Wednesday 23 November 2016

Fourth Blog Birthday


Birthday candle


A blogger is a harmless drudge, a filter paper between a sack of coffee beans and a small expresso.

On the positive side, there is a sack of information to be read in the torrent of publications on intelligence. On the negative side, there is an even greater Sargasso Sea of mangled misunderstanding about human ability.

The torrent of publications would be unmanageable were it not for trusted researchers, many first met at ISIR conferences, who guide me to what they think of value, and at my request send me their own papers when they think they would suit the interests of Psychological Comments: interesting, new, and going faithfully in the direction of the evidence, not the preferred argument. I cannot always comment in detail on all of them, and in future I will try to at least mention those I have read even if I have not commented on them.

The Sargasso Sea of mangled misunderstanding I come across in newspapers and broadcast media never fails to irritate me. At times I feel I patrol the news, or at least that part of it which relates to human ability and life outcomes, on the lookout for egregious errors. The themes are repetitive: IQ does not exist; or cannot be measured; or can be measured much better by multiple intelligence, personal intelligence, emotional intelligence, rationality or motivation; can be boosted by a myriad of techniques including heroic training routines, more sleep and lunchtime naps, alertness drugs, and cunning new methods of instruction; and intelligence isn’t much use anyway, because achievement depends on motivation, luck, class, money, privilege; and finally, too much intelligence drives people nuts.

After all that provocation, it is with some surprise that I find myself still here, writing for those who bother to read essays, and who are interested to note how so many claims about intelligence fall apart if you bother the plod through the whole paper, and the appendixes. Thanks for being loyal readers.

To those who come across the blog, and then leave promptly in dismay at the Tables, Figures, Supplementary Appendixes and statistics: I am sorry your stay was so brief, but I do not blame you. Reading this blog will not boost your IQ nor the dimensions or performance of your private parts. It may, however, enlarge your understanding of intelligence research.

As per tradition, the blog birthday picture always shows one candle, so that we can acknowledge the triumph of survival undimmed by the metronome of mortality.

Here are are the top ten all time posts:

4th blog post totals

Most of these are old favourites which have first mover advantage. Good to see Digit Span rising so well.

Top ten referring sites

4th blog referring sites

Twitter is the big leader, Google almost equal in size, but a respectable number of readers come straight to the blog. Thanks to Steve Sailer and others at and HBDchick and others elsewhere for their support.

Top ten reader nations

4th blog countries

The US leads the way, 5 times more numerous than the UK in second place. Russia surprises me (Anatoly Karlin may have the explanation), also Ukraine.

Pageviews totals for 4th Blog Birthday


4th blog total pageviews


Last four years of total page views

               Pageviews     Twitter followers

Year 1           71,701              199

Year 2        313,753              597

Year 3        657,875              1,457

Year 4      1,o18,236          2,383


According to Klear, my tweets are seen by a “true reach”  average of 516 users (though individual “impressions” can be as high as 10,000). My followers are 30 years of age on average, 74% men, and 30% overall are considered influential.


I have written 755 posts over these 4 years. I have achieved more readers than I imagined possible. Getting over a million page views is a big deal for me. I am sure that my blog has been read more in 4 years than my publications in 48 years. Indeed, because I published relatively little, I can be sure about it. If only blogging had been an option when I started out on my career, such as it was. However, lest I seem to be sneering at the Past, the  5 or 6 television programs I presented (usually 45 minutes long) were watched by one or two million viewers; the news interviews (usually 2 minutes long) could get audiences of five million, and the Chilean miners coming out one by one from their collapsed mine (one whole day in the BBC studio) got a good chunk of the reported one billion global audience. Old fashioned media are good at covering big events.

I digress. Back to blogging. I can still remember wondering if anyone would read my comments, and whether it was worth continuing. Even after a million page views it still feels as if I am whispering against a barrage of loudhailers.

Now over to you. Bring at least one person to read the blog, preferably a researcher, lecturer, teacher or student. Just one.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Congratulations from Hungary!

    1. Thank you. 13 pageview from Hungary today, perhaps all from you, and all of them appreciated.

  2. Happy Blogday. When my beloved's book group sets off for home I may get a chance to raise a glass of shampoo to you (unless they've drained the supply).

    P.S. Have you yet been subjected to the insult of the day, "alt-right"?

  3. Congratulations - I check your blog several times a week, and have shared information from it with psychologist colleagues. For a practitioner, your blog helps me to keep up with some new trends in this area of research, and you have directed me to other blogs I now use, as well. Thank-you for your efforts.

  4. I check in almost every day. Apparently i'm the only person in Norway who does :) I'm not Norwegian, so maybe that explains it. Also, congrats, and thanks for proving English Gentlemen still exist.

  5. It's remarkable how powerful illustration are. Your map half-persuades me that you have many readers in Alaska.

  6. Congratulations!

    Sorry for taking so long to reply. I am as surprised by Russia's figures as you are. Knowledge of the English language is still pretty low by European standards, and while Russia is mercifully free of Western-style political correctness, there is simply very little interest in IQ research.