Friday, February 23, 2024

Keeping Score of my online action

It’s a lazy Friday afternoon, but then recently all Friday afternoons have seemed lazy. I’ve spent much the day doing this and that and taking stock, getting ready for the been weekend push on my next piece for 3 Quarks Daily. It’s currently titled, “Why We Need Philosophy, Now, More Than Ever [AI].” Perhaps it will have that title by the time I publish it. We’ll see.

Anyhow, I thought I’d report my latest states on Academic and here at the Savanna.


I’ve got 90,841 total views, which puts me in the top 0.5%. I’ve been there for months. At one point in the last year, Mar. 22, I was in the top 0.1%. That’s pretty good. I need to be in the top 0.001%.

The chart below shows my paper action over the last 60 days. The upper green line is paper views and the lower black line is downloads. Notice that all the data points except the rightmost one indicate totals for the day. I took the screenshot at 4PM; I won’t hazard a guess where thing will be at the end of the day.

Here's the most popular papers over the last 60 days (click on chart to embiggen):

Notice that the top paper, on the tech Singularity, is way behind the second paper, on Kawajiri’s Ninja Scroll, in total views (to the right), but ahead of it in downloads. The singularity paper is from 2014; the Ninja Scroll paper is from 2015. The corresponding Ninja Scroll post at New Savanna is the most popular post there. I’m particularly pleased with the performance of the Heart of Darkness paper, which is hard-core literary criticism, with quite a bit of close-reading and “distant” reading as well; it’s from 2019. The Visual Thinking paper is an encyclopedia article I published in 1990.

New Savanna

Here’s the views on New Savanna over the past three months. Very spiky.

Here’s the last year; notice the overall spikiness and the heavy action in August and September.

This is how things look over the whole life of the blog:

I have no idea what caused all that action in 2017, nor what’s the source of the recent, but highly variable, increase since August, 2023.

Here’s the most popular posts for the last three months (click on chart to embiggen):

Note particularly the most popular one: GOAT Literary Critics: Part 1.1, What do you mean, literary critic? That’s from December 4, 2023, and is the first post in my ongoing series on literary criticism. That series is a response to Tyler Cowen’s recently published book, GOAT: Who is the Greatest Economist of all Time and Why Does it Matter? Cowen published a link to my post at his blog, Marginal Revolution, on December 6 and that drove a lot of traffic to New Savanna that day.

The second post on the list is my post on Ninja Scroll; as I indicated above, it’s the most popular one at New Savanna and dates from September, 2010, the first year of the blog. In third place we have one the posts in my series about Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. That is now the third most popular post on the blog and dates from late 2015.

Who’s the GOAT of Economics? Tyler Cowen on His New AI Book & More! [Bonus: from double-entry bookkeeping to supply and demand] – that’s in fourth place and has some comments on a podcast in which Cowen discussed his GOAT economists book. During the conversation he mentioned that he couldn’t understand why 17th century thinkers had such trouble conceptualizing the phenomenon of supply-and-demand, which he could easily explain to a reasonably intelligent teenager. I did some thinking about it and made a variety of comments about it, giving special attention to a speculation that the conceptualization probably piggy-backed on the practice of double-entry book-keeping. Cowen apparently liked that and gave me another link.

More later.

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