This has been my best ever year, with 448,525 pageviews, an average of almost 9000 pageviews per post. These posts provoked 1.25 million words of comments, another all-time record, not bad for a mere 50 posts. The range of comment was very broad, the positions adopted often diametrically opposed, and quality of the best commentators outstanding. I wanted to reward those who stuck to the argument and provided references in support of their views, and Ron Unz had already noted those commentators, and arranged a way of doing so. Thanks to them, and to all of you for reading, and writing enthusiastically in response.
The top ten posts are shown below:
The world’s IQ of 82 drew the most attention any of my posts has ever received. Readership at 78,663 was almost 8 times higher than my most popular post last year. A viral post, it would seem. Global politics ought to take account of human capital. The next iteration of the world IQ database will probably show that IQ 86 is the best estimate, particularly if very low scores in some studies are excluded. In strict terms there is no justification for such an exclusion, since all results must be accepted on an equal basis, but tests of study quality are appropriate in my view, and I think a quality-weighted estimate will be around IQ 86. This very detailed and extensively documented and explained collection of papers on national intelligence is now a great resource for researchers. Contributions and referees are welcomed, as further relevant results are tracked down and included.
Although he has blocked me and so will not be able to read this, I am most grateful to Nassim Nicholas Taleb. He wrote an attack on intelligence testing which was so silly I decided to ignore it. Some of you asked me for my opinion, so somewhat against my will I went through it, correcting what I saw as the most glaring errors. That drew in a large number of readers, and overnight gained me 350 new Twitter followers. The moral is: rebut promptly, and never avoid an open goal.
I have always been fascinated by human errors, including my own. An aeroplane cockpit should be finely tailored to the human mind. When it is not, passenger die. The saga of the Boeing 737 Max 8 and its internal contradictions was a real-life Hal 9000, as in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A space odyssey”, a rogue computer that attacked the crew. Boeing produced software which had a mind of its own. When I called foul on it, I worried I was jumping the gun. I was a Boeing fan, and had previously lambasted the Airbus side-stick as being opaque, but the MAX software fix was terribly flawed, and would have been picked up by old-style Boeing engineers. Operators must have an accurate conception of how controls work. The comments on these posts were an education: there was much to learn from knowledgeable readers with technical information to impart.
Other posts gained readership by taking on various critics of the study of group differences and of intelligence testing. This is debate as it should be: an exchange of views about supportive evidence. I argue that genetics is a source of individual and group differences, not the sole cause, but an important one. On intelligence testing, the surprising finding is that intelligence is ridiculously easy to measure, and adequate tests take only a few minutes. Although these posts of mine were popular here, I am under no illusions: the criticisms which I rated as mistaken will have been read and believed by far more people than I reached in these refutations.
In the list above, look at the last column. Readers are having a proper read: they dwell a fair time on each post. The Boeing posts were a particularly good long read.
Finally, for aficionados, look at what is not in the Top Ten: for the first time “The 7 Tribes of Intellect” got pushed into 11th place, albeit missing inclusion by a mere 39 pageviews.
Some readers just dip in: I suppose they came to visit the “viral” posts and then, edified, went elsewhere. At the other end of the spectrum, there were very welcome repeat visits from loyal readers.
Bluntly, some people read me by mistake: I should have called the blog “Supplementary Statistics Appendix 3” to give them fair warning of what to expect. I hope they found many other more congenial places to satisfy their interest in psychology.
Here is a clue: although readers span the age range, with a big peak among those who beginning their careers (and liberating themselves from politically correct educators?) 83% of them are men, probably with a technical approach to life. They would like to know how things work, and expect to handle some numbers along the way.
Here is a new finding. Turks came to visit, but did not stay long. Why? Perhaps they wanted to know what evolution was about, and then got cut off. Any ideas?
The US predominates, as in real life. On a broader perspective, out of a total of 199 thousand readers, 119 thousand came from the British Empire (as was). Good to see cultural continuity. Readers in Sweden and Germany feel it worth having a look. France…. well, I am pleased to welcome inquisitive Franks.
I know there are many other far more popular psychology blogs, but given the necessarily technical nature of intelligence research, I think this is a good showing.
Twitter followers have risen from 4,500 last year to 5,825 now. I have not totally lost interest in Twitter, but have tweeted less, restricting myself to doing so when putting up new posts on the blog. I have given up looking at Twitter impact statistics, while still being interested in my blog statistics. Also, I have let many tweets pass me by, without responding. Each to their own opinion.
As always, I favour blog commentators who are evidence-based, responsive to counter-arguments, tough on all claims but kind to other commentators. To those who went out of their way to explain as well as argue, I appreciate your work enormously. Some of the exchanges should be written up and posted in their own right.
If you can please ensure that your anonymous handle is distinctive, that will help put your line of reasoning into context. If your name is Legion you are still as safe as when you call yourself Anon.
Back to the blog. 1,132,000 pageviews is more than I ever hoped to achieve. Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year.