Thursday, March 31, 2011

100th Post

As I have mentioned, I look at the statistics for my blog a lot, perhaps somewhat obsessively. One of the things that interests me is which posts receive the most page views. Of course, this is a rather imperfect way to gauge which of my posts are having an effect, if people don't leave comments I rely on what I must.

So, for my hundredth post, I want to share the five most viewed posts, according to page views, my ten favorite posts, in hopes of changing the most viewed list a bit, and talk a little about what I have planned, and I, as always, welcome input about future content. I was going to list my top five favorite posts, but, quite pleasantly, I came across 16 posts that I really liked, so I decided to compromise and do a top ten. So, without further ado, the top five most viewed posts are:

5. ???
4. In Defense of Pi
3. Mathematics, A Eulogy?
2. Travelogue II: Fear and Hope
1. Kant Touch This

The first two are somewhat of a disappointment, I say almost nothing in ??? aside from asking if people have questions to suggest, and I think that In Defense of Pi, while a hot button issue, is a bit trivial, although I had fun writing it. The next two are posts of which I am proud, so I am glad to see them there. Kant was a solid post, but I find it uninspiring. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure that it showed up on this list, and was #1 by a large margin, for a reason related to the fact that it has generated half of my total spam comments. As usual, SpamBot pageviews count as heavily as the ones that I actually want. So, which posts do I actually wish people would remember me for?

10) Happy Independence Day!: This post hearkens back to when I expected this blog to be more political than philosophical. I also appreciate that it lays out some of my most foundational beliefs about our political system. Finally, I was just in a really good mood when I wrote it, and I appreciate that too.

9) A Call to Grandma: I like how this post fairly accurately captures how my mind works. It also manages to address how perception affects what we are willing to pay money for, and even what we can call property. Having read a little Marx now, I think there might be another post's worth on that topic.

8) Relationships: While not something I have as much empirical information about as I might like, an important topic nonetheless. This managed to do double duty as a Valentine's Day post and the second in my series on Kant's categorical imperative. I also like the interplay between the facts presented in the psychology articles and the ethics on how we ought respond to this info.

7) Why Am I Here?: Not only was this post reader inspired, something I really appreciate, it also gave me a chance to reflect on who I am, who I was, and how the two were bridged. I also was glad to have a reason to express my gratitude to those I could think of who helped me get here.

6) Mathematics: A Eulogy?: This post inspired a rich comment thread, that alone is something I very much like! While the above post talks about education in relation to my life, this is the first post on the list where I talk about the education system in general. As a math educator and student this is an important topic to me.

5) Education in Culture: What do you know, another post about education. This one addresses what I believe to be the fundamental problem with our education system overall, namely that our culture does not value education.

4) Travelogue II: Fear and Hope: In addition to reminding me of my most recent visit to Oregon, this post addresses race, our fear of "the other," and why libraries are not only awesome for pragmatic reasons but also for their implications for our society's philosophy.

3) Only a God Can Save Us: I think that the struggle to connect with our fellow humans is one of the, if not the, most important struggle that faces us in this world, and Nazis are not exempt from humanity. Sometimes we may try to set Nazis somehow beyond humanity, beyond the pale, but I think this is a serious error, and by contemplating the horrors spawned by the last century, in some ways we contemplate ourselves. I plan to write more on this in a post soon. This post also lacks a single comment, and I am unsure why, do people think I am way off base, or am I saying something so obviously true that it hardly bears mentioning?

2) Poker Face: As I have already mentioned, I think relationships and other people are kind of important. This post, in addition to being the first in my series on music videos, addresses the problems with knowing other people and being known to them, and the importance of continually trying.

1) The "Three 'R's": While much of this ordering was difficult, I am sure that this is my absolute favorite post thus far. Another education post, I attempt, with an indeterminate amount of success, to address what education and thought itself mean in a fundamental way, and why I believe them to be important enough to devote a large portion of my time to. Another post which has sparse feedback, and again I am unsure if it is because I am on the mark or well off of it. On the other hand, I seemed to inspire my sister to write a post in a similar vein, so I guess this post inspired someone other than myself, which makes me happy.

As mentioned, there were sixteen posts which I thought were quite worthy of note, so if you think I missed one of my most important posts, odds are I agree with you. My posts on feminism were almost overlooked in this list, although they are certainly of great importance to me. Again, aside from #1, much of my ordering was haphazard, chosen only to get a decision made.

In regards to the future of the blog, I always welcome inspiration from my readers, or their own blogs, and I have my sister, Karen, and ElfArmy to thank for the inspiration for quite a few of my own posts. If people want to see posts on a specific topic, or more posts on a theme that I have previously explored, please feel free to express that desire. That said, I also have a backlog of post ideas sitting in a draft, and the list has reached the rather impressive number of 13. I plan to do at least a couple responding to various TED talks I have watched, and also a couple responding to inspiration from webcomics that I read.

As I noted earlier, this blog has deviated quite significantly from my original idea of a political blog. As such, I am considering renaming my blog, and perhaps redecorating while I am at it. However, as I am not one who adapts to change easily, I felt it would be good to see what others thought about the idea of making such drastic, if cosmetic, changes to the blog.


elfarmy17 said...

I like the blog name. You often write about how you like people to challenge what you say to make you think about your own views more, and if we write something on here, you're going to see it. You're "stuck" "in the middle" of the debate with us.

Remembering "A Call To Grandma" made me think back on how interesting it is to see my grandparents' reactions to aspects of technology that I take for granted. For instance, today I mentioned that on my non-writing group-Wednesdays I'll often make myself a salad to eat "while watching TV on my computer" (Netflix instant-stream). She said "Hmf. TV on your computer." I said "Um, yes. Is that strange?" Which is actually the only way I watch TV anymore...

elfarmy17 said...

Oh! And thanks for the shout-out, btw. :)

Kenny said...

I guess the name shall stay. I was just talking with my sister yesterday and she mentioned that when she reads my blog the one line from that song she can remembers plays repeatedly through her head.

I also told her that I expected to be able to participate in holo-phone calls with my theoretical, future niece or nephew, so I can dig that technology seems incredibly crazy to some people. "It is always disconcerting to hear marijuana ads on the radio, it hammers home that I am a thing of the past trying to make my stumbling way through this future in which I find myself tossed." -Me on Facebook Wednesday.