Tag Archives: social_media

Why a blog? Why this blog?

Recently I have received some long comments on earlier posts that address genetics and race. I need more time to digest the arguments and research cited, but already see that the direction is not one I agree with. Getting these comments has led me (at the advice of a colleague) to clarify why I am blogging:

1. To make sure I write every morning (even if the post is drawn from past work) before the busy-ness of teaching and administration takes over my day.
2. To see if these daily bits of writing and thinking (and recalling past writing and thinking) combine in ways that lead to new insights.
3. To expose my work more widely, including unpublished work, in the hope that kindred thinkers might come across it and make contact.

Q: What constitutes a kindred thinker? A: Someone who is interested in addressing complex situations “that cut across scales, involve heterogeneous components, and develop over time” and extending this interest to the interpretation of the researcher-in-social-context and to engagements that modify the directions that researchers take (including their own).

Q: What is my attitude about non-kindred thinkers who submit comments? A: Ad hominem comments disparaging others will not be approved for posting. Other comments will be accepted even if that means giving “airplay” to agendas of which I am quite critical. Sometimes I may have time to respond to such comments as I would as a teacher; sometimes not. I may also learn about research and ways of arguing that I need to think more about.

4. To complement, not substitute for, the personal connections through workshops [e.g., NewSSC] or regular conversations [e.g., ISHS].

Q: What combination of kinds of internet-facilitated connectedness is generative, sustaining, sustainable? A: I have been exploring this question with colleagues who make effective use of social media, e.g., making friends after twittering during conferences or having their blogs viewed after commenting on other people’s blogs.  The best result seems to be nested kinds of connectedness, with some people linked in immediately responsive and helpful ways and others just aware of one’s existence.  This is a topic for more exploration, reflection, and discussion.