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Good books are of course far better than almost anything you can read in a magazine or find on the Internet. They are also of double the benefit when the reader actually interacts with them, e.g. by writing a review. I have about 25 of these on my two blogs, but they still come very far from encompassing all the best stuff I’ve read.

The problem with writing a review is that they are very time-consuming. A post on on current affairs, in which I can find quotes and links to material on the click of a button, takes far less time and effort than leafing through a tome or trying to locate some important passage in a Kindle book. Reader response rates tend to be fairly modest too. It goes without mention that one is expected to actually read the book too.

So, books reviews are very useful. Both for personal development, to better internalize its lessons through rephrase and summary, as well as for the benefit of laypersons who may be inspired to read the book too – or at least to correctly quote its arguments, while pretending to have read it, and not come off as a fool or a fraud. (For instance, I am personally convinced that 95% of The Bell Curve’s confident critics have never even touched it). But they’re taxing on time and stamina. How to resolve this?

I think I have a solution. Henceforth, instead of reviewing books individually – as I tended to do beforehand – I will review them in taxonomic bunches. I will also only review the best books in their class as reviewing bad books is the most horrid of chores, and useless to boot. After all, going by Pareto, probably something like 80% of the more useful and relevant information on any subject is contained in 20% of the books on it; there is thus an inherent advantage in only focusing on the top 5 or so.

To this end, I have compiled a list of “top books” on various subjects, theories, and themes that will hopefully appear as blog posts in the not too distant future. If they are in italics, it means I have yet to read the book in question. Note that only English language books or books with more or less accessible English language translations cay be included. Please feel free to provide suggestions for the ?’s, to suggest alternatives for any book on the lists you think unworthy, and to suggest lists of books on topics of your own expertise.

Hacking Life

Top 5 Books Every (American) Man Has To Read

  1. The Lucifer Principle (Howard Bloom)
  2. The Game (Neil Strauss)
  3. The Bell Curve (Charles Murray & Richard Herrnstein)
  4. The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  5. The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene), OR The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)

Comment: If you are a pasty-faced nerd who doesn’t get laid and doesn’t have much money, these books will open your ideas to what’s wrong with you like few others. They will not tell you how to “get big, get rich, get chicks” – for that, see below – but they will quickly set you on the straight and narrow.

(1) explains why you live in a social hierarchy and always will; the only question is where you’ll be on the pyramid. (2) explains why being a nice guy won’t get you laid, despite what your mom and beta friends tell you. While (3) is most (in)famous for exposing some inconvenient racial realities, its even more fascinating findings are that IQ more than anything else determines your life chances, and its theory of “cognitive stratification” is simply the most cogent and elegant explanation for the path US society is on. (4) is brimming with insights on how to act under capitalism. (5) are the right attitudes to keep in mind when politicking, regardless of whether you’re office plankton or a Congressman.

Top 5 Books Every American Man Has To Takes Notes On

  1. The Four Hour Workweek (Tim Ferriss)
  2. Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe), OR Power to the People! (Pavel Tsasouline), OR The Four Hour Body (Tim Ferriss)
  3. Bang! (Roosh V), AND Day Bang (Roosh V), OR The Layguide (anon.)
  4. The Paleo Solution (Robb Wolf), OR The Four Hour Body (Tim Ferriss)
  5. ? – How to improve IQ? It is largely set by genetics, but can surely be tweaked upwards with mental exercises and nootropic drugs. I do not know of a good book on this subject, most likely because I’ve never experienced serious limiting factors in this area.

Comment: Not everyone is has the genetics or intuitive understandings necessary to succeed in life. These guides show how it is done. Online, follow Life Hacker.

The Lucky Gods

It is considered that wealth, health, and love are all vital towards a fulfilling life. Some power and a sense of spiritual purpose wouldn’t go amiss either. How do you go about acquiring these?

Top 5 Books on Wealth

  1. The Four Hour Workweek (Tim Ferriss)
  2. The $100 Start-up (Chris Guillebeau)
  3. The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment: I think (1) contains virtually all the basics on how to become a member of the “New Rich”: Improving efficiency via exploitation of the 80/20 Principle and Parkinson’s Law; Creating “muses”, i.e. automated revenue streams; Exploiting geoarbitrage; Going on permanent semi-retirement. Excellent! (3) will show you how to NOT lose money, e.g. by ignoring financial “experts”.

Top 5 Books on Health

  1. The Four Hour Body (Tim Ferriss)
  2. The Paleo Solution (Robb Wolf)
  3. Starting Strength (Mark Rippetoe), OR, Power to the People! (Pavel Tsasouline), OR Convict Conditioning (Paul Wade)
  4. Fantastic Voyage (Ray Kurzweil & Terry Grossman)
  5. Emergency! (Neil Strauss)

Comment: The first three books are about how to stay in excellent physical form (once you get fit enough check out Crossfit). (4) is about increasing longevity, while (5) may lower the chances your life is cut short during some disaster. Useful online resources include Bodybuilding, Longecity.

Top 5 Books on Game

  1. The Game (Style)
  2. Bang! (Roosh V), AND Day Bang (Roosh V)
  3. Rules of the Game (Style)
  4. The Layguide (anon.)
  5. The Mystery Method (Mystery)

Comment: (1) is the classic that popularized game. (2) are detailed, no-nonsense guides to its application; I would recommend reading them immediately after The Game. (3) is more of an all-round self-improvement exercise book, with tips on stuff like posture and voice. (4) has a ton of information on patterns. (5) is a description of real social dynamics as per its inventor. Online, read Heartiste and Roosh.

Top 5 Books on Power

  1. The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)
  2. The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene)
  3. ? Influence (Robert B. Cialdini)
  4. ? Art of Seduction (Robert Greene)
  5. ?

Comment: (1) is the oldest classic, and (2) is standard throughout business schools. Suggestions for other books welcome.

Top 5 Books on Conversation

  1. Frogs into Princes (Richard Bandler & John Grinder)
  2. Conversationally Speaking (Alan Garner)
  3. How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie)
  4. ? The Art of Seduction (Robert Greene)
  5. ? Something on motivational speaking, tones, etc

Comment: This is a priority development area, tying in as it does with both Power and Game. (1) is NLP. (3) is a classic.

Top 5 Books on Spirit

  1. The Secret (Rhonda Byrne)
  2. San Manuel Bueno, Martyr (Miguel de Unamuno)
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment: Not an expert on this yet, and not high priority. Online, Zen Habits.

Understanding the World

Top 5 Books on HBD and Evolutionary Biology

  1. Mean Genes (Terry Burnham)
  2. The Bell Curve (Charles Murray & Richard Herrnstein)
  3. The Selfish Gene (Richard Dawkins)
  4. The G Factor (Arthur Jensen)
  5. Race, Evolution, and Behavior (Philippe Rushton)

Comment: These books cover a huge percentage of the most relevant findings on gender and racial differences, how they came to be, and why they are important.

Top 10 Books for Understanding the Future

  1. Secular Cycles (Peter Turchin), OR Introduction to Social Macrodynamics (Andrei Korotayev, Artemy Malkov, & Daria Khaltourina)
  2. Limits to Growth (Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, & Dennis Meadows)
  3. Beyond Oil (Kenneth Deffeyes)
  4. Six Degrees (Mark Lynas)
  5. The Singularity is Near (Ray Kurzweil)
  6. Race, Evolution, and Behavior (Philippe Rushton)
  7. The Clash of Civilizations (Samuel Huntington)
  8. The End of History (Francis Fukuyama)
  9. ? Future Shock (Alvin Toffler)
  10. The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)

Comment: To appreciate the future, one needs a sense of the forces that drive historical processes such as war, prosperity, civil strife… (1) is perhaps the best guide, introducing us to cliodynamics – the mathematical modeling of history. This transitions smoothly into (2), the mathematical modeling of future ecological and social processes. (3)-(6) are concise introductions to four major realities of today without which accurate predictions are impossible: Energy depletion; Anthropogenic climate change; Accelerating technological change; Human Biodiversity. (7)-(9) are different paradigms through which to view political and social developments; they may have legions of critics, but all of them have been hugely influential. (10) is a cautionary reminder that your predictions will be wrong, so don’t bank on them.

Top 5 Futurist Books

  1. Preparing for the 21st century (Paul Kennedy)
  2. Global Catastrophes and Trends (Vaclav Smil)
  3. The World in 2050 (Laurence S. Smith)
  4. ? The Next 100 Years (George Friedman), The Meaning of the 21st century (James Martin), Our Final Hour (Martin Rees)
  5. ?

Comment: These are the brave souls who tried to gather the strands and predict what the next century will look like. (1)-(3) are well-thought out and excellent; and suggestions in (4) are rather slapdash efforts best avoided.

Top 10 Books on “Big History”

  1. Secular Cycles (Peter Turchin)
  2. The Decline of the West (Oswald Spengler)
  3. A History of the World (John Roberts)
  4. Maps of Time (David Christian)
  5. A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bill Bryson)
  6. Guns, Germs, and Steel (Jared Diamond)
  7. Capitalism and Material Life, 1400–1800 (Fernand Braudel)
  8. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (Paul Kennedy)
  9. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (David Landes)
  10. The Great Divergence (Kenneth Pomeranz)

Comment: (1) asserts that history can be modeled; (2), the reverse. The next three books are the biggest big picture histories, from the very beginnings of humanity (5) or even the Big Bang (3), (4) to the present day. (6)-(10) are influential accounts dealing with the question of why some countries became rich and powerful, while others remained poor and got colonized.

Top 5 Peak Oil Books

  1. Beyond Oil (Kenneth Deffeyes)
  2. Oil 101 (Morgan Downey)
  3. Twilight in the Desert (Matt Simmons)
  4. The Party’s Over (Richard Heinberg)
  5. The Last Oil Shock (David Strahan)

Comment:

Top 5 Books on Global Energetics

  1. Energy at the Crossroads (Vaclav Smil)
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 10 AGW Books

  1. The Ages of Gaia (James Lovelock)
  2. Six Degrees (Mark Lynas)
  3. The Last Generation (Fred Pierce)
  4. ? Under A Green Sky (Peter Ward)
  5. ? Something about geoengineering, maybe…
  6. ? Alternate view?
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?
  10. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Collapse Books

  1. The Collapse of Civilizations (Joseph Tainter)
  2. Limits to Growth (Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers, & Dennis Meadows)
  3. Collapse (Jared Diamond)
  4. The Long Descent (John Michael Greer), OR Our Ecotechnic Future (John Michael Greer)
  5. The World Without Us (Alan Weisman)

Comment:

Top 5

  1. ?

Comment:

Specialized Subjects

Top 15 Books of Classical Political Economy

  1. The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli)
  2. Leviathan (Thomas Hobbes)
  3. Two Treatises on Government (John Locke)
  4. The Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)
  5. Discourse on Inequality (Jean-Jacques Rousseau), AND On Social Contract (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
  6. Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville)
  7. National System of Political Economy (Friedrich List)
  8. Essay On Population (Thomas Malthus)
  9. Principles of Political Economy (David Ricardo)
  10. The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx), AND The Marx-Engels Reader (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels) OR Das Kapital (Karl Marx)
  11. Theory of the Leisure Class (Thorstein Veblen)
  12. Imperialism (John Hobson)
  13. Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism (Vladimir Lenin)
  14. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Max Weber)
  15. The Worldly Philosophers (Richard Heilbroner)

Comment:

Top 15 Books of Modern Political Economy

  1. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (John Maynard Keynes)
  2. The Prison Notebooks (Antonio Gramsci)
  3. Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (Joseph Schumpeter)
  4. The Great Transformation (Karl Polanyi)
  5. The Road to Serfdom (Friedrich Hayek)
  6. Imagined Communities (Benedict Arnold)
  7. The Rise and Decline of Nations (Mancur Olson)
  8. The End of History (Francis Fukuyama)
  9. The Clash of Civilizations (Samuel Huntington)
  10. ?
  11. ?
  12. ?
  13. ?
  14. ?
  15. ?

Comment: Much harder to identify great books by modern political economists… much of their stuff is in articles, journals, etc…

Top 5 Books on Economics

  1. Just Capital (Adair Turner)
  2. Wealth of Nations (Adam Smith)
  3. micro/macroeconomics textbook…
  4. ? Liar’s Poker (Michael Lewis)
  5. The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
  6. ? Peddling Prosperity (Paul Krugman)
  7. ? The Second Law of Economics (Reiner Kummel)
  8. ? IQ and the Wealth of Nations (Richard Lynn & Tatu Vanhanen)
  9. ? The Ascent of Money (Niall Ferguson)
  10. ?

Top 5 Books of Western Civilization

  1. Odyssey
  2. Aeneid
  3. Holy Bible
  4. Faust (Goethe), OR Doctor Faustus (Christopher Marlowe)
  5. ? Don Quixote

Comment:

Top 5 Books of Russian Civilization

  1. Medieval Russia’s Epics, Chronicles, and Tales (ed. Serge A. Zenkovsky)
  2. The Brothers Karamazov (Fedor Dostoevsky)
  3. ? Fathers and Sons, Oblomov, Woe from Wit, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, War and Peace, Dead Souls, Dr. Zhivago, Eugene Onegin, The Gulag Archipelago, A Hero of our Time, The Master and Margarita, Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina – hard to decide which of these to include…
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment: One wishes to include Pushkin’s poems, e.g. Ruslan and Ludmila, but it just doesn’t translate…

Top 5 Books of Children’s Fantasy

  1. His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)
  2. Harry Potter (J. K. Rowling)
  3. Redwall (Brian Jacques)
  4. The Deptford Mice (Robin Jarvis)
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 15 Fantasy Series

  1. Cthulhu Mythos (H. P. Lovecraft)
  2. Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien)
  3. Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin)
  4. The Wheel of Time (Robert Jordan)
  5. A Song of Ice and Fire (George R. R. Martin)
  6. The Dark Tower (Stephen King)
  7. The First Law (Joe Abercrombie)
  8. Mistborn (Brandon Sanderson)
  9. ?
  10. ?
  11. ?
  12. ?
  13. ?
  14. ?
  15. ?

Comment: Always looking for more recommendations here. Also Sublime Oblivion (Anatoly Karlin), not yet written.

Top 5 Cyberpunk Books

  1. Neuromancer
  2. True Names
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Sci-Fi Books

  1. Dune (Frank Herbert)
  2. ? A Fire Upon the Deep
  3. Solaris (Stanislaw Lem)
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Victorian Sci-fi

  1. The Time Machine
  2. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment: Separate section for Jules Verne and Wells and others, to be filled in later.

Top 5 Books on the Post-Apocalypse

  1. A Canticle for Leibowitz (Walter M. Miller)
  2. The Stand (Stephen King)
  3. The Road (Cormac McCarthy)
  4. Metro 2033 (Dmitry Glukhovsky)
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Existentialist Books

  1. Labyrinths (Jorge Luis Borges), OR Ficciones (Jorge Luis Borges)
  2. The Stranger (Albert Camus), OR The Plague (Albert Camus)
  3. Brothers Karamazov (Fedor Dostoevsky)
  4. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Milan Kundera)
  5. Saint Manuel Bueno, Martyr (Miguel de Unamuno)

Comment:

Top 5 Books on the Eastern Front

  1. Absolute War (Chris Bellamy)
  2. The Road to Stalingrad (John Erickson), AND The Road to Berlin (John Erickson)
  3. When Titans Clashed (David Glantz)
  4. Russia and the USSR In the Wars of the 20th Century (Grigory Krivosheev)
  5. Russia’s War (Richard Overy)

Comment: Rüdiger Overmans unfortunately not available in translation. Avoid Anthony Beevor.

Top 5 Books on Eurasianism

  1. Europe and Mankind (Nikolay Trubetzkoy)
  2. Ancient Rus and the Great Steppe (Lev Gumilev)
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. Foundations of Geopolitics (Alexander Dugin)

Comment: Frankly, almost none of the key works on Eurasianism are available in English, so that rule is dropped here.

Top 5 Dystopia Books

  1. We (Yevgeny Zamyatin)
  2. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  3. 1984 (George Orwell)
  4. ? Fahrenheit 451, The Time Machine – Wells?
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Books about children killing each other

  1. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
  2. Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
  3. Knights of the 40 Islands (Sergey Lukyanenko)
  4. The Running Man (Richard Bachman)
  5. The Maze Runner (James Dashner)

Comment: Note that (3) doesn’t yet have an English translation.

Top 5 Books on the Arctic

  1. The World in 2050 (Laurence C. Smith)
  2. The Future History of the Arctic (Charles Emmerson)
  3. Red Arctic (John McCannon)
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 10 Books on Russian Politics & Society

  1. The Return (Daniel Treisman)
  2. From The First Person (Vladimir Putin, transl. Catherine Fitzpatrick)
  3. After Putin’s Russia (Stephen Wegren Dale Herspring)
  4. Godfather of the Kremlin (Paul Khlebnikov)
  5. Werewolf Problem in Central Russia and Other Stories (Viktor Pelevin, transl. Andrew Bromfield)
  6. Armageddon Averted (Stephen Kotkin)
  7. Virtual Politics (Andrew Wilson)
  8. The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia (Mark Ames)
  9. The Oligarchs (David Hoffman)
  10. ?

Comment: Also Putin: A Biography (Anatoly Karlin), not yet written.

Top 5 Zombie Books

  1. The Zombie Survival Guide (Max Brooks)
  2. Cell (Stephen King)
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment: Pretty much it, AFAIK. Zombies are only good on film.

Useful Skillz

Top 5 Books on Writing

  1. On Writing (Stephen King)
  2. The Elements of Style (Strunk & White)
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Resources on Language Learning

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment: Online, Fluent in 3 Months.

Top 5 Survivalism Books

  1. Emergency! (Neil Strauss)
  2. SAS Survival Handbook
  3. Surviving in Argentina
  4. Reinventing Collapse (Dmitry Orlov)
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Resources on “Rambling”

  1. conversationally speaking
  2. Cracked
  3. Guinness Book of Records
  4. Everyone misses you when you’re dead
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Resources for Learning Chinese

  1. ?
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. ?
  5. ?

Comment:

Top 5 Poker Books

  1. The Theory of Poker (David Sklansky)
  2. No Limit Hold’Em (David Sklansky)
  3. The Little Green Book (Phil Gordon)
  4. Poker Tells Essentials (Joe Navarro)
  5. Harrington on Tournaments Vol. 1-3 (Dan Harrington)

Comment:

(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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Though I do wonder about those six people who voted “none of the above” in my poll of attitudes towards the 10 odd theories that figure prominently in the Karlinist Weltanschauung… with all due respect, but what are you guys doing on this blog then? :)

The vast majority agree with Peak Oil, Limits to Growth, Intelligence Theory, and Human Biodiversity. The first three are not surprising, as they have been covered extensively since the blog’s inception, but I am somewhat surprised about the popularity of HBD – after all, I’m only an (open) convert to it fairly recently.

Slightly fewer agree with the precepts of AGW, Game, and 80/20 principle & Parkinson’s Law. Again, this is fairly surprising to me. After all, AGW is socially accepted nowadays; the exceptions are easier to list (e.g. American conservatives), whereas Peak Oil and Limits to Growth are still very controversial concepts with opponents from both sides of the ideological spectrum. “Game” gets an impressively good showing, though this kinda makes sense – it is almost intractably linked with HBD, since by accepting fundamental race differences, doing likewise for gender is a no-brainer. The 80/20 Principle & Parkinson’s Law is admittedly vague, but in essence it is meant to encapsulate the arguments contained within Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Workweek, i.e. that there are structural reasons for why organizations and their employees are very inefficient, and that there exist ways for committed individuals to break that cycle through shortcuts like “muses” (location-independent revenue streams) and geoarbitrage. I highly recommend readers look into these theories because just as with Game for dudes, they have the potential to massively improve life quality.

Only very modest support is voiced for Transhumanism and Technological Singularity, and understandable thing because (1) few people are deeply aware of them, even committed netizens, and (2) they are in ostensible contradiction to core AK themes like Limits to Growth and Peak Oil. But there is no contradiction. My longstanding view has been that IF global civilization manages to avoid collapse or severe degradation in the dangerous mid-century period, when pressures from energy shortages and climate change are likely to heat their peak, then transformative technological change is very likely to occur based on reasonable projections from current trends. Lifespan has already been successfully multiplied by several factors in laboratory mice by genetic tinkering, and it is surely only a matter of time before it these methods can be upscaled to large mammals including humans. Technological singularity is a more iffy possibility, despite Ray Kurzweil’s best attempts to argue for its imminent inevitability, but regardless I am of the opinion that the mind can be simulated on silicon substrates, that “mind uploading” is theoretically possible and may be achievable in practice sooner rather than later because of the exponential nature of growth of computing power, and that even if these exotic possibilities don’t materialize this century it may not be that big of an issue thanks to massively extended longevity.

Low carb diets (paleo, caveman) have by far the lowest approval rating. So I should definitely write a bit more on that. I think the arguments of their proponents are logical, humans simply have not had time to evolve to eat complex grains let alone have them constitute the bulk of their diet. Doing so leads to obesity, diabetes, and a host of other chronic ailments that plight rich country populations. As such I think the standard “food pyramid” advice peddled by nutritionists is bunk and even criminal taking into account the mounting evidence against it.

(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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I’m curious to hear what my readers think of the various concepts and theories that frequently come up on this blog, and of the key assumptions underlying the Karlinist Weltanschauung.

social-contrarian-poll-akarlin

Very quick n’ dirty summaries of terms and their discontents:

Peak oil: Oil is limited in quantity, and at some point its production will inevitably decline – with severe repercussions for the economy; but can also be shorthand for more general problems of declining EROEI and resource depletion. Mainstream conservatives, polluters, big business hate it; Serious People usually dismiss it.

AGW: The world is warming, and human activities are largely responsible for it. Mainstream conservatives, polluters, big business hate it.

Limits to growth: Unsustainable trends in resource consumption and pollution set the world up for a severe socio-economic collapse in the 21st century. Serious People usually dismiss it; mainstream conservatives hate it.

Intelligence theory: Individual life outcomes are significantly dependent on IQ (i.e. wealth, risk of criminality, etc), while the rate of development significantly depends on the national level of human capital. Universal taboo.

HBD: A significant proportion of the differences between human groups (or races) can be attributed to differences in genotypes, which express themselves in areas such as IQ, physical abilities, character, etc. Universal super-taboo.

Game: Chicks respect alphas and despise betas; nice guys don’t get laid. At the macro level, the combination of female hypergamy and sexual revolution has led to a kind of “soft polygamy” in the US. Great for alphas, but life for sexless betas is ever more hellish. Universal taboo.

Low-carb diet: The typical US high carb diet has greatly contributed to huge obesity rates; paleo, Atkins, 4HB-type diets are the way to go. Lazy fat people who want to rationalize and excuse their own obesity tend to hate it, as do many vegetarians with their misplaced empathy.

80/20 principle/Parkinson’s Law: You accomplish 80% of things in 20% of the time, but unfortunately work expands to fill up all the time available for it – but it is possible to find one’s way out of limbo (e.g. muses/location-independent revenue streams; aggressive outsourcing; mini-retirements). Lazy people / office plankton who worship their jobs and don’t want to take a risk make fun of and dismiss this.

Transhumanism: Human enhancements, e.g. cognitive (ranging from nootropics to chip implants if the technology appears for it) and especially longevity (e.g. SENS). Technophobes are against this, i.e. most people.

Technological singularity: This quote by John Good encapsulated it: “The first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.” Technophobes are against this, i.e. most people.

(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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As you’re all aware, on April 1st 2012, more than 3 years of blogging at http://www.sublimeoblivion.com/ (S/O) came to an end. For the majority of that period – to be precise from May 13th, 2009, to March 31st, 2013 – I had an account with Google Analytics that provided me with very detailed states about the blog: Where visitors came from, how long they stayed for, what they shared on Facebook, etc.

On some occasions, the stats are exactly what one would expect. Other times, they are unexpected and fascinating. For instance, more people from India visited the blog than from Russia, one of its main subject matters. The Kremlin Stooge was my third biggest referral source of all time, even though he only came on the scene in July 2010 (thanks Mark!). Almost ONE THIRD of all-time visitors landed on a single post!

As I’m going to lose this data as soon as I find a new use for the old domain, I decided to save it all and lay out the interesting bits in this post. I hope I’m not the only one who will find this “meta-blogging” interesting.

Visitors, Visits, Views

From May 13th, 2009, to March 31st, 2013, there were a total of 760,581 visits to my blog. (As I recount in the Blog History, the all-time figure would be about 35,200 higher, as before that date I blogged at http://darussophile.blogspot.com/ from January 2008. The total number of visits to all my blogs before the April 1st transition to WordPress.com is therefore about 800,000). The graph below shows the dynamics. You can click on it to get a higher resolution, as with most of the graphs here.

As you can see, most of the period was one of slow growth, until it began to rapidly take off from about mid-2011. It reached a plateau of more than 2,000 daily visits by the end of the year. Then, in early March, this figure plummeted by two third. This was the result of a pharma hack that replaced links to my blog on search engines like Google with links to online shops selling viagra and the like.

This made perfect sense, as by that time, the vast bulk of my readers were coming from search engine results.

This is a graph of monthly visits. It is much easier to see the general trends, as day by day fluctuations are smoothed out. Overall, during this period, I had an average of 713 visits per day, and a maximum of 2,837 visits on November 8th, 2011. That date coincided with a translation of my post BRIC’s of Stability by Inosmi. In fact, as we’ll see later, most of those spikes in daily visits were linked to translations by Inosmi.

The above data shows the numbers of unique visitors, superimposed on visits (each visitor is at least one visit) and pageviews (each visit is at least one pageview). As the blog’s popularity expanded, the pageview per visit, and the visits per unique visitor, decreased, as a greater bulk of my traffic shifted from regular readers to people who came in via search engine.

Which continents did Sublime Oblivion readers come from?

Nothing surprising here.

Which countries did Sublime Oblivion readers come from?

Here is a world map.

Here is a list of all the countries that graced S/O with more than 1,000 visits.

Country/Territory Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Visit Duration % New Visits Bounce Rate
United States 270,449 1.61 0:02:06 76.30% 76.87%
United Kingdom 75,353 1.57 0:02:03 72.26% 77.65%
India 58,282 1.15 0:00:41 91.52% 90.66%
Canada 41,190 1.63 0:02:16 79.38% 76.86%
Russia 30,781 1.77 0:02:34 45.35% 67.39%
(not set) 26,612 1.34 0:01:14 82.59% 80.49%
Australia 26,296 1.83 0:02:45 65.77% 72.38%
Germany 15,795 2.24 0:03:18 58.12% 66.75%
Philippines 12,654 1.2 0:00:51 91.50% 90.20%
France 10,929 1.82 0:03:42 54.25% 67.93%
Pakistan 9,496 1.1 0:00:26 94.68% 93.11%
Italy 7,734 1.92 0:07:35 47.08% 66.68%
Netherlands 6,771 1.76 0:02:29 67.29% 68.76%
Sweden 6,693 1.83 0:02:48 52.04% 65.82%
Spain 6,011 2.13 0:03:46 61.75% 60.89%
Romania 5,689 1.73 0:02:32 44.54% 63.58%
Malaysia 5,671 1.4 0:01:51 84.45% 81.52%
Belgium 5,520 1.78 0:03:08 35.33% 63.70%
United Arab Emirates 5,200 1.19 0:00:49 89.35% 89.40%
Finland 5,055 1.8 0:02:37 51.16% 65.72%
Turkey 4,741 1.36 0:01:13 87.70% 82.60%
Ireland 4,685 2.1 0:03:38 65.49% 64.29%
Singapore 4,585 1.33 0:01:51 85.45% 84.82%
Slovenia 4,441 2.34 0:18:50 29.68% 56.41%
Poland 4,187 2.19 0:04:43 66.73% 63.43%
New Zealand 3,848 1.64 0:02:29 71.83% 74.01%
Greece 3,826 1.71 0:02:13 68.74% 69.73%
Saudi Arabia 3,753 1.16 0:00:38 92.89% 91.07%
Brazil 3,606 1.57 0:02:06 83.64% 78.62%
China 3,570 1.5 0:02:23 77.62% 78.94%
Czech Republic 3,300 2.05 0:03:10 50.21% 58.36%
Norway 3,149 1.88 0:02:41 68.78% 65.58%
Croatia 3,055 2.24 0:03:43 32.37% 58.40%
South Korea 2,835 1.51 0:01:48 83.39% 79.33%
Mexico 2,765 1.49 0:02:10 82.21% 80.40%
South Africa 2,607 1.28 0:01:12 91.14% 87.15%
Indonesia 2,589 1.36 0:01:19 90.34% 85.13%
Ukraine 2,430 1.49 0:01:48 76.95% 80.33%
Switzerland 2,397 1.64 0:02:42 68.67% 73.01%
Portugal 2,351 1.87 0:02:33 47.34% 59.34%
Japan 2,291 1.42 0:01:44 82.93% 80.93%
Serbia 2,093 1.99 0:03:01 62.92% 66.41%
Israel 2,083 1.45 0:02:18 77.10% 78.83%
Thailand 2,040 1.28 0:00:59 82.75% 83.97%
Denmark 1,848 1.53 0:01:45 81.76% 77.49%
Hungary 1,837 1.86 0:02:28 65.49% 60.64%
Trinidad and Tobago 1,734 1.75 0:02:50 23.82% 71.57%
Egypt 1,641 1.13 0:00:36 91.90% 90.74%
Hong Kong 1,635 1.53 0:02:04 82.26% 80.31%
Latvia 1,537 1.62 0:01:46 47.69% 70.59%
Bangladesh 1,467 1.16 0:00:41 90.93% 89.57%
Nigeria 1,465 1.18 0:00:50 91.81% 90.51%
Iran 1,435 1.19 0:00:32 91.99% 88.15%
Bulgaria 1,398 1.73 0:02:07 76.97% 73.61%
Lithuania 1,292 1.92 0:02:42 71.13% 73.07%
Austria 1,269 1.63 0:02:46 81.09% 73.76%
Sri Lanka 1,240 1.2 0:00:53 92.66% 88.79%
Estonia 1,214 1.81 0:02:23 59.14% 64.74%
Vietnam 1,193 1.29 0:00:52 86.92% 84.16%
Qatar 1,143 1.19 0:00:38 93.18% 91.51%
Taiwan 1,129 1.56 0:01:42 77.06% 73.87%
Slovakia 1,018 1.74 0:03:34 70.04% 68.86%
Kenya 1,006 1.16 0:00:48 91.95% 90.46%

Below is a graph of visit dynamics from the top 5 countries by total visits.

The US, UK, and Canada all have broadly similar dynamics, as would be expected of Anglophone nations with their respective populations. The other two are better explained with another graph.

Taking out the US, we can identify more details from the other countries. In the beginning, the UK clearly has a consistent lead; however, visits from India begin to multiply from around May 2011. Though I’m tempted to ascribe this with the blog publishing post with titles such as The Century without an Indian Summer or Why China Is Far Superior To India, which are basically red banners to Hindutva nationalists, the one came too early and the other too late to explain the leap.

I’m just going to assume that it’s due to the conjuncture of (1) the vastly increased secular popularity of my blog, which increased about five-fold in 2011, and (2) growing Internet penetration in India, with gross number of users surpassing Britain’s, and hence logically, them drawing even with the UK on numbers of visitors to my blog.

Russia follows a totally different dynamic. It is not an Anglophone nation, and foreign language skills are poorly developed. For obvious reasons, Russians are exceedingly unlikely to find my site through Google.ru or Yandex. As such, its “constant audience” at S/O is a lot smaller than for the US, UK, India, Canada, and even Australia. A big chunk of Russians stumble onto the site whenever Inosmi, a very popular Russian website that translates articles from the Western media, translates one of my posts. In the immediate aftermath, there is a sudden flood of Russians from Inosmi to my site, creating the spikes you see in the graphs above. Occasionally, one or two high profile Russian bloggers would then repost one of my translations from Inosmi, resulting in secondary spikes.

Which cities did Sublime Oblivion readers come from?

Here is a world map.

The Big Three are Moscow, London, and New York. Quite appropriate, really, considering these are the capitals of the three countries I’ve lived in.

Maybe I should go live in New Delhi or Sydney next. :) I’m also pleasantly surprised to see Berkeley, a very small city of about 100,000 people, making the Top 40.

The US, UK, Indian, and Russian Audiences

64% of Russian visits, or 19,805 of them, came from Moscow, a reflection of the country’s super-high degree of centralization in the capital: English-language speakers; Western expats; high rates of Internet penetration (in 2010, 73% in Moscow vs. 38% in the country as a whole); etc. Another 3,067, or 10%, come from St.-Petersburg.

The top 10 Russian cities.

City Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Visit Duration % New Visits Bounce Rate
Moscow 19,805 1.84 0:02:57 35.86% 64.14%
St Petersburg 2,954 1.67 0:01:56 58.90% 71.43%
Kirov 533 2.16 0:04:11 10.69% 62.85%
Krasnodar 521 1.45 0:00:35 37.43% 64.68%
Yekaterinburg 516 1.69 0:02:22 52.52% 70.16%
Novosibirsk 424 1.66 0:02:23 62.74% 72.17%
Samara 295 1.94 0:03:21 56.61% 62.37%
Kazan 289 1.66 0:02:13 56.75% 75.78%
Nizhny Novgorod 285 1.32 0:01:08 68.07% 82.11%
Rostov-Na-Donu 192 1.88 0:01:27 73.96% 77.60%

If Kyiv were in Russia, it would be third (about 1,000 visits), and Minsk would be seventh (about 300 visits). Unsurprisingly, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan follow the same patterns of visiting as does Russia; this is not surprising, as there are plenty of Russian speakers there who read Inosmi.

With the exceptions of the capital Kyiv, and West Ukraine’s cultural capital Lviv, you can almost demarcate the borders between “Blue Ukraine” and “Orange Ukraine” just from a map of who visited S/O.

Ultimately, the site’s low level of visibility on Runet is not a concern. If it was, I’d be blogging in Russian.

As expected, there is a close correlation between the population of a US state, and the number of visits I get from them.

People from more educated, richer, and connected states taking a greater interest in S/O. In total visits per 100,000 people, the District of Columbia has a clear lead (818), which I excluded from the graph above. It is followed by Washington (202), Connecticut (151), Vermont (145), New York (142), Virginia (127), Massachusetts (119), and California (111). States where people cared least about S/O included South Dakota (39), Louisiana (36), Arkansas (34), West Virginia (34), and Mississippi (28). It is worth noting that Washington and Virginia in particular have high concentrations of political/security and foreign analysts, precisely the types that are most likely to stumble across a site like S/O. All in all, none of this is in the least surprising.

The top 20 US cities.

City Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Visit Duration % New Visits Bounce Rate
New York 14,331 1.72 0:02:26 69.33% 74.33%
Washington 4,908 1.83 0:02:24 57.27% 67.46%
Chicago 4,850 1.61 0:02:44 71.65% 76.87%
Los Angeles 4,738 1.5 0:01:57 83.71% 80.37%
Houston 4,498 1.69 0:02:05 80.64% 68.99%
Seattle 4,378 2.92 0:04:35 43.38% 54.00%
San Francisco 3,774 1.67 0:02:28 74.85% 76.29%
Spokane 2,365 3.59 0:04:12 17.38% 43.30%
Nashville 2,344 1.62 0:01:28 39.72% 61.39%
Berkeley 2,134 1.76 0:02:20 34.44% 76.34%
Tacoma 1,891 3.18 0:06:40 10.21% 47.70%
San Diego 1,883 1.3 0:00:59 91.18% 86.03%
Atlanta 1,832 1.53 0:01:43 74.51% 77.40%
Austin 1,772 1.42 0:01:54 77.09% 81.04%
Dallas 1,743 1.37 0:01:28 83.48% 84.51%
Philadelphia 1,577 1.38 0:01:33 89.03% 83.51%
Denver 1,570 1.43 0:01:59 81.40% 80.38%
Portland 1,419 1.65 0:02:26 83.65% 75.76%
Arlington 1,309 1.92 0:03:26 50.50% 68.07%
Boston 1,247 1.54 0:01:46 84.92% 81.15%

Visits from the national components of the UK were perfectly in line with their populations: England – 88%, Scotland – 9%, Wales – 2%, Northern Ireland – 1%.

From a cities perspective, 25% of UK visits to S/O originated from London. But many other cities got a share of the action. It was interesting to see Preston with 2%, the rather unremarkable town of 100,000 where I lived in the UK.

The most S/O-friendly Indian states were Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Above is a map by cities.

What characterizes the general S/O audience?

This is a graph of the language settings visitors had on their browser per visit. That Russian (23,851) is lower here than the number of visits from Russia (30,781) implies that perhaps 25% of the visits from Russia were made by Moscow-based expats. Which seems reasonable.

Man, who still uses Explorer these days?

The average duration of engagement was 2:11, but as shown above, the distribution is highly uneven. On most sites, including mine, most people leave very quickly.

Who were S/O’s best referrers?

Everybody who gave me more than 250 visits is in.

Source Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Visit Duration % New Visits Bounce Rate
google.com 22,178 1.55 0:01:27 83.98% 67.01%
facebook.com 9,470 1.66 0:02:30 46.09% 72.37%
marknesop.wordpress.com 4,672 2.46 0:04:39 7.75% 47.22%
twitter.com 4,469 2.33 0:03:22 16.22% 53.52%
inosmi.ru 4,110 1.67 0:01:41 64.62% 68.81%
images.google.com 3,647 1.37 0:00:40 96.82% 75.68%
networkedblogs.com 2,843 2.01 0:05:36 13.33% 53.25%
siberianlight.net 2,613 2.42 0:05:03 29.81% 50.67%
streetwiseprofessor.com 2,429 2.56 0:05:15 32.73% 43.93%
google.co.uk 2,314 1.44 0:01:00 93.56% 70.74%
theoildrum.com 2,305 2.03 0:05:10 54.92% 66.81%
seansrussiablog.org 2,175 2.25 0:03:59 34.80% 49.43%
t.co 1,976 2.55 0:04:15 26.37% 61.03%
ranprieur.com 1,940 2.38 0:04:55 35.77% 56.44%
russiannewsonline.com 1,826 1.92 0:02:38 15.61% 54.76%
google.ca 1,698 1.57 0:01:21 93.58% 66.02%
google.co.in 1,590 1.25 0:00:40 95.60% 82.58%
agoodtreaty.com 1,467 2.18 0:03:34 8.86% 53.65%
blogger.com 1,208 2.14 0:07:27 7.95% 51.74%
russiablog.org 1,167 3.13 0:05:35 49.27% 48.59%
google.com.au 1,132 1.48 0:01:31 86.75% 69.52%
math-www.uni-paderborn.de 1,081 2.42 0:06:04 61.24% 48.84%
russiaotherpointsofview.com 984 2.42 0:04:10 20.53% 58.33%
russiamil.wordpress.com 954 2.99 0:06:43 7.65% 33.23%
google.de 923 1.64 0:01:35 88.62% 75.95%
fistfulofeuros.net 889 2.49 0:06:23 51.97% 53.77%
southgippslandfutures.blogspot.com 847 2.02 0:05:48 2.48% 48.17%
austereinsomniac.info 783 2.06 0:05:18 6.64% 53.38%
search.mywebsearch.com 697 1.21 0:00:43 93.69% 88.95%
robertamsterdam.com 677 2.71 0:04:27 46.23% 45.35%
darussophile.blogspot.com 653 2.31 0:03:03 23.12% 33.23%
en.wikipedia.org 652 2.01 0:04:03 67.18% 67.18%
rferl.org 643 2.28 0:02:50 33.44% 57.54%
poemless.wordpress.com 631 2.43 0:03:46 13.95% 55.47%
stumbleupon.com 620 1.25 0:00:23 97.74% 67.90%
peakoil.com 609 2.52 0:07:18 45.98% 55.17%
reddit.com 584 1.27 0:01:25 93.49% 85.62%
aolnews.com 577 2.18 0:06:53 77.99% 60.83%
militaryphotos.net 573 2.55 0:04:31 57.59% 60.03%
guardian.co.uk 522 2.48 0:07:01 50.19% 60.15%
images.google.co.uk 522 1.48 0:01:05 74.14% 71.65%
aljazeera.com 515 1.72 0:03:05 60.00% 74.76%
arcticprogress.com 510 3.28 0:06:00 32.55% 54.31%
google.pl 503 1.62 0:01:36 95.63% 69.98%
m.facebook.com 503 1.28 0:01:11 79.52% 83.10%
google.fr 491 1.56 0:01:01 95.93% 66.40%
exiledonline.com 484 2.4 0:06:25 20.25% 53.72%
trueslant.com 462 2.37 0:04:30 27.92% 51.52%
pixopoint.com 461 1.35 0:00:47 96.96% 81.56%
vkontakte.ru 459 1.18 0:00:57 46.84% 86.71%
mat-rodina.blogspot.com 451 2.24 0:03:34 35.70% 51.22%
thebrowser.com 447 1.57 0:03:56 83.89% 80.31%
cassandralegacy.blogspot.com 446 1.8 0:05:13 38.34% 71.30%
rfmcdpei.livejournal.com 445 2.74 0:04:30 11.69% 58.88%
pageflakes.com 434 2.22 0:07:52 8.29% 54.15%
ursa-tm.ru 425 2.43 0:01:55 47.06% 74.12%
google.it 423 1.44 0:01:00 77.78% 72.34%
translate.google.ru 407 1.22 0:01:01 69.53% 86.00%
google.nl 400 1.53 0:01:01 93.75% 66.50%
google.com.br 388 1.42 0:01:00 95.62% 72.42%
agoodtreaty.wordpress.com 340 2.12 0:03:33 12.06% 57.94%
isteve.blogspot.com 337 3.25 0:07:12 49.55% 51.34%
theivanovosti.typepad.com 330 1.68 0:01:58 13.64% 68.48%
images.google.ca 325 1.36 0:00:51 94.46% 76.62%
energybulletin.net 322 2.55 0:05:59 70.19% 66.77%
images.google.de 320 1.18 0:00:10 95.31% 85.00%
google.ro 317 1.83 0:02:04 87.38% 65.62%
google.es 305 1.47 0:02:37 89.51% 69.18%
salsarusa.blogspot.com 305 2.4 0:05:44 19.02% 43.61%
robertlindsay.wordpress.com 298 1.93 0:03:21 52.35% 67.79%
romaniadeieri.blogspot.com 289 1.2 0:02:13 67.13% 91.00%
defence.pk 286 2.13 0:04:47 74.48% 76.92%
energikrise.no 285 2.13 0:03:11 16.84% 45.26%
google.com.pk 282 1.2 0:00:24 95.74% 81.56%
google.ru 281 1.45 0:01:24 83.27% 68.68%
scholars-stage.blogspot.com 278 3.03 0:05:20 30.22% 48.92%
zerohedge.com 276 1.76 0:05:34 79.71% 71.74%
worldmapfinder.com 274 1.12 0:00:13 99.64% 89.05%
globalvoicesonline.org 270 2.55 0:06:34 64.07% 60.37%
powerswitch.org.uk 268 2.16 0:05:07 48.88% 63.43%
demographymatters.blogspot.com 267 2.81 0:08:32 44.94% 50.94%
centurychina.com 266 1.96 0:03:29 73.68% 74.81%
google.hu 264 1.5 0:00:51 93.18% 66.67%
google.se 263 1.55 0:01:13 96.96% 64.26%
alexandrelatsa.blogspot.com 262 2.12 0:02:20 78.63% 62.98%
groups.google.com 260 1.67 0:02:48 15.38% 61.92%

Special thanks to Mark, Inosmi, Andy, the guys at The Oil Drum, Craig (regretfully), Sean, and Ran Prieur.

What were S/O’s most popular landing pages?

Every landing page that got more than 1,000 visits. (Needless to say, all of those links are broken, given the site change).

Landing Page Visits Pages/Visit Avg. Visit Duration % New Visits Bounce Rate
/2011/01/16/top-10-powerful-countries-2011/ 321,662 1.14 0:00:37 92.46% 91.61%
/ 101,007 2.66 0:04:45 25.23% 44.24%
/2011/05/01/top-10-most-useful-languages/ 26,233 1.25 0:01:30 89.68% 86.10%
/blog/ 21,472 2.1 0:05:53 10.95% 58.86%
/2010/03/28/korean-war-2/ 17,811 1.55 0:04:04 88.38% 80.01%
/2011/06/27/future-superpowers/ 12,835 1.53 0:03:11 80.19% 77.09%
/2011/02/14/the-four-week-body-guide/ 11,799 1.28 0:02:02 82.17% 82.52%
/2010/07/15/review-lucifer-principle-bloom/ 6,905 1.34 0:01:03 93.70% 76.15%
/2009/04/09/notes-tainter/ 6,277 1.61 0:03:52 69.44% 77.00%
/2010/02/18/future-war/ 6,193 1.64 0:01:56 91.20% 65.03%
/2008/10/27/editorial-halloween-special-russia-of-the-dead/ 5,788 1.29 0:00:27 97.46% 77.37%
/2010/05/21/augmented-reality-warfare/ 4,900 1.36 0:00:32 96.51% 74.18%
/2009/12/09/russia-sex/ 4,806 1.34 0:00:37 92.07% 82.58%
/2009/12/07/myths-russia-demography/ 4,304 1.86 0:03:26 76.09% 70.24%
/category/sublimeoblivion/ 3,434 2.2 0:03:29 22.22% 57.98%
/2009/09/03/fear-fervor-stalinism/ 3,367 1.08 0:00:24 44.79% 94.56%
/2009/06/10/notes-lynas/ 3,115 1.31 0:01:21 72.65% 81.25%
/category/darussophile/ 2,928 2.21 0:02:46 26.67% 58.16%
/2009/04/04/french-revolution-marxist/ 2,569 1.2 0:00:56 88.05% 88.87%
/2010/02/16/review-ltg/ 2,538 1.59 0:03:12 77.58% 74.70%
/2009/09/17/what-should-i-major-in/ 2,459 2.05 0:02:05 92.68% 64.62%
/2009/02/06/smoke-weed-every-day/ 2,385 1.3 0:00:40 98.24% 76.56%
/2008/07/20/the-tyranny-of-the-veil/ 2,380 1.28 0:00:22 97.98% 81.97%
/2009/07/04/top-50-russophobe-myths/ 2,293 1.53 0:02:23 78.63% 81.33%
/2010/06/13/climate-change-pollution/ 2,249 1.95 0:01:15 91.86% 59.89%
/2011/04/05/blog/ 2,185 3.16 0:03:59 15.70% 23.94%
/2009/11/05/thinking-nuclear-war/ 2,128 1.67 0:02:48 85.86% 69.17%
/2010/08/03/translation-kremlin-clan-wars/ 2,099 1.68 0:04:32 76.42% 72.70%
/2009/09/19/shifting-winds/ 2,052 1.98 0:05:04 62.82% 71.39%
/about/ 2,033 3.72 0:06:23 34.63% 29.07%
/2008/04/14/editorial-demography-ii-out-of-the-death-spiral/ 1,976 1.49 0:01:00 93.98% 69.53%
/2009/04/11/twitter-terror-moldova/ 1,943 1.29 0:00:58 95.52% 78.33%
/2010/05/09/revolution-in-naval-warfare/ 1,929 1.81 0:03:25 90.25% 65.01%
/2011/04/08/national-comparisons-2/ 1,822 1.47 0:02:58 72.56% 81.72%
/2011/04/11/national-comparisons-3/ 1,819 1.43 0:02:45 76.86% 81.75%
/2009/10/23/ssr10-europe-black-continent/ 1,709 1.88 0:03:52 67.70% 72.97%
/2009/11/06/fat-tax/ 1,670 1.28 0:00:57 90.06% 83.11%
/2010/06/20/top-5-demography-myths/ 1,647 1.65 0:02:33 87.25% 66.30%
/home/ 1,577 3.59 0:06:41 17.63% 34.12%
/2010/10/17/russia-china-no-war/ 1,558 1.93 0:03:57 66.11% 66.88%
/2010/05/01/a-short-guide-to-the-top-10-russia-blogs/ 1,551 2.34 0:05:15 67.12% 60.28%
/2011/04/13/national-comparisons-4/ 1,460 1.36 0:01:56 79.93% 83.42%
/2010/02/07/china-last-superpower/ 1,421 2.22 0:05:26 60.73% 67.70%
/2009/05/09/victory-day-special-myths-of-eastern-front/ 1,382 1.71 0:02:31 73.23% 77.86%
/2008/03/25/core-article-top-10-russophobe-myths/ 1,377 1.43 0:01:37 89.25% 79.59%
/2010/01/31/ecotechnic-dictatorship/ 1,367 1.96 0:04:45 69.20% 59.99%
/2010/08/18/underestimating-china/ 1,355 2.03 0:03:58 76.61% 58.30%
/2011/12/26/measuring-churovs-beard/ 1,347 1.48 0:03:20 71.34% 80.55%
/2010/02/13/endgame-begins/ 1,338 2.03 0:04:56 65.17% 62.11%
/2011/12/03/russia-duma-elections-2011/ 1,331 1.55 0:02:30 73.48% 78.96%
/links/ 1,330 3.58 0:08:19 28.87% 42.48%
/2011/07/23/translation-how-liberal-myths-are-created/ 1,321 1.6 0:02:35 75.78% 77.90%
/2010/01/04/green-communism/ 1,292 2.05 0:03:21 61.84% 61.22%
/2010/08/07/russia-burning-not-apocalypse-but-prelude/ 1,275 1.49 0:03:21 78.59% 80.16%
/2010/01/27/regathering-russian-lands/ 1,268 1.78 0:02:00 79.81% 64.51%
/2011/02/08/guardian-censorship-luke-harding-plagiarist/ 1,246 1.8 0:02:03 70.79% 74.96%
/2011/03/28/russias-population-is-now-growing/ 1,214 1.6 0:01:23 84.84% 75.37%
/2011/04/05/national-comparisons-1/ 1,205 1.33 0:01:55 73.11% 84.15%
/2010/08/29/karlin-freedom-index/ 1,200 1.25 0:00:40 25.83% 90.33%
/2011/06/11/subjecting-kremlinologists-to-markets/ 1,172 1.33 0:01:19 88.05% 82.94%
/2010/09/15/end-of-western-freedom/ 1,163 1.7 0:02:56 76.44% 72.57%
/2009/06/28/global-dimming-dilemmas/ 1,144 1.32 0:01:22 64.69% 87.50%
/2009/03/01/myth-of-russian-aids-apocalypse/ 1,137 1.51 0:01:14 91.73% 72.91%
/2010/05/31/emerging-technologies-limits-to-growth-vs-moores-law/ 1,115 1.6 0:02:48 82.78% 80.54%
/2010/07/28/interview-a-good-treaty/ 1,096 1.81 0:03:40 60.31% 64.69%
/2009/11/17/russias-sisyphean-loop/ 1,047 2.35 0:04:58 41.55% 63.80%
/2009/04/26/rite-of-spring/ 1,034 1.76 0:02:39 85.30% 68.18%
/2009/12/03/review-diamond-guns/ 1,027 1.21 0:00:53 87.63% 89.39%
/2011/04/05/intro-comparison-usa-uk-russia/ 1,025 2.49 0:05:25 82.05% 41.27%
/2010/10/25/yury-luzhkov-democratic-hero/ 1,024 1.4 0:01:50 76.27% 79.98%
/2009/11/07/diasporas-and-barbarians/ 1,023 1.78 0:02:51 60.12% 70.38%
/2010/08/09/interview-peter-lavelle/ 1,006 1.47 0:03:01 61.23% 78.53%

I find it astounding that, counting only proper posts, more than a third of all visits to my blog have been to Top 10 Most Powerful Countries In 2011. Pareto is spinning in hiss grave. The second most popular post, with a mere 3% or so of 750,000 odd visits, is Top 10 Most Useful Languages. I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here, but I can’t quite grasp it… Oh wait, I get it! People like to read opinionated lists!! Who could have imagined? Okay, I’ll make more of them! :)

(Republished from AKarlin.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.