Tuesday, June 13, 2006

To post or not to post: Why I blog

I’m a doctoral candidate in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. I am currently writing my dissertation on the Uluzzian industry of southern Italy and I plan to use this blog as a way to organize some of my thoughts during this process as well as to archive my impressions on recent (and occasionally not-so-recent) publications in paleoanthropology, and especially on the discipline’s archaeological dimension.

This site is therefore a collection of developing ideas, and is obviously not subject to peer-review in any way, shape or form. Thus, what I post here should be taken for what it is, my perspective on things, though I believe it to be a relatively well-informed one. Regardless, I will strive throughout to remain as objective and level-headed as possible. I am explicitly trying to avoid confrontation and the use of an abusive tone in my comments, but I believe that open and frank discussion of these topics is important. If any post comes across as excessive in tone or content, I apologize in advance, and I would in fact appreciate comments to that effect.

One of the other reasons why I chose to adopt a blog format is also to create a publicly-accessible forum to demonstrate to the public at large that discussion and debate is part and parcel of scientific research. Therefore, far from attesting to any fundamental conceptual or methodological failing, the presence of debate over the finer points of evolutionary anthropology broadly defined is indicative of the field’s intellectual vigor. I believe strongly that little good emerges from the death of discussion and, especially, from when the written word becomes accepted as gospel.

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