Looking at the FM website project after six million views and 40 thousand comments.

Summary: Last week the FM website had its six millionth page view since starting in November 2007. Over 33 thousand posts, over 40 thousand comments.  Here are our top hits for 2015 so far, plus a few thoughts about the project.  {2nd of 2 posts today.}

News

Top hits for 2015

Here are the top 16 posts for this year to date. Some of these are oldies (i.e., the posts about inspiration, the bloat of generals, and Germany’s invasion). Some are recent posts ( (i.e., the 3 climate science posts). Most traffic to posts after the first week comes through the grace of Google.

The FBI told their story about North Korea attacking Sony. Before we retaliate, read what they didn’t tell you. 36,950
The 97% consensus of climate scientists is only 47% 10,716
For your New Year’s Eve festivities: an inspirational speech from a great leader 09,859
The Texas drought ends; climate alarmists wrong again! 06,278
How close are we to the next recession? 06,144
How bad is our bloat of generals? How does it compare with other armies? 05,832
A Destiny of Failure – Germany’s plans to invade England during WWII 05,545
Is the profession of science broken (a possible cause of the great stagnation)? 05,414
Prepare now, for oil prices will rise again. 05,010
How we broke the climate change debates. Lessons learned for the future. 03,977

Some TV and film reviews were popular

Explaining the season 6 finale of “Castle”, and what’s coming next. Spoilers! 9,503
Interstellar’s Quantum Love and Other Cosmic Horses#*t 4,686
The little-known dark side of Ender’s Game 4,476
Tomorrowland: If You Don’t Like This Movie, You’ll Kill Our Future 4,130
Kingsman: a mirror too disturbing for critics 3,995
Hollywood transforms “The Hobbit” into The Desolation of Tolkien 3,906
Fury: the big screen display of America’s love of war, & inability to understand it 3,868

Some thoughts about the project

When starting this project I was told by a very wise man that complex material and a non-partisan perspective would never gain a mass audience. That’s proven correct. The audience has rotated over time. A tribe comes to cheer posts celebrating their truths, then jeer when new material rattles their blinders. Despite losing and gaining audiences repeatedly, page views have remained roughly stable during the past 3 years.

The predictions page shows a remarkable run of successful predictions. The Smackdowns page shows some notable failures, embarrassing but fortunately small in number.

The 40 thousand comments reveal much about our readers. They’re educated, articulate, and widely read. They are almost all fiercely tribal, holding their group truths as beyond question by fact or logic. I wonder if the three million words on the website — backed by tens of thousands of links to authoritative sources — have changed a single mind.

Above all, readers tend seek two things from this website. First, confirmation of their beliefs. Most (not all) avoid contradictory information as vampires flee from sunlight.

Second, they want entertainment — info-taiment. They have no sense that what they read should impel personal action, any more than watching Blue Bloods motivates them to become police or watching Star Trek motivates them to build the United Federation of Planets.

America’s outer party of professionals and managers wants the feeling of engagement with the great events of our time, without the risk or effort of actual engagement. This yearning shines forth from comments by both liberals and conservatives. I suspect they seek a charismatic leader to follow. America will begin a new era when they find him (or her).

For More information

Please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and post your comments — because we value your participation. To learn more about America in our time I strongly recommend reading Closing of the American Mind by the late Allan Bloom.

Closing of the American Mind
Available at Amazon.

7 thoughts on “Looking at the FM website project after six million views and 40 thousand comments.

  1. You seem rather discouraged (not sure if that was intended), but rest assured that you have at least changed one mind about one thing . And while I can’t say I always agree with the conclusions of every single post here, it is always healthy to see a perspective that contradicts your own. Keep up the good work.

  2. Sent by a reader

    Congratulations on your 6 millionth view/40k comments. I don’t know if that’s gratifying considering all the time and effort you’ve put into this. But for what it’s worth, I appreciate what you’re doing. You’ve challenged my views and have helped alter my perception of numerous issues. Even when I don’t find your arguments persuasive, I am still better off for having read your articles and the supporting links.

    I’m not surprised that your site doesn’t get the hits of a Daily Kos or The Drudge Report (I don’t think you’re shocked either, are you??). First, your posts require effort and thought on the part of the readers. That rules them out as light entertainment after a draining day at work.

    Second, I’d say it’s human nature to prefer the company of our own tribe. Since your conclusions frequently piss off both “Team Red” and “Team Blue,” right there you’ve eliminated the majority of potential readers.

    Then again, were you really aiming for a Wal-Mart style of mass audience? I think what you’ve created is a real gem; IMO one of the best sites on the web. As someone who much prefers quality over quantity, I am grateful for the approach you’ve taken. Thanks again for all you’ve done to make this possible.

  3. You have changed my mind on many subjects. I would offer than an analysis of comments is not a good approach to estimate minds changed, though. Minds are changed by listening, not speaking. If anything, I am much less likely to comment now than when I first started reading, precisely because you have helped me become more attuned to what I do *not* know.

  4. Like the others, I am grateful for your efforts, FM. I am also sure that you’ve had a greater impact than the statistics can show.

  5. Fabius Maximus,

    I commend you for your continued efforts. It is having an impact in my life, and I can say that your goals are absolutely necessary in this day and age.
    We have a system with corrupt and disingenuous leaders but also a population that has not risen to the challenge of these leaders. You present both the bad and evil our leaders and we ourselves do. This cuts straight through the crap that the Right and Left of our country live by. The Left knows, for instance, that cops shouldn’t kill black men under dubious circumstances but cannot muster the energy to question the law breaking and social chaos that is endemic in the black community. The Right cannot see past the infraction to the corruption that lies at the heart of our system.
    Both are wrong presentations of the world, so I appreciate that you consistently call for power to listen to the people and that people should stand up and take action when it doesn’t. Time will tell what happens here; it seems that your model will not take us all the way to the “Promised Land,” but you have a longer goal than that. I encourage you to not discount the quality of the impact you have when weighed against the quantity.

    PF Khans

  6. I found this site a couple years ago after searching for Martin van Creveld; stayed for it’s insights on a plethora of potential crises (peak oil; climate change; finance/econ; the New Economy, etc.) I’ve found in it a kindred spirit committed to finding the truth, which, to me, is everything.

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