Inaugural Entry–Part Deux

So, I realized that random people will happen
across this blog thanks to the handy listing of recent blog updates when one
goes to the Wolfblogs page.  Thus, I realized I ought to start this thing
off with a little more information about me.  I am a quasi-Associate
Professor in Political Science (quasi, because the promotion does not become
official until August).  I've been at NC State since Fall of 2002 and
spent a couple of years at Texas Tech (guns up!) before that.  I have a
PhD from Ohio State and was an undergraduate at Duke. 

Presumably, what I do here will gradually evolve, but I hope to comment on
interesting news stories, etc., that I do not necessarily get a chance to
address in class.  It would be unrealistic of me to do that without
reflecting my own liberal predispositions, but I am more interested in
discussing good public policy and a well-functioning democracy than in simply
suggesting my views are better than anyone else's (though, when mine are based
on facts and others' are based on misinformation, that will be the case). 
Reasonable people can disagree quite reasonably on the size and scope of
government, whether or not gay marriage and abortion should be illegal or
illegal, how progressive our tax code should be, etc.  However, if a
virtual scientific consensus says that humans cause global warming, or that
supply side economics reduces government revenue, I'll stick with the facts
every time.  Furthermore, criticizing political figures for their actions
does not imply a particular partisan or ideological viewpoint.  Saying I
think Bush has screwed up with Iraq (a position advocated as well by many
Republicans) or that Rumsfeld is a disaster of a defense secretary, makes me no more a liberal than saying that I think Bush is taking a
generally good approach with immigration policy make me a Republican. 

Alright, I've got my ideological disclaimer out of the way.  But as I
discussed in class this very day, there are few things more offensive than
having one's viewpoints (viewpoints developed from years of closely following
the political world and years of studying politics as a social scientist)
simply tossed aside as “well, he's just a liberal college professor.”

Okay, enough with the politics.  I also hope to share on this blog, my
random thoughts on the many other topics that interest me (though I'll stay low
key with Duke basketball).  I love reading about science– especially
neurology (from whence derives my blog title), evolutionary biology, ecology,
and human medicine.  I hope to comment when I have something interesting
to say about these topics as well as my love of good books, movies, and
TV.  I'll probably also throw in the occasional family anecdote. 
David Greene, (6– and the oldest of my three red-haired, blue-eyed) boys, is
definitely good for some amusing stories.

I've gone on long enough.

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Inaugural Entry

Well, at long last I'm starting a blog after thinking about it for a long time.  For some reason, seeing that the NCSU library was offering Wolfblogs is what got me to finally do this– not like I couldn't have started a blog for free somewhere else, ages ago.  The fact that my wife– the much-needed superego to my id– called me “Narcissus” when I first ran the idea past her has definitely made me think twice about this.

Nonetheless, after a recent couple days of meetings on Distance Education, I decided (deluded myself?) that this blog could actually be a useful pedagogical tool.  One thing I really do not like about teaching both a distance course and large lecture courses is that I really do not get to discuss current events (or anything else for that matter) with my students.  I decided this would be a way for me to share my thoughts on the issues of the day.  This will, of course, save my wife from listening to political rants when I do not otherwise have an audidence.  So, that said, we'll just have to see how this goes (and if anybody besides me actually reads this thing).

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