Some data about the blog after it reached a milestone

I’ve been mostly offline and busy with other things lately, which is why things have been slow here. However, I just noticed that Nec Pluribus went past 100,000 views a week ago, which means it averaged about 500 views/day since I wrote my first post in January. It’s not that much compared to some popular blogs, but it probably means that some people read it on a regular basis, so I’m not totally clamoring in the desert. Those 100,000 views have been generated by some 38,000 visitors, though I expect that only a handful of them check the blog on a regular basis, while the others are just people who read one of the most widely shared posts I published and never came back afterward.

I have published 115 posts since I started the blog. The most popular so far remains the first part of my series about the chemical attack in Syria, which accounts for more than 10% of the views. After that, the most popular is my post on women in philosophy, which I know has been shared widely in the profession and was recently shared by Jordan Peterson and Christina Hoff Sommers on Twitter. It accounts for almost 9% of the views. The rest of the traffic was divided up more equally between the other posts, although there was still a lot of variation.

Most of the views, about 64% to be precise, came from the US. Germany, the UK and Canada come next, with approximately 6% of the views for each. France, Australia and Sweden are next, with respectively about 3%, 2% and 1% of the traffic. The rest is kind of all over the place, with no country accounting for more than 1% of the traffic. I plan to publish in French more often in the future, so I hope it will attract more people from France, but I will continue to publish at least half of my posts in English since I can reach more people this way. Less than 0.2% of the views came from Russia, which is particularly disappointing for a paid agent of the Kremlin such as myself.

As I said, things have been kind of slow lately and will likely remain so for a while, though I should pick up the pace eventually and I have several posts in the work. One is a follow-up to my post about police violence against blacks in the US, where I will look at less extreme forms of use of force by the police, instead of focusing on violence that led to death. As I explained recently, I also want to write one last post about the Trump/Russia story, but after that I will probably leave it alone since I’m really tired of this nonsense and I know reality will eventually vindicate me, though I suspect it will be years before this happens.

In another post, which I started to work on after the controversy about James Damore’s memo on diversity at Google, I use a statistical model to explain how you can easily end up with large disparities between groups if they differ in abilities and/or interests. I actually discovered something pretty surprising, which I had never thought about before and that I have never seen mentioned anywhere else, so I think it will illustrate how formal analysis can be useful by helping you see things that would otherwise have remained obscure because they’re not obvious or are even counter-intuitive.

I also have a post on minimum wage, where I will explain what a regression analysis is and criticize a very common statistical fallacy. I already wrote half of it several weeks ago, so it shouldn’t take long to finish it. I think it will be useful because regression analysis is ubiquitous in social science, but most people don’t really know how it works, which leads them to commit various fallacies when they interpret the results of that kind of analysis. I also plan to discuss other common fallacies about regression analysis in the future, but this will have to wait a bit more.

I hope to publish at least half of these by the end of August and, if I have enough time, perhaps 3 of them before that. However, I’m not making any promises, since I have been pretty bad at predicting how fast I’ll be able to write stuff for my blog so far. Beside, events will probably lead me to change my plans and write about other things first anyway, so there is no point in trying to be more specific. I have many other projects for the blog after that, such as a post in which I will use data from the NCVS to look at hate crimes in the US in more details than I did previously, but they are at a less advanced stage.

2 thoughts

  1. I’ve got a question for you:

    Why are realist libertarians and conservatives so obsessed with combatting the rise of China? Bannon in a recent interview with prospect magazine said a lot of very reasonable things about the absurdity of war with NK, the identity-politics trap the left has fallen into, and the stupidity of focusing so much on extreme fringe groups in the right by the media. However, he also said, “We’re at economic war with China … It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.” And later: “To me … the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.” Likewise, everyone from yourself* to John Mearsheimer to Pat Buchanan** seems to share this worry about China, despite having a tempered realist attitudes towards the Middle East, Russia, N. Korea, and even South America (the American Conservative is even warning against intervention in Venezuela).

    Now, I may be old-fashioned, but I fail to see how waging a massive economic war (that we apparently should be “maniacally” focused on) will not lead to a *real* war. Am I missing something? I lived in China for a year and my partner, who is not Chinese, lived there for eight years. I know about its rights-abuses and government corruption. I know that it is flexing its muscles and wants to be the regional power in East Asia. I know it wants to be a world-leader economically. Yet I see absolutely no reason why it should be a threat to the west, except providing a non-Western counter-weight to American/European hegemony that has led to a great deal of war and destruction over the past century. China seems interested in having a non-adversarial relationship with the west, so long as their sphere of influence is respected (just like Putin and Russia). Why should tensions be ramped up to create an enemy out of a potential partner? Why do many realists always make it out to be the bogeyman lurking behind all the other conflicts? It seems like many realists fall into the same pattern of thinking regarding China that they accuse the neo-liberals and neo-cons of falling into regarding Russia.

    I would love to see a post about this, if you have any answers. As someone whose values are left-leaning (as in, I am very concerned about income inequality, jobs, housing, access to healthcare, etc), I have become increasingly interested in engaging and even adopting certain conservative/libertarian views since the election (mostly in response to seeing how absolutely nuts the democrats and many “progressives” have become). However, this attitude towards China bothers me.

    * In your Nation article on the US’s stupidity in Ukraine you comment on the end warning about the supposed dangers of a Russian-Chinese alliance. You qualify your remark, but it still suggests that China is in some sense fairly dangerous.

    ** In many of his opinion pieces he notes his fear of a rising China. For example, in a recent American Conservative opinion piece entitled “Are America’s Wars Just and Moral” he finishes with what appears to be a warning about China: “Meanwhile, as the Americans bomb across the Middle East, China rises. She began the century with a GDP smaller than Italy’s and now has an economy that rivals our own.” Others at the American Conservative, which I consider one of the best outlets for sane Foreign Policy views, also seems very worried about China.

    1. This is a really good question that gets at the heart of current geopolitics. I’ll provide a possible interpretation of Bannon’s remarks that is largely grounded in what I gleaned from reading “Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization” – a superb book everyone should read (it was particularly prescient, but in a deep, indirect way about the 2016 election).

      If you take Khanna’s main set of claims seriously, then you’ll realize that we are moving towards a post-military world. In what way? In the sense that global supply chains/infrastructure and national economies/trade/etc. are rapidly and significantly becoming too interconnected. Typical military action between developed and even developing countries is to risky to each individual countries’ economic interests. Not in the typical way that a war would be in the past, but rather, countries like China and the United States risk enormous economic stagnation by upsetting the natural balance of economic connectedness between them.

      Military projection and might is not the primary way to gain or hold geopolitical power anymore. Rather, geopolitical power is now being determined by one’s proximity to the critical center of global supply chain connectivity. So, it’s better to have foreign investments in the Caribbean, Africa, Indonesia, and elsewhere then to have a nuclear powered aircraft carrier. The latter is not particularly relevant for geopolitics anymore, because there is too much disincentive to use it which greatly reduces its geopolitical value. The former (foreign investment), buys you direct and indirect types of financial/economic/supply chain access as well as increasing (because of the use of this new found access) other countries dependence on you.

      Who has been doing the latter? China, not the U.S. China is way ahead of the game right now. For the U.S. to keep its current geopolitical seat, they will have to wage an economic war of sorts, but it will be a lot different from the way one would think about this in the past.

      There are so many other insights from that book, you should go and get a copy.

      Bannon, of course, is prone to hyperbole as well as being a bit of an ideologue so it’s difficult to say to what extent his remarks are semi-reasonable, mere venting, crazy, or something else all together.

Leave a Reply