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Fourth Year at Unz
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Despite providing a lot of unsolicited spare time, 2020 was not the best of years. Enough said.

Each post got an average of 6000 pageviews, and generated 19,600 comment words, resulting in a total of 530,000 comment words for the year. Since starting in 2013 I have posted 976 items, containing a total of 876,000 words, attracting 1.368 million pageviews. I have received 31,000 comments totaling 3.773 million words. Thank you for reading, and commenting.

My top 10 posts for the year are shown below:

Top of the pile was Warne’s compendium of myths about intelligence, so it is very pleasing to see it reaching a large audience.
The second was about the genetics of racial differences in intelligence, and whether skin colour per se could explain differences in achievement. It seemed that they did not, weakening the case that people do poorly because they are discriminated against on that basis.
The third was about the current Covid epidemic in the UK, as was the fifth.
The fourth was about country IQs, and was written last year, but is still being read.
The sixth was a critique of a polemic about racial differences.
The seventh was a review of Charles Murray’s excellent book on human diversity.
The eighth was about a paper being withdrawn just before publication because of criticisms made to the editors and authors. (The usual practice in more scholarly times was to reply to a paper with which one disagreed with a papers of one’s own).
The ninth was about a successful national response to the coronavirus in Uruguay.
The tenth was a discussion of human limitations in controlling complex systems, with country variations in coronavirus responses as examples.

Talking of human limitations, many visitors to this site last only one session. I hope they find thing more to their taste elsewhere.

Indeed, most visitors turn and run after 10 seconds.

Older people are more likely to read my posts, though the 25-34 group continue to be particularly interested. Four fifths of readers are men.

One country dominates the readership. The UK and the Netherlands tend to stay longer, the Turks, like last year, either lose interest very quickly, or perhaps find the content out of line with political requirements in that country, and face viewing restrictions.

My Twitter followers have risen slightly to 6,189. I use the medium simply to link to my posts, signalling what they contain, so probably don’t tweet enough.

I am always pleased to get comments. Some commentators provide a wealth of detail and further analysis, and I am particularly grateful to them. They are fellow bloggers. A minority get into a fury of name calling. This must be one of the most lightly moderated discussions anywhere, so it seems particularly pointless when others are trying to be as evidence-based as possible. Concentrate on the argument, and not the race, religion and presumed low ability of other commentators. Be kinder. As always, I’d like anonymous commentators to pick more memorable names so that we can understand your character, if not your identity.

Is blogging worthwhile? I sometimes doubt it. It is certainly time consuming, and any opinion once expressed will be challenged, condemned, and sometimes misunderstood. Confident but erroneous claims about intelligence still keep coming, so progress appears to be very slow. A brighter light is that some readers find things here which help them understand more about human differences. That is always a cheering discovery. Every month we get more results showing the power of intelligence in human outcomes. The social class explanation for different life outcomes is no longer supported by any study which includes intelligence measures in the overall analysis. Theories about genetic contributions to racial differences can now be tested directly. If you can keep reading, I will keep writing.

 
• Category: Science 
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  1. Thanks for your blog. I enjoy many of your posts and wish I had more time and energy to spend here.

    Your understated and restrained sense of humor adds something, too.

  2. dearieme says:

    One county dominates the readership. Salop?

    And Happy New Year, doc. Lang may yer lum reek.

  3. Stargazer says:

    Thank you for all the work you do on this blog and Happy New Year.

  4. Michael B says:

    Please continue to blog. Yours is on my “always read” list.

  5. Thanks! Keep up the good work!

  6. anon[327] • Disclaimer says:

    Reminds me of Moneyball.
    Destroyed baseball.

    Even so, must be useful.

  7. The social class explanation for different life outcomes is no longer supported by any study which includes intelligence measures in the overall analysis.

    No wonder well-meaning people in Turkey etc. shy away from this blog. Many a letter would otherwise read: Dear doctor Thompson, what you write above can’t be true because I see no way I could have been wrong for decades – and am even less inclined to be wrong for the decades to come. So – excuse me, Sir, your blog is no safe space for all of us well-meaning friends of the human – ööhh – humanity!!!

    ‘appy new year – not least to you, dear Dr. Thompson!

  8. Dan Hayes says:

    Thanks for all your much appreciated work. You and your work have always struck me what is best about a British (actually Scottish?) sensibility.

  9. dearieme says:

    Interesting snippet in this morning’s Telegraph, doc. It mentions a Danish study, reported in Nature Genetics, that shows that identical twins can in fact have genetic differences brought about by mutations during embryonic development. Presumably this means that nature/nurture comparisons from twin studies underestimate the nature component.

    I suspect that I’d have access to Nature Genetics if only I knew a long-forgotten password. Maybe you have access? Here’s the abstract:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41588-020-00755-1

  10. Thanks. Pushed at the moment with other matters, but trying scihub is always worthwhile.

  11. iffen says:

    If you can keep reading, I will keep writing.

    Yabba dabba doo!

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