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How to Pay Attention

This article is part of the series:

The main challenge in running a seminar on the anthropology of attention is that such a thing doesn’t exist.* While anthropologists often think quite deeply about attention, worrying about our own noticing practices or what our interlocutors focus on, we rarely write about the concept head-on. When we do write about attention, we rarely problematize it in the way we …

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Varieties of Tulpa Experiences: Sentient Imaginary Friends, Embodied Joint Attention, and Hypnotic Sociality in a Wired World

Introduction

This article presents a summary and discussion of key findings from ten months of experimental cyberethnography among tulpamancers.[i] Tulpas, a term reportedly borrowed from Tibetan Buddhism, are imaginary companions who are said to have achieved full sentience after being conjured through ‘thought-form’ meditative practice. Human ‘hosts’, or tulpamancers, mediate their practice through open-ended how-to guides and discussion …