This I Believe For Now...

Here begins a new series of posts that I call, "This I Believe For Now..."  In this series, I attempt to express and explain my understanding and approach to certainb topics.  It's not so much justifying my stance as it is trying to explain how I got to where I have taken on that particular world view.  I've purposely included the phrasing "for now" in recognition of several things (which is also indicative of other viewpoints that will be forthcoming).  

I recognize that learning is an act of changing and as I recognize myself as a being continually immersed in learning, then these beliefs may not be entirely sound or the same which I believe at a later point.  I'm not saying I will throw out all my beliefs at every turn, but I want to be open enough to hear, consider, and integrate different ideas.  This is what dialogue, debate, and dissent "should" do, when for too many, it just further entrenches them in their own views.   I fully accept that I may be wrong and open to the possibility of learning other ways of understanding the world.  I also recognize that I am not the end-all, be all authority of my or other people's reality.  My words ring true for me but mayhaps not for the reader; should the reader chose to share his or her thoughts, then I'm likely to engage in dialogue that will influence how I think about the subject later on.

That being said, in pursuing my thoughts and my arguments, I will most likely refer to various resources that have shaped my understanding.  I welcome other people to engage in this dialogue, but bring your resources to the discussion as well.  I've tried to base my understanding of the world through a mixture of personal experience and what I've learned from research in the form of books, articles, classes, and other relevant material.  I can't or maybe it's that I choose not to change my opinion simply because someone else says to.  I need to weigh the merit and integrity of arguments and know upon what evidence and argument he/she based his/her worldview.  I've spent a good amount of time and energy trying to make sense of the world that I live in and don't come to my answers easily.  I am not likely to give up on those beliefs without substantive evidence.

In writing about these subjects, I do not offer myself as an authority on the subject.  While anything I write about I will likely have some stake in and knowledge about, I don't claim to be an authority, expert, or even correct.  I write from a place of experience and knowledge, but don't presume that place to be a privileged place.  As I start this project, I acknowledge that at age 32, I'm inclined to believe that I am above average in intelligence, given I've had a good deal of intellectual achievement in my life.  I've acquired four degrees (Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, Bachelor's Degree in History, Master's Degree in American Studies, and Master's Degree in Public Administration) and currently working on a fifth degree (Masters in Education).  I've to date over 750 publications of written work in printed publications.  The vast majority of these are trade industry audiobook reviews in Publishers Weekly, Audiofile Magazine, and Library Journal, but there is a reasonable publication record of academic articles, encyclopedia entries, and academic book reviews.  Coupled with this is over 12+ years writing on the internet in various capacities on my own previous sites (canexdomain.com, projectconsumer.org, hitchhikingadjunct.blogspot.com, and of course, byanyothernerd.blogspot.com), other websites (audiobookcafe.com, booxreview.com, curledup.com, bookloons.com).  Coupled with this is my experience in presenting at conferences across the country (and even in the UK), and teaching nearly 100 college classes.  This is all to acknowledge that I have intellectual depth and I don't go about this project without serious contemplation.  However, I do not assume a place of authority.

What do I look for in this endeavour?  Like much of what I post on this blog, I'm continually looking for dialogue, debate, and interaction.  Just like I do so often in Facebook, I like to engage with people and learn about how they make sense of the world.  This doesn't happen easily and many people are often put off by dialogue and debate, but I welcome it, even when I am frustrated by the directions it takes.  Dialogue for me (and I would think for others) takes me out of my mind and into a world beyond my own  viewpoint or reality.  It makes me have to recognize that there are other ways that people concieve of the world and I should give some time and energy to making sense of those ways if I am to have a meaningful life.  I also look for self-knowledge in this quest.  I want to better understand what exactly it is that I believe and why I believe it; how do I get there from here?

So be on the lookout for these posts and I hope that you choose to engage in the discussion.  So topics that I will look to engage with in future posts:
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Politics
  • Popular Culture
  • Religion
  • Sexuality
  • Technology



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