Yesterday, I participated in a panel discussion in Second Life, with Celia Pearce, Thomas Malaby and Tom Boellstorff, on the roles and merits of qualitative and quantitative methods in cultural anthropology. The audio and a text transcript will be available soon. (I will provide a link here, as soon as they are.) UPDATE: You can find the transcript here. Instead of rehashing the arguments, I would like to simply spell out my rather bleak prediction of what data-rich and easily-manipulated online communities (like virtual worlds and social networking sites) mean for the future of qualitative research in areas like anthropology that study culture.