might have broken a sex law.

You see, I keep hearing these stories of mild infractions that led to listing on the sex-offender registry alongside child molesters, rapists and abusive spouses. There’s the girl who bared her ass out a bus window in college and pled guilty to indecent exposure — and then couldn’t become an elementary school teacher because of her sex offense. Then there’s the guy who peed on a bush in a park and was convicted of public lewdness, a sex offender because he couldn’t find a bathroom.


But sometimes I do skirt the edge of the law when it comes to sex. And if you’ve ever ducked into the bushes for a little al fresco fondling, so have you.

Unfortunately, even in California, it’s not technically legal to make discreet love in public spaces, even in your truck, even if it has a camper shell with dark windows and Liberator furniture, even if no one can see you without pressing his nose to the glass or hoisting her children up over her head.

And if a passerby does intrude on your personal moment, it’s no longer a matter of “OK kids, pack it up and get out of here.” A witness’s cell-phone video could be on the internet within five minutes. A busybody might even feel justified in calling the police.

“If someone saw something that offended them and they wanted to sign a citizen’s arrest, the officer is obliged to take the citizen’s arrest,” says Inspector Poelstra of the Sexual Offender Unit of the San Francisco Police Department, who spoke with me by phone.

Regina Lynn, Could You End Up on a Sex Offender Registry?, April 2007

Critics of Megan’s Law, which requires convicted sex offenders to register with the state, have also put forward that the registries include people it would be rather far-fetched to consider a threat to our children’s safety.

But the laws have unexpected implications. Consider California, whose 1996 Megan’s Law requires creating a CD-ROM database of convicted sex offenders, available to the public. (The state has had a registry of sex offenders since 1944.) The Los Angeles Times reports that this new database is turning up many ancient cases of men arrested for consensual gay sex in public or semi-public places, some of them youthful experiments of men who went on to long married lives. One man, arrested in 1944 for touching the knee of another man in a parked car, was surprised when his wife collected the mail containing an envelope, stamped “sex crime” in red ink, telling him he needed to register as a sex offender. Many of these men are going through humiliating confrontations with long-forgotten aspects of their past, and complicated and expensive legal maneuverings to get themselves off the list. “It’s a real concern,” says Suzanne Goldberg of the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, which works on legal issues involving gays. “These laws have the potential to sweep in more people than they should. Laws requiring registration of people engaging in consensual sex are far beyond the pale. Those requirements can have devastating effects on people’s lives.”

Brian Doherty, Megan’s Flaws?, June 1997

These concerns about indiscriminate lumping together of “sex offenders” in the light of the online predator paranoia were already raised in January when MySpace handed over a database containing information about sex offenders to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, on Violet Blue::Open Source Sex and Sex Drive Daily. (As an aside, I now find myself wondering if this post is going to get me blacklisted by internet security filters left and right… How ironic that would be.)

These are state registries, and depending on the state you’re in, you’re a “sex offender” under Megan’s Law if you get caught urinating in public, mooning, skinny dipping, or if you get busted having consensual sex in public. Think of how lopsided these charges must be in homophobic states. Also, it’s a lesson in what sites like MySpace can and will do with personal information. I’m definitely an advocate for speeding up natural selection when it comes to rapists and pedophiles, but I worry about what could happen to individuals and personal privacy when a questionably informed company casts a wide net, and turns it over to anyone who asks.

Violet Blue, MySpace and the Sex Offenders, Jan. 2007

In addition to that, we need to totally rethink the views we have on how sexual predators act online. The old pervert lurking in chatrooms is more a media construct and a product of the culture of fear we live in than a reality our kids are likely to bump into, as I said recently in an interview on BBC News. Remember kids are way more likely to be abused by a person they know (family, friends) than by a random stranger. I’ll assume you don’t have the time to read through the whole 34-page transcript of the panel danah boyd participated in a few months ago, so here are the most significant excerpt about this issue (yes, I’m excerpting a lot in this post, but this is an important issue and I know people read better if they don’t need to click away). Here is what Dr. David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes against
Children Research Center and the codirector of the Family Research
Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, has to say:

Now, on the case of internet sex crimes against kids, I’m concerned
that we’re already off to a bad start here. The public and the
professional impression about what’s going on in these kinds of
crimes is not in sync with the reality, at least so far as we can
ascertain it on the basis of research that we’ve done. And this
research has really been based on some large national studies of
cases coming to the attention of law enforcement as well as to large
national surveys of youth.

If you think about what the public impression is about this crime,
it’s really that we have these internet pedophiles who’ve moved
from the playground into your living room through the internet
connection, who are targeting young children by pretending to be
other children who are lying about their ages and their identities and
their motives, who are tricking kids into disclosing personal
information about themselves or harvesting that information from
blogs or websites or social networking sites. Then armed with this
information, these criminals stalk children. They abduct them.
They rape them, or even worse.

But actually, the research in the cases that we’ve gleaned from
actual law enforcement files, for example, suggests a different
reality for these crimes. So first fact is that the predominant online
sex crime victims are not young children. They are teenagers.
There’s almost no victims in the sample that we collected from – a
representative sample of law enforcement cases that involved the
child under the age of 13.

In the predominant sex crime scenario, doesn’t involve violence,
stranger molesters posing online as other children in order to set up
an abduction or assault. Only five percent of these cases actually
involved violence. Only three percent involved an abduction. It’s
also interesting that deception does not seem to be a major factor.
Only five percent of the offenders concealed the fact that they were
adults from their victims. Eighty percent were quite explicit about
their sexual intentions with the youth that they were communicating

So these are not mostly violence sex crimes, but they are criminal
seductions that take advantage of teenage, common teenage
vulnerabilities. The offenders lure teens after weeks of
conversations with them, they play on teens’ desires for romance,
adventure, sexual information, understanding, and they lure them to
encounters that the teams know are sexual in nature with people who
are considerably older than themselves.

So for example, Jenna – this is a pretty typical case – 13-year-old
girl from a divorced family, frequented sex-oriented chat rooms, had
the screen name “Evil Girl.” There she met a guy who, after a
number of conversations, admitted he was 45. He flattered her, gave
– sent her gifts, jewelry. They talked about intimate things. And
eventually, he drove across several states to meet her for sex on
several occasions in motel rooms. When he was arrested in her
company, she was reluctant to cooperate with the law enforcement

David Finkelhor, in panel Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, May 2007

Let me summarize the important facts and figures from this excerpt and the next few pages. The numbers are based on a sample of law enforcement cases which Finkelhor et al. performed research upon:

  • most victims of “online predators” are teenagers, not young children
  • only 5% of cases involved violence
  • only 3% involved abduction
  • deception does not seem to be a major factor
  • 5% of offenders concealed the fact they were adults from their victimes
  • 80% of offenders were quite explicit about their sexual intentions
  • these crimes are “criminal seductions”, sexual relationships between teenagers and older adults
  • 73% of cases include multiple sexual encounters
  • in half the cases, victims are described as being in love with the offender or feeling close friendship
  • in a quarter of the cases, victims had actually ran away from home to be with the person they met online
  • only 7% of arrests for statutory rape in 2000 were internet-initiated

I find these figures very sobering. Basically, our kids are more at risk offline than online. No reason to panic! About this last figure, listen to Dr. Michele Ybarra, president of Internet
Solutions for Kids:

One victimization is
one too many. We watch the television, however, and it makes it
seem as if the internet is so unsafe that it’s impossible for young
people to engage on the internet without being victimized. Yet
based upon data compiled by Dr. Finkelhor’s group, of all the arrests
made in 2000 for statutory rape, it appears that seven percent were
internet initiated. So that means that the overwhelming majority are
still initiated offline.

Michele Ybarra, in panel Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, May 2007

I digress a little, but all this shows us that we need to go way beyond “don’t give out personal information, don’t chat with strangers” to keep teenagers safe from the small (but real, yes) number of sexual predators online:

Our research, actually looking at what puts kids at risk for receiving
the most serious kinds of sexual solicitation online, suggests that it’s
not giving out personal information that puts kid at risk. It’s not
having a blog or a personal website that does that either. What puts
kids in danger is being willing to talk about sex online with
strangers or having a pattern of multiple risky activities on the web
like going to sex sites and chat rooms, meeting lots of people there,
kind of behaving in what we call like an internet daredevil.

We think that in order to address these crimes and prevent them,
we’re gonna have to take on a lot more awkward and complicated
topics that start with an acceptance of the fact that some teens are
curious about sex and are looking for romance and adventure and
take risks when they do that. We have to talk to them about their
decision making if they are doing things like that.

David Finkelhor, in panel Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization: Researchers Present the Facts and Debunk Myths, May 2007

So, bottom line — what do I think? I think that MySpace’s announcement is more of a PR stunt than anything. This kind of action is the result of the ambient paranoia around sexual predators online, but it also fuels it. If MySpace are doing that, it must mean that we are right to be afraid, doesn’t it? I think it is a great pity that the media systematically jump on the fear-mongering bandwagon. We need more sane voices in the mainstream press.

Here is a collection of links related to this issue. Some I have mentioned in the body of the post, some I have not.

note: comments are moderated for first-time commenters.

My Twitter Usage Answers [en]

[fr] Voici les réponses que j'ai données à danah boyd (chercheuse dans le domaine des espaces numériques) suite au questionnaire sur Twitter qu'elle a envoyé à ses "Twitter-friends". Le questionnaire est ouvert à tous si vous désirez lui envoyer vos réponses (mais en anglais, elle ne parle pas français!)

Yesterday, danah sent me and a bunch of other Twitter users a few questions to answer about our Twitter usage. Here are my answers to her questions.

1 Why do you use Twitter? What do you like/dislike about it?

Twitter helps me stay connected to my “tribe”. I get little snippets
from them about what’s going on in their lives or minds, and they get
the same from me. It gives me the same kind of “in touch” feeling as
hanging out in an IRC channel, but with the added bonus that it’s “an
IRC channel populated by my IM buddylist” (well, not exactly of
course, not everybody is on Twitter, but close enough). And it’s IRC
with permalinks.

I can dump thoughts of the moment into it which are two short for a
blog post, and find them again later (micro-blogging). It’s an easy
way to let people know what I’m upto, as I publish my feed on my blog.

I like the people who hang out on Twitter. Most of “my important
online people” (people I like, those who count, in my world) are
there. I like being able to send messages to Twitter whether I’m
online or offline. I like the 140 character limit.

I don’t like the current “all or nothing” way of dealing with people
you follow. It makes getting twitters on my phone impossible, there
are too many of them. I’d like to be able to define groups, and
follow/unfollow certain groups easily on my phone. I don’t really like
the “all or nothing” privacy system: sometimes there is one message
I’d like to show only my friends, and not publish on my website like
the rest of my twitter stream. Or show a group of friends.

Oh, and I don’t like that direct twitters almost systematically come
up as two text messages on my phone.

But these things are are missing are “nice to haves” for me. What I
like most is that twitter sets out to do one thing (let you send short
status messages), and does it (in my opinion) pretty well.

2 Who do you think is reading your Tweets? Is this the audience you want? Why/why not? Tell me anything you think of relating to the audience for your Tweets.

At the beginning I kept my twitters/Tweets private. It felt too
IRC-like for me to make public. But then I realised that I wanted to
include the feed on my site, and that for that I had to go public. I
had a good think about this, also because I realised that if I started
out private, I was going to put private stuff in Twitter, and that
would prevent me from going public in future, as it would reveal my
past private twitters. So I decided the “safer” option was to go
public straight away (make sense?)

So, my main, most active audience is the people who are following me
on Twitter. I know many of them (my “friends”) but there are also many
I don’t know (“fans”?!). As my Twitter feed is published on my blog, I
know anybody who reads my blog or lands there can read them.

My attitude towards twittering (what do I twitter? what don’t I?) is
the same as with blogging: I assume everyone and anyone can read my
twitters, or is likely to at some point, whether friend, stranger, or
as-of-today-offline-person. So I make sure I’m reasonably comfortable
with anybody reading what I twitter, and balance risks when I’m saying
things about people. I’m aware that things I send to twitter have less
visibility for the “non 2.0” crowd, so I know I can get away with
certain things, even though the risk of being read is there.

I’m more “personal” in my Facebook status, for example — because I
know that (normally) future clients are not my friends on Facebook.
But I assume future clients read my blog 😉

As I mentioned in reply to your first question, I think selective
privacy would be a great thing for Twitter. Maybe I’d like my twitters
to be public by default, but every once in a while I’d like to send a
twitter which is visible only to my friends, or (if there is some kind
of grouping feature) to the group of people I’ve tagged “my

3 How do you read others’ Tweets? Do you read all of them? Who do you read/not read and why? Do you know them all?

I skim twitters of the people I’m following, at regular intervals
during the day. Sometimes, I’ll click on a single person’s Twitter
page and read the last 10-20 they sent. There are a few people I’m
very close to for which I’ll do that a few times a day.

I usually follow people I know (and not strangers), though by the
magic of one-sided conversations on Twitter, I have come to add people
who were friends with a friend of mine (one could say we were
twitter-introduced), and who have since then become “my friends”.
There are a few people I follow “as a fan” — I wouldn’t expect them
to follow me back — but those are not the most important people in my

4 What content do you think is appropriate for a Tweet? What is inappropriate? Have you ever found yourself wanting to Tweet and then deciding against it? Why?

I guess my answer to the second question is also relevant here. My
twitters are public, so I’m not going to twitter stuff I would not
generally consider “blog-safe” (ie, I don’t speak about my love life,
I don’t comment on arguments I might be having with people who are
close to me, I’m quite careful when speaking of others in general, and
I don’t usually give details of my last visit at the doctor’s).

So, yes, of course I’ve found myself wanting to send something to
twitter and deciding against it — just like it happens every now and
again with blogging, on IRC, or in a conversation with a friend.
Sometimes I decide it is best not to say what I am tempted to say,
because it is not appropriate for this situation/relationship/medium.
But it’s not an attitude I relate to Twitter as such.

5 Are your Tweets public? Why/why not? How do you feel about people you don’t know coming across them? What about people you do know?

They’re public, for the reasons I explained in answer to question 2. I
adapt my twittering so that I’ll be comfortable with the audience it
technically makes available (ie, “everyone”, strangers and friends —
online or off — alike). Just as with my blogging.

6 What do i need to know about why Twitter is/is not working for you or your friends?

I’ve heard quite a few complaints about people who twitter a lot
(which can be me, on some days). I think the ability to be more
selective about whose twitters one receives on phone/im could help
with that (it’s already possible to unfollow a person from the phone,
but it’s a rather drastic “general” action, instead of saying “I’m
following him, but don’t give me his twitters on my phone, thanks”.

I think it works because it’s simple.

I think it “doesn’t work” for many people before they ever start using
it because it’s hard to “get”. Many people out there don’t “get it”,
because they reduce it to some kind of totally egocentric
micro-blogging spewing messages which have no value to the world. So
it can be rather hard to bring in people who are not familiar with
online presence.

Teenagers and Skyblog: Cartigny Powerpoint Presentation [en]

[fr] Une présentation que j'ai donnée en juin lors d'un colloque de recherche à Cartigny. La présentation powerpoint contient un "tour d'horizon" plutôt visuel de ce que j'ai pu rencontrer durant mes "promenades" sur la plate-forme Skyblog. Cela représente assez bien les préoccupations des écoles qui me contactent afin de venir parler de blogs aux adolescents, aux parents, et aux enseignants (pas tous en même temps bien sûr!)

Earlier this year (in June) I was asked to give a presentation on teenagers and blogs at a medical research workshop in Cartigny, near Geneva (Sexual Health of Adolescents in the Internet Age: Old Concerns, New Challenges). I’ve just received an OK to put it online, so here it is: Teenagers and Skyblog, Powerpoint [8Mb].

It’s basically a very visual “collage” of what I’ve found during my expeditions on the Skyblog blogging platform which a lot of French-speaking teenagers use. It reflects the kind of issues that I’m asked to come and speak about in schools (to teenagers, parents, and teachers — not at the same time, of course).

My excuses for the format — no powerpoint on this machine, so I can’t convert it to anything nicer.

I’ve just discovered SlideShare and uploaded the slides there. You can view them below:

Blog de recherche sur les blogs [fr]

La rentrée se passe bien. Sophie Birchler ouvre un weblog dans le cadre de son travail de recherche sur les adolescents et les blogs.

[en] School has started and things are going great. Sophie Birchler has opened a blog about her research on teenagers and blogs (she's finishing her training as a social worker).

Un petit mot court pour vous dire que la rentrée se passe bien, et même très bien. Contrairement à  l’année dernière où j’avais l’impression de courir sans cesse après un train en marche, cette année j’ai l’impression d’être arrivée même assez en avance à  la gare pour boire tranquillement mon café!

Je prends de la bouteille, comme on dit 🙂

Il y a quelques mois, Sophie Birchler m’a contactée: elle entame un travail de recherche sur les adolescents et les blogs, dans le cadre de sa formation d’assistante sociale.

Elle a maintenant ouvert son blog, d’une part afin de mettre un pied dans la blogosphère, et d’autre part comme outil de recherche. Si le sujet vous intéresse, gardez un oeil sur son blog, et n’hésitez pas à  contribuer si vous avez des pistes à  lui donner!

Maturité d'un journal intime [fr]

Une citation de Jennifer, dont l’anonymat s’est petit à  petit effrité, et qui vit un mélange grandissant entre “le monde de son journal” et “le monde qu’elle raconte dans son journal”.

[en] Jennifer has been keeping an intimate diary online since she was 15. Her online and offline worlds have increasingly collided, and she is now facing the fact that she does not feel free to write on the internet as she used to be. It's really fascinating to read her going through this.

Jennifer a commencé à  écrire son journal intime sur internet lorsqu’elle avait 15 ans. Elle nous a tout livré, sans retenue. Maintenant, entre les années qui passent pour elle et la quantité d’écrits qui s’accumule, son rapport à  son journal change. Je dis depuis longtemps à  qui veut l’entendre qu’un journal intime sur internet n’est pas une entreprise viable, à  terme. Tôt ou tard, les cloisons que l’on a érigées entre son “soi en-ligne” et son “soi hors-ligne” deviennent poreuses. D’inconnus, les lecteurs deviennent connus, et on peut se retrouver à  vouloir parler d’eux.

Lire les réflexions de Jennifer à  ce sujet, et suivre son évolution, c’est assez passionnant.

[…] la principale raison à  ce «bloquage» est surtout que j’ai de plus en plus de mal à  m’«étaler», intimement et émotionnellement parlant, sur internet. Même si je recommencais un blog un jour, sans donner l’adresse à  personne, je crois que je pourrais plus me livrer complètement. Je trouve ça assez malsain pour être honnête. Presque sale. Je préfère garder l’intimité de notre couple. Si je veux lui dire des mots doux, je préfère les lui dire rien qu’à  lui. Quand on dévoile son cÅ“ur, on met à  disposition notre partie la plus sensible. Faire ça sur internet, à  l’accès de tous, et donner donc par la même occasion à  tous ces inconnus (ou pas… Facile d’être découvert) le moyen frapper où ça fait le plus mal, je crois ne plus en être capable.

Jennifer, 11 février 2005

Lire la suite du billet de Jennifer.

EPFL Offers Blogs to All Its Students [en]

A major engineering school in French-speaking Switzerland (Lausanne) has opened a blogging platform for all students and staff.

[via Hannes, Roberto]

The EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) has set up a blogging platform for all students and staff.

The platform is home-cooked, Java-based, and still in early stages. Trackback and external comments have not been implemented at this stage because of potential spam problems. Their archiving system is in my opinion a little basic, but the blogs all have RSS feeds, so I think there is definitely hope for the future.

I blogged about this in French yesterday, but I think it’s significant news enough for me to mention it again in English. (Plus, I’m thinking very hard about the implication of being a multilingual blog with monolingual readers…)

Allaitement [en]

Lorsque j’ai rencontré Aleika et Akirno, j’ai été très surprise que celle-ci allaite encore un bébé qui avait près d’une année. Dans mon esprit, l’allaitement convenait à  de tout petits bébés, quelques mois tout au plus.

Au fil des semaines qui ont suivi, je me suis plongée dans la bibliothèque d’Aleika. En particulier, un livre (je crois) de la Ligue La Leche et The Baby Book. J’ai bien peur que ce dernier n’existe malheureusement pas en français. Je serais très heureuse d’apprendre que je me trompe !

En Inde, il est parfaitement normal d’allaiter au moins une année ou deux. De retour en Suisse, j’ai réalisé que mes idées « pré-indiennes » étaient tout à  fait répandues parmi mes concitoyens. L’idée d’allaiter « encore » après une, deux, voire trois années était considéré comme choquante, malsaine, néfaste, ou tout du moins irréalisable et peu pratique.

Une rapide recherche sur l’allaitement en Suisse m’a fait découvrir toute une série de ressources intéressantes sur l’allaitement, en français. Vous me connaissez, je vais m’empresser de les partager avec vous !

Tout d’abord, quelques chiffres concernant l’allaitement en Suisse. Si le taux d’allaitement à  la naissance est élevé (90 %), on n’allaite pas longtemps (moins de 50 % au-delà  de trois mois).

Toujours sur le site de l’IPA, apprenez-en plus sur l’allaitement maternel chez les primates, dans l’histoire et la diversité des cultures humaines : on se rend compte que l’allaitement court (ou même son absence) est une caractéristique de notre civilisation occidentale postindustrielle :

La proximité mère-enfant, l’allaitement à  la demande et une durée d’allaitement le plus souvent moins deux ans, sont des éléments retrouvés dans de très nombreuses cultures, y compris en Europe avant l’industrialisation.

On rappellera en passant que l’OMS recommande deux ans ou plus d’allaitement, dont six mois d’allaitement exclusif :

Pour avoir une croissance, un développement et unesanté optimaux, le nourrisson doit être exclusivement nourri au sein pendant les six premiers mois de lavie : c.est là  une recommandation générale de santé publique. Par la suite, en fonction de l.évolution deses besoins nutritionnels, le nourrisson doit recevoir des aliments complémentaires sûrs et adéquats dupoint de vue nutritionnel, tout en continuant d.être allaité jusqu.à  l.âge de deux ans ou plus.

Ce n’est bien sûr pas valable uniquement pour les pays en voie de développement !

Sur un plan plus pratique, ce site très complet nous offre une FAQ (« Ai-je assez de lait ? », « Comment sevrer mon bébé ? »), un guide au fil des mois qui couvre l’allaitement dit « tardif », et surtout un répertoire des thèmes importants liés à  l’allaitement : allaiter la nuit, le manque de lait (souvent un « faux problème » : il est très rare qu’une femme soit physiologiquement incapable de produire assez de lait pour son bébé) et la reprise du travail.

Notons encore pour terminer les dossiers allaitement de et cet article de Construire sur l’allaitement.

Crop Circles [en]

Have you seen the movie Signs? Do, it’s a good one. A bit more scary than expected, though.

Actually, I’m not here to tell you about the movie, but to throw you some tidbits on crop circles. Crop circles are strange geometrical designs which appear overnight in fields.

Various theories try to explain their origin. As far as I’m concerned, Occam’s Razor rules in this case, and I vote for a perfectly human (albeit maybe somewhat mischievious) origin.

The Scientific American has published a very interesting article in which a crop circle maker tells us how he goes about the job.

For more insight from the makers, visit circlemakers – a comprehensive website devoted to the art and craft of crop circle making. Visit the beautiful photo gallery. Read Trickster, a long but interesting article on the history of crop circles and an analysis of the various beliefs surrounding them. I recommend printing it out.

[Thanks to Martine for pointing out the Scientific American article some time back.]

Knowledge Management [en]

Seth does a rather good job of explaining knowledge management to us, in two articles (more coming!) on the subject.

Knowledge management is an attempt to do with the collective knowledge of an organization — the individuals within the organization — what an individual does with his own knowledge. That includes storing, cross-linking, categorizing, contextualizing, retrieving, and of course presenting.

KM requires computer technology, because it can’t be done any other way. Remember, this isn’t the knowledge of a single individual being available to that individual whenver its needed, we’re talking about the knowledge of at least one individual being usable by at least one.