This New Years marks close to six years of blogging every day. I write ‘em, a few of you click on ‘em.
The Traffic Stats Were Weird
The total hits on this blog increased again, up more than 10% from 2018. As before, there is a huge amount of “long tail” in this traffic, with hits spread widely over the thousands of posts from the last 8 years.
But it isn’t clear exactly how many people actually look at this blog. The stats I get are defaults from wordpress, so I don’t really know much about them.
This year saw a couple of mysterious blips. I don’t know how much of this is real traffic, and how much of it is artifacts of the data collection.
Early in the year, the daily hits dropped dramatically. This approximately corresponds to the European data privacy requirements, and the dearth of hits from that region suggest that the blog is either not available to some people (not being compliant in some way I don’t know about) or accesses are not reported (not having permission to collect that data). I dunno.
But then, around August, traffic picked up. Really picked up, to 100 hits per day. During this burst, it tended to be bursty, with a few days of high traffic, as much a 300 hits per day, and then several days of low traffic. From the imperfect information I can see, the bursts might be from Hong Kong (perhaps scraping the internet to make a copy to be used inside China?)
Then, around November, traffic dropped off again and has stayed low. This drop approximately coincides with the increasing troubles in HK, so perhaps this reflects a cut off of Internet access there.
I really don’t know.
The Usual Stuff
The blog continued to cover the usual stuff.
Cryptocurrencies, the Future of Work (and Coworking), Dinosaurs, Birds, Robots, the Ice Is Melting, Renewable Energy.
I blog about anything that interests me and is worth the trouble. I try to have something useful to say, though sometimes it’s mainly a link with “this is cool”
Many of the things I discuss are from current academic papers, which I cite and generally try to read at least the abstract and always point to the original sources.
“Coworking – The Book” and other Writing
My 2018 book “What is Coworking?” continues to sell like hot cakes–if nobody had ever heard of hot cakes. I think it sold a couple dozen copies. My plans for a new villa are on hold…. : – )
Writing is hard. Selling books is even harder.
Speaking of writing, I also contributed an article to a local free paper, which I really like the title to:
- Robert E. McGrath, Think Heliocentrically, Act Locally, in The Public I: A Paper of the People. 2019. http://publici.ucimc.org/2019/04/think-heliocentrically-act-locally/
I archived a report on the 2013 Alma Mater project. Versions of this report was rejected by several conferences and journals. A problem with working outside the box is that the journals of boxology won’t publish your results.
- Robert E. McGrath, A Digital Rescue for a Graduation Ritual. Urbana, Illinois, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105503
This blog will continue in the same vein, and daily posts will continue at least for now.
In a continuing homage to Dave Berry, I have identified a bunch of phrases that would make great names for a band. In general, these phrases are taken from actual, real scientific and technical papers. So I am not making them up—just repurposing them.
Here is this year’s crop.
Carolina Preen Oil
Dark eyed Junco
Mean Surface Albedo
Amplified Arctic Warming
Surface Air Temperature
Snow Cover Fraction
Pacific Pumice Raft
Sichuan Mudslides (also a great name for cocktail)
Soft Exo Suits
The Weddell Gyre
Giant Miocene Parrots
Perch And Stare Mission
Due to a lack of sunlight in Scotland
Blogging Birds Of Scotland
Giant Hopping Tree Rats
Tiny Pronking Robots
As always, I have continued the weekly review of one or more books that I read this year. This year I wrote about a total of 73 books, 24 non-fiction, 49 fiction.
Some Favorite Books of the Year
All the books reviewed (in no particular order)
Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear
Stone Mad by Elizabeth Bear
Grand Union by Zadie Smith
Equoid (2013) by Charles Stross
Toast (2002) by Charles Stross
Speak Easy (2015) by Catherynne M. Valente
Six Gun Snow White (2016) by Catherynne M. Valente
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré
Anno Dracula 1999 Daikaiju by Kim Newman
The Princess Beard by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Grave Importance by Vivian Shaw
The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
Amnesty by Lara Elena
Outside Looking In by T. C. Boyle
This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Noir Fatale ed. by Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell
Inland by Téa Obreht
The Origins of Sense by Adam Erlich Sachs
Fall by Neal Stephenson
Gather The Fortunes by Bryan Camp
Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
The Future is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente
No Country For Old Gnomes by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Early Riser by Jasper Fforde
European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
The Haunting of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman
Luna: Moon Rising by Ian McDonald
Revolutionaries by Joshua Furst
Someone Who Will Love You in all Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Split Tooth by Tanya Tagaq
Unto Us A Son Is Given by Donna Leon
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
Angels of Music by Kim Newman
The Burglar by Thomas Perry
Grim Expectations by K. W. Jeter
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua
Macbeth by Jo Nesbø
No Sunscreen for the Dead by Tim Dorsey
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Infernal Devices by K. W. Jeter
Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter
Lakota America by Pekka Hämäläinen
The Laundromat by Jake Bernstein
You Look Like A Thing And I Love You by Janelle Shane
They Will Have To Die Now by James Verini
Hollywood’s Eve by Lili Anolik
Proof! By Amir Alexander
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone
The Next Billion Users by Payal Arora
How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell
Places and Names by Elliot Ackerman
Eyes in the Sky by Arthur Holland Michel
American Carnage by Tim Alberta
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
The Ice At The End Of The World by Jon Gertner
Dinosaurs Rediscovered by Michael J. Benton
Devices and Desires by Kate Hubbard
Stony The Road by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The Rise and Fall of Alexandria by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid
Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
Breaking and Entering by Jeremey N. Smith
The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee” by David Treuer
Brilliant Green by Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola
The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohllenben
Before and After Alexander by Richard A. Billows