Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Consequences of Going Viral

Things got pretty manic at Finnginn HQ last week. 

In case you are wondering, Finnginn HQ consists of me on a sofa in my writing clothes (pyjamas) with only a duvet, a laptop and a flat white decaf for warmth.

There's no reason why you would have noticed, but our quiet corner of the internet had a lot of visitors. Over 140,000 unique pageviews. This is atypical. A typical week might see 140 unique pageviews. So, what happened?

Firstly, some people shared my post on the new anti-rationalism on their Facebook pages. This alone might have sent me heading for a record week, but because the post had a philosophical theme, I also posted it on the r/philosophy discussion forum on the social media platform Reddit.

Reddit works by a system of votes. If people are interested in a link that has been shared they can tap an 'up' arrow to upvote it. If they find the topic distasteful or irrelevant they can downvote it. My post garnered 4500 upvotes which took it to the frontpage of Reddit where the most popular topics amongst all the discussion forums are displayed. This is where the bulk of that extra traffic came from. 

Inevitably, with that amount of traffic, there were some people who disagreed with my arguments. About 90% of the 900 comments found some flaw or bias in my reasoning. Here's the archive of the comment thread if you are interested. I'm just going to quote the guy who stuck up for me: 

"I'm surprised at the contents of much of this comment section. This post doesn't do the best job articulating his point, but he's one of very few people talking about this at all. This has been my biggest concern this whole campaign. Trump's whole campaign has been based on anti-rationalism. This is not an indictment of conservatism, but of the campaign and debate style of Trump himself. He consistently lied about things he had said, lied things others had said, flip-flopped on his own positions, refused to answer straightforward questions, and insulted rather than made points. There was almost no logical argumentation or consistent policy to be found. And yet we as a country still took him seriously, and even went so far as to elect him.

You might disagree with Hillary's positions, but Hillary actually had positions. I normally advocate choosing between candidates based on logical reasoning. But this election had one candidate directly against logical reasoning."    u/dalr3th1n

One unexpected consequence of going viral is that Google are now trying to bribe me into having adverts on this page. They say I can fast track to Adsense and make £50 a month. Obviously, I told them to stuff it where the sun has never been seen to shine.  

Anyhow, seeing as how I'm popularity averse, I think I might leave the philosophy alone for the rest of the year. Maybe a poem next week? A rant about how much I dislike office Xmas pub crawls the week after that? And then BAM! hit back with my new appraisal of Karl Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies in time for the inauguration of the new POTUS. 

What do you think? (I'm glad its just us again.)


  1. I love reading your blogs! Your shipmate😘 Don't get sucked into the monies game, it looses all meaning.

  2. Stay pure. Look forward to the Popper.