The early months of 2018 were taken up with dealing with hostile press coverage of the London Conference on Intelligence, attacks which intended to prevent evidence-based discussion of group differences in intelligence, and sought to grossly misrepresent any discussion of genetic components in behaviour, lest new readers think for themselves. Stain the source: obscure the findings.
Despite distractions, I wrote 46 somewhat longer posts and got 240,478 pageviews: 5,228 per post, which is most welcome. Thanks for reading. Comments continue to grow, with 516,906 words generated. My overall total since 2012 is roughly 750,000 words written, and 678,000 pages viewed, which is more impact than my published papers, and far more impact than just shouting at the radio or TV set.
More to the point, in 2018 there were notable advances in the understanding of the genetics of intelligence, in artificial intelligence, in brain scanning, and in intelligence research generally, so there were important things to write about. Most aspects of behaviour have a substantial heritable component, and these findings grow more numerous every month. It is an exciting time. Once artificial intelligence gets to grip with the genetics of intelligence then it will get even more exciting. It is possible that by the end of 2019 we will be able to predict close to 20% of intellectual variance from the genome alone.
Top 10 posts are shown below.
Three points stand out: first, although written several years ago, that old standby “The 7 tribes of Intellect” is still popular because it explains what intelligence means in everyday life. Second, James Flynn is now deeply concerned about data showing that children are now far less capable of applying scientific methods, and that that he is also very troubled by attacks on academic freedom and race and intelligence research. Although this last paper was the subject of a very recent post, it still drew enough interest in the very last few days of the year to make it into the Top 10.
Well, this is a test of quality. Over 57,000 sessions are one-night stands. I assume the statistics puts them off. Who knows? After that come the real aficionados, and to my surprise and delight, that includes 42,000 long-time readers. A special thanks to you.
Readers are mostly male, and cover all age ranges, with a peak at 25-34. Why? They may be more interested in blogs generally, but I would like to think that they have moved from the “prizes-for-all” subsidized world of school and college and have entered the world of work, which is far more demanding. There are fewer alibis and fewer glib evasions. Now it is for real. You have to make the grade in the jobs which will take up four decades of your life. This makes you curious about ability and problem-solving.
US continues to dominate, in this blog as in real life. No sign of China. Are they being told what they may or may not read?
Many people have short attention spans or, conversely, are quick to realise that the site does not meet their interests. However, I am charmed at those who spent 30 minutes: almost like book reading. Great!
In all, a good blogging year.
Twitter followers have grown to 4,500. In the last three months my tweets gained 935,000 impressions. The tweet announcing the post about academic freedom got 26,400 impressions. Most other tweets about posts on the blog get roughly 6,000 impressions.
I am well aware that these are small numbers compared to those who blog about popular subjects, but I always compare them with the ground zero of not having commented at all.
Final plea: try to be kind to other commentators. Not all students do the necessary reading, and if they get insulted they probably never will.