So it’s been a long blogging hiatus. I’m excited to be relaunching the blog, more or less: same look, but a somewhat different emphasis in the content. When I started out (almost exactly six years ago), I was thinking in terms of casting a wide net and discussing a broad range of scientific findings regarding what makes us human, why we behave as we do, how we got to be this way, and how we deal with being conscious matter.
I sort of shifted into writing what was essentially a brain blog as time went on, which is fine: I like my brain, and I think brains are one of the more fascinating things to have ever evolved on our planet. However, the blogosphere has changed quite a bit since then, and there are excellent brain blogs written by people who have studied the brain at a level well beyond my own expertise. So now I’m shifting my focus somewhat.
I still hope to have something interesting to say about fMRI results, genetic studies of the brain or of behavior, exciting human fossil news, and the behavior of other animals, especially of other primates. At the same time, I’d like to start writing more about how the sciences of human nature and the human brain are connected to how we live our lives: how family life and relationships work, how we run our communities and our countries, the fascinating mental structures and practices we have developed that no other animals have (science, art, religion) and how we use (or sometimes misuse) them. Essentially, I’m thinking of cultural commentary that’s rooted in what science has been able to tell us so far about the universe and our place in it. If that sounds vague, I understand; just keep checking back, and it should become clearer.